Specialty Food Magazine


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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Page 3 of 131

EDITOR'S LETTER The Numbers Behind Our Industry SPRING 2014 1 HAVE A COMMENT? Visit specialtyfood.com/dpurcell/SOI2014 T he specialty food trade again reports healthy sales growth, according to the "State of the Specialty Food Industry 2014" report, compiled by the Specialty Food Association and Mintel International. Dollar sales for retail and foodservice grew 18.4 percent, our annual report reveals. Denise Purcell Editor, Specialty Food Magazine dpurcell@specialtyfood.com facebook.com/craftcarejoy Hitting $88.3 billion in 2013, the industry has been driven by large categories such as Cheese and Cheese Alter- natives; Chips, Pretzels, and Snacks; and Yogurt and Kefir. Among the fastest-growing categories are Nut and Seed But- ters; Eggs; Frozen Desserts; Refrigerated Condiments; and Ready-to-Drink Tea and Coffee. Sales in specialty food stores and natural markets sky- rocketed by 42.4 percent and 33.8 percent, respectively, between 2011 and 2013. Mainstream supermarket sales growth was more sluggish comparatively, at 6.9 percent. Here are some more highlights from this year's report: • Lackluster growth in mainstream supermarkets impacted specialty food unit sales. Unit sales in specialty and natural retail channels, however, were much healthier: 21.1 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively. • Latin and Mediterranean foods are named among the top emerging cuisines by importers and retailers. Indian, Afri- can, and Korean cuisines are also gaining attention. • Distributors are highly optimistic that non-GMO claims will draw consumer attention; 86 percent say it's the claim that will grow the most in the next three years. • Seventy percent of retailers cite "local" as the claim that most interests consumers today. While the retail outlook is robust overall, the foodser- vice segment—comprising 20.5 percent of the specialty food market—has mixed news. Dollar sales remain steady at $18.1 billion, but 25 percent of manufacturers report it is their slow- est-growing sales channel. Importers, however, report their foodservice sales, both direct and through distributors, are up over 2012, indicating that restaurants, cafes, and hospitality sectors have a growing interest in specialty foods. Foodservice is a side of the trade we explore in greater depth in this issue. We interview successful suppliers to the foodservice segment, as well as report on restaurant and menu trends, emerging cuisines, new products, and operational as- pects such as the benefits and challenges of sourcing locally. The latter is a strong theme in foodservice: chefs like David Levi from Vinland in Portland, Maine, and Todd Villani from Terre à Terre in Carlstadt, N.J., have embraced menus using local and hyperlocal ingredients (p. 26). And Sid Wainer & Son, which supplies 24,000 restaurants in North America, has been emphasizing local growing by operating its own greenhouse and farm as well as working with hundreds of farmers across New England to grow produce it had previ- ously shipped in from other regions and countries (p. 42). You can read these features and more covering segments like cheese (p. 34), snacks (p. 8), and yogurt (p. 78) in this issue. And, of course, dive into more "State of the Specialty Food Industry 2014" data, on p. 89. Columns_Contents_SPRING14.indd 1 3/18/14 4:08 PM

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