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 58 of 139

Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 4423 S p e c i a lt y C r a c k e r s Stern of McMillan Doolittle. Both Aldi and Lidl have sought to capture more of that seg- ment of the market as well. "If you were to talk about Aldi 10 years ago, you would say it has no impact on specialty retailers, because it just focused on opening-price-point basics and private label," he says. "Now [Aldi and Lidl] are focused not just on opening-price points, but are expanding organic prod- uct; expanding premium products, and expanding healthier products, like gluten-free. "At a minimum, it puts some down- ward pressure on pricing," says Stern. If Lidl is selling organic olive oil at a rock-bottom price, for example, "you must be at least cog- nizant of the fact that there is a competitor out there potentially seriously undercutting you," he says. Stephanie Steiner, director of sales at Market Centre, the specialty food division of Minneapolis-based Supervalu, says the cur- rent battle among retailers over price presents a strong opportunity for specialty food items. "This is the time for specialty food items to thrive," she says. "While the indus- try fights over the price of bananas and eggs, gross profit has to be made somewhere, and that gives specialty items a revival in opportunity." Independent retailers, in particular, are in a strong position to partner with specialty brands to create integrated promo- tions, recipes, demonstrations, and in-store events, says Steiner. "Online retail isn't good at upselling, sampling, or creating a fun environment. Online environments don't smell good—there is no fresh bread coming out of the oven. Online environments don't smile at you when you walk in. All of those elements are important." —Stephanie Steiner, Market Centre 56 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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