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 60 of 139

Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 3204 Competing Online IGD recently published market research suggesting that online grocery will generate $20 billion in additional sales in the next five years, growing at a compound annual rate of 18 percent. That compares with a rate of 7.6 percent for discounters, 3 percent for supermarkets, and 4.1 percent for "specialty stores and others." The increase in online grocery spend- ing is expected to be relatively broad-based across food categories, Samuel says, but commodities and regularly purchased items will likely account for a significant percent- age of this volume, especially as replenish- ment becomes more automated. Samuel says the shift toward online retailing creates opportunities for special- ty suppliers and retailers to expand their assortments of local product and to dif- ferentiate themselves with unique offerings. Steiner says retailers will need to focus on offering a compelling in-store experi- ence. "Online retail isn't good at upselling, sampling, or creating a fun environment," she says. "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 ele- ments are important." Balanko of The Hartman Group says she sees opportunities for specialty foods, particularly shelf-stable items, in the online space, however. Consumers are accustomed to searching for rare, high-quality products and ingredients online, she notes. Stern of McMillan Doolittle says he believes that all the focus on online grocery Specialty food producers should consider how their products fit into a more foodservice- orientated retail environment. "This is going to be a key growth channel, and suppliers should assess the portability of their products, especially as we see a big shift towards more snacking and eating on the go." —Stewart Samuel, IGD 58 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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