Mar 29, 2012
Specialty Food Industry Tops $75B: Study
Surging demand for yogurt, energy bars, nut and seed butters and coffee drinks is sending the specialty food industry to new highs for the second year in a row.
U.S. retail and foodservice sales of specialty foods and beverages rose 6.9 percent in 2011, topping $75 billion, according to new research from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).
Cheese claims the top spot in spending for specialty foods, with $3.44 billion in retail sales in 2011. The next largest retail sales categories are meats, poultry and seafood; chips, pretzels and snacks; coffee, coffee substitutes and cocoa; and bread and baked goods. Functional beverages are the fastest growing segment, followed by yogurt and kefir.
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.
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:
Latin is the fastest emerging cuisine, retailers say. Importers report growth in cuisines from Eastern Europe and India.
A digital version will be available April 2 online. On April 11 at 2 p.m. EDT, NASFT will present a one-hour webinar that will delve into the data in this year’s report.
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