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Wellness, aging, taxes, digital media – these and many other trends continue to influence how food is marketed and sold.
That’s according to Carol Christison, president and CEO of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, who discussed these retailing rules to live by in her keynote speech to attendees of the IDDBA expo this week in Orlando, Fla.
Christison, celebrating her 30th year at the helm of the Madison, Wis.-based trade group, challenged retailers to ask themselves why their organizations exist. “If you start with why, it’ll change how you think about your business forever,” she said. “To begin, start at the end.”
Among the relevant trends Christison outlined:
- Gluten free: This segment is up to $4.2 billion in sales. Meanwhile, a new medication aimed at relieving celiac disease, KumaMax, is proving effective.
- Real, fresh and less processed: Pulling more plant-based foods to the center of the plate, and using cold-pressed technology instead of heat to pasteurize foods to retain the “near-raw” halo.
- Food as medicine: Or “medibles”
- Obesity: A political as well as a health issue. Weight loss products and services will reach $38 billion in 2013 and $40.9 billion in 2016. Food and beverages are almost 80 percent of sales, which have gone down in the last five years.
- Calorie-labeling impact: Consumers want transparency along with the calorie count, but they don’t trust the numbers.
- Developing foods for an aging population: The over-60 global population is expected to grow from 11% in 2000 to 22% by 2050, an increase from 605 million to 2 billion.
- Transformed consumers: The recession created “needs-based” shoppers.
- 2% payroll tax increase: Can be the difference between shopping at a dollar store or a mass merchandiser, or the difference between buying a store brand or a national brand.
- “Boomerang kids”: Young adults returning home after college.
- Online commerce: Optimizing keyword searches to focus on the eating occasion; start with the end-user and work backwards. Fifteen percent of U.S. adults have shopped for groceries online; 19% say they will in the future. Food is one of the last categories to go digital; 75% of consumers shop online for products & services versus 15% who have shopped online for groceries; 54% use social media to discover new foods; 49% learn about new food via social networking; 49% respond to daily deals (Groupon, etc.); 40% learn about food via websites, blogs, apps; 20% visit websites like Allrecipes monthly.
- Six key shopper trends: According to Bill Bishop: promotion overload; emphasis on value capture; enthusiasm for peer influence; use of the store (traditional formats will continue to outsell online retail); dependence on digital feedback; shoppers gain confidence in online ordering.
- New formats: Harris Teeter’s 201 Central, featuring wine, beer, some groceries and a reduced frozen/cooler section; VegCo Market in Phoenix, with 100% plant-based products; Price Chopper's new concept store with 16 different eateries, in-house cooking school, produce that’s grown and harvested in the store; Schnucks building a new 1-acre greenhouse; Whole Foods’ Arlington Pub Coffee Bar.
- Private label: 29% of new product intros in 2012, a 4% increase over 2011; brand loyalty is sagging due to trust issues.
- Upcycling: Repurposing with a twist: Whole Foods upcycles blemished fruit and vegetables, repackages as fresh-cut produce; accounts for 15% of total produce sales.