Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trends in the Specialty Food market

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) just released it's annual report. The trends they've found are interesting- some surprising, some not at all. Most encouraging is confirmation of the strength of the local, sustainable and eco-friendly food movement.

The NASFT defines specialty foods as foods of premium quality that are often made by small or local manufacturers or have exotic or ethnic flavors. Of these foods, the top five categories of foods most purchased last year were cheese; condiments; frozen and refrigerated entrees, pizzas and convenience foods; chips, pretzels and snacks; and frozen and refrigerated meats, poultry and seafood.

Specialty food accounts for 13.1 percent of all food sales at retail.
Yogurt and kefir is the fastest growing specialty food category; sales jumped 38.9 percent in 2009 to $830 million.

-Mediterranean, Latin and Indian were named as the three fastest emerging cuisines.

-Retailers report that 23.4 percent of the foods they sell are local, produced within 250 miles of the store.

-85 percent of specialty food manufacturers make or market natural foods.

-56 percent of specialty food manufacturers report sales growth for 2009, but 10 percent saw sales declines of greater than 20 percent.

-Sales to foodservice represented 20 percent of specialty industry food sales in 2009, or $12.75 billion.

-Mainstream supermarkets remain the predominant seller of specialty foods, with 74 percent of sales.

-Local, sustainable and eco-friendly products were identified as the items that will grow the most in the coming years.

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