Tuesday, April 3, 2012

State of the Specialty Food Industry

Great news from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), US Retail and food service sales of specialty foods and beverage (the category we compete in at Oil & Vinegar) rose 6.9% in 2011, topping $75 billion.

I have posted the highlights from the study below....

“Consumers are making better food a part of their lifestyle,” says Ron Tanner, vp, communications and education, for the NASFT. “They are embracing new foods and flavors and are willing to choose top-quality even while they economize elsewhere.”

Behind the numbers, manufacturers, importers, brokers, distributors and retailers interviewed for the study are talking about growth opportunities for specialty food and the challenges they face. Cash flow, rising expenses for raw materials and energy, and increasing competition are top concerns.

On the retail side, the average transaction size for Specialty Food Stores jumped 11.4 percent to $41.49.

These findings are presented in The State of the Specialty Food Industry 2012, an annual report from the NASFT prepared in conjunction with market researchers Mintel International and SPINS. The report tracks sales of specialty food through supermarkets, natural food stores and specialty food retailers.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Specialty foods represent 13.7 percent of all food sales at retail.
  • Kosher is the leading claim for new specialty food products, followed by all natural.
  • Natural food stores are the fastest growing retail channel, with a sales increase of 19.8 percent from 2009 – 2011.
  • In 2011, 41 percent of specialty food manufacturers reported a sales increase of more than 20 percent.
  • Local is the most influential product claim today, according to three-quarters of retailers surveyed and two-thirds say the claim will grow the most in the next three years.