Specialty Food Magazine

OCT 2012

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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EDITOR'S LETTER The Trending Habits of Today's Specialty Food Consumer N early two-thirds of all U.S. consumers have purchased a specialty food product within the past six months, a healthy 11 percent increase over 2011, and a whopping 43 percent leap over 2009 numbers. Tat figure alone should bring cheers from the trade, but the latest "Today's Specialty Food Consumer 2012" report, compiled by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade and market re- searcher Mintel International, offers a much deeper and more valuable perspective on the consumers who make up our industry's end users. While sales numbers may fluctuate, the portrait of the specialty food consumer is always evolving. As in past years, the 2012 prototypical specialty food consumer remains young, affluent and living in the West or Northeast. But each year brings some demographic, attitudinal and spending trends that make this comprehensive annual report critical to manufacturers and purveyors when planning for effective marketing and growing sales. Here, we've gathered some interesting changes—and constants—in consumer trends from 2011 to 2012 as detailed in "Today's Specialty Food Consumer." Up in 2012 Who's Buying Specialty Foods What Consumers are Buying Where Consumers are Shopping How Consumers are Using Specialty Foods Other Shopping Habits Leisure Habits Males are buying more than before. Cheese and yogurt At the deli Everyday meals at home All-natural foods Down in 2012 – Alcoholic beverages Club stores To bring to the office – Consumers using social media Consumers belonging to talk/learn about food to a gym About Equal in 2012 Midwesterners report the same amount of buying. Cookies and snack bars Natural food stores To treat themselves Kosher/Halal foods Consumers growing their own food Beginning on p. 33 of this issue, you can uncover more about the shopping habits and preferences of these consum- ers. Beyond benchmarking data on what they buy and how much they spend, the NASFT and Mintel probe motiva- tions and priorities in making food-buying and -preparation decisions, as well as social habits and leisure activities, to present a full composite of today's consumer. For even more insight into the printed facts and figures, a webinar and live Q-and-A session will be held on Oc- tober 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT, led by Ron Tanner, NASFT's vice president, communications, education, government and industry relations. Details can be found at specialtyfood.com/onlinehighlights, or contact Laura Lozada, NASFT education director, at llozada@nasft.org. |SFM| By Denise Purcell HAVE A COMMENT? Visit specialtyfood.com/dpurcell/consumer2012 Editor, Specialty Food Magazine dpurcell@nasft.org facebook.com/specialtyfoodmedia OCTOBER 2012 1

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