Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

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 New Research Forecasts Specialty Food Categories FALL 2017 1 SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION MEMBERS: Discuss this topic in the Solution Center on specialtyfood.com W hile most published research tends to address present data and trends-to-date, the trade has asked that we deliver more forward-looking studies to help it plan more effectively. So, working with market researcher Mintel, the Specialty Food Association has released new research that forecasts the sales growth or decline of 33 specialty food categories over the next five years. Denise Purcell Editor, Specialty Food Magazine dpurcell@specialtyfood.com In this research—first released as part of LevelUP, the new future-focused attraction rolled out at the Summer Fancy Food Show in June—Mintel projects which categories will grow, slow, or take off. Among those areas that will fare successfully, drivers include mega trends like fresh foods, convenience, wellness, snacking, sustainability, plus genera- tional patterns like the huge millennial generation aging and starting families. For example, categories Mintel highlighted for strong growth potential included waters and snack and wellness bars, both driven by consumers' interest in health, conve- nience, and desire for better-for-you alternatives. If today's product innovations are an indicator of accuracy, these cat- egories were among those that the Specialty Food Associa- tion's Trendspotter Panel cited at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Enhanced waters along with other low-sugar or func- tional beverages, and snack bars packed with ancient grains, fiber, nuts, and seeds were part of the on-trend product inno- vations the panel discovered at the show. (You can read about some of these innovations on p. 16.) Mintel's David Lockwood and Shelley Balanko from The Hartman Group also partnered for a session at the Summer Show entitled, "The Food Market of Tomorrow: Trends and Forecasts to Prepare for Today," where Lock- wood reported the specialty food category overall is projected to grow at a 7.7 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years. Consumers trading up to products that are artisanal, local, and have distinctive f lavors will drive that growth, according to Hartman's research. Balanko reported that 53 percent of consumers break from their normal eating routine at least once a week. Of those, 38 percent break for higher quality and 43 percent for variety—two hallmarks of specialty foods. The category forecasts are available for download indi- vidually or as a bundle (and free for Specialty Food Associa- tion members) in the Learning Center on specialtyfood.com, where you can also download Lockwood and Balanko's full session. In the coming months, we'll be working to further aug- ment our research offerings. For example, you may be used to finding our annual report on Today's Specialty Food Con- sumer in this fall issue. That and our yearly State of the Spe- cialty Food Industry report are under review for a revamp in 2018 to make them more useful and insightful to the trade. As we assess our reports, we'd like to hear your feedback and know what other types of research would best help you prepare and plan your businesses. Email dpurcell@specialty- food.com, or SFA members can join the conversation on the Solution Center on specialtyfood.com.

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