Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1119718

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Page 117 of 155

7 INSIGHTS AND TAKEAWAYS 1. Plant based is going strong. Mintel estimates that the retail market for plant-based specialty items grew 24% from 2016 to 2018, and now accounts for nearly 5% of the total specialty food and beverage market. What's more, one-third of specialty food consum- ers surveyed reported buying a plant-based food and beverage. This lifestyle movement doesn't appear to be slowing anytime soon. 4. Reduced packaging and food waste are hot points. Retailers that outwardly empha- size recycling or reduced packaging resonate with 33% of all consumers surveyed, slightly higher than a similar concept of food waste reduction. Both these concepts are newsworthy and retailers and brands should take note with consumer-facing marketing strategies and action plans. 2. Specialty beverages are increasingly a force in the market. Collectively, the $11.8 billion segment grew faster than food from 2016 to 2018. Consumer survey data shows that half of the top 10 selling categories are beverages, both RTD and non. Water and sparkling water lead the pack of what specialty food consumers report they purchase most often and are among beverages that Mintel forecasts growing over the next five years. 5. The C-store channel is an under-tapped market for specialty items. Though some upscale c-store concepts such as Goods Mart and Choice Market are starting to open in the U.S., many conventional c-stores aren't yet savvy when it comes to sourcing the best specialty products and merchandising them. These chains tend to focus on impulse purchases instead of building loyalty among shoppers. A shift is beginning with existing chains addressing the need to offer more clean label and premium products, but there is a lot room for opportunity. 6. Foodservice needs to move to greater customization. Customization at restaurants is equally popular among specialty food and non specialty food consumers, illustrating how much the feature is expected. While some dietary requests are common, a cultural move is taking place toward greater customer control for requests large and small. The more foodservice outlets can do to promote customization, the more likely it is to result in more customers. 7. Opportunity lies in breakfast. This year's research looked specifically at time of day occasions for consumers who report buying specialty foods for meals at home. Breakfast has emerged as a growing opportunity, especially with two groups of strong specialty food consumers—Gen-Xs and men. Prepared and packaged foods that address this desire could open sales. 3. Younger consumers don't look to supermarkets for quick meals. The overall rise in foodservice sales and spend is already pressuring conventional retail. Add to that while young specialty food consumers are programmed to seek quick options and meal delivery, they don't turn to supermarket restaurants/cafes or fresh foods/deli sections as frequently as other age groups to meet this need. This could be the start of a worrisome pattern, sales wise, if supermarkets don't engage Gen-Zs with the right atmosphere and selections. THE STATE OF THE SPECIALTY FOOD INDUSTRY S11

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