Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 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.

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"What's changing quickly is that when a disruptive category comes along, within 12 months or sometimes even less, it's getting saturated." —executive VP of a natural/specialty food brand sold in 10,000+ outlets "Our target market has been women, but our biggest surprise is that men are happy to try our beverage and specific flavors. Our new generation of other botanicals will lean our brand more towards gender neutral." —founder and CEO of a woman-owned premium RTD beverage brand "[As for the plant-based trend] the whole thing is just crazy, how much of it there is. Some of it's good, some of it not. There's still some product development that [brands] need to work on more before they launch, but I think they're trying to get to market and just iterate along the way." —founder/co-owner of an urban, independent, full- service natural/specialty food supermarket "With so much selection available to the consumer, choice is the other topic we're spending a significant amount of time thinking through. Providing users with multiple options within the app has transcended to the restaurant side. Restaurateurs are differentiating their menus, creating distinction not just via their branding and location, but also through their menu." —director of operations for a food delivery platform "We are keenly focused on how we can effectively use the digital component of business to raise awareness and get product to our consumers in the way they want. [But] people need interaction and entertainment. Where that comes from is changing, [as] people crave interaction as a basic human need or trait." —president and CEO of a family-run premium chocolate and confectionery brand "Specialty is becoming mainstream. As the specialty categories grow and CPGs acquire some of these companies, it creates the risk for us that a retailer will choose to take it direct along with other mainstream product they purchase from that CPG. As we build a product up and it's successful, a retailer may take that directly into their warehouse, and then it is our job to find new items to replace it. We are continually working with smaller companies and start-ups of varying levels of preparedness, which can pose challenges." —vice president of vendor relations for a large specialty foods distributor "An interesting and pleasant surprise (even with our established restaurant partners) is that people are ordering food delivery at different times of the day, expanding our day parts from the traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner to brunch, snack, and late-night periods. This gives us insight into how consumers want to be eating and consuming food that you don't eat in restaurants and don't prepare at home." —director of operations for a food delivery platform "It isn't more costly to do business in foodservice than in retail. But it's a nuanced, complicated channel, and if you don't understand how all the pieces can or should work together it's probably not done right and you're going to run into margin consequences. That's where it is expensive." —founder of a foodservice consultancy for the specialty food industry Go to specialtyfood.com/state2019 to purchase the 188-page State of the Specialty Food Industry Full Report and 5-Year Category Tracking and Forecasts. Kelsey Crane is a student at Montclair University who interned with the Specialty Food Association in the spring. Industry Voices: The State of Specialty Foods COMPILED BY KELSEY CRANE Members of the supply chain shared insights as part of the State of the Specialty Food Industry research, 2019-2020 edition, published by SFA in collaboration with Mintel. 56 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com sound off

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