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Specialty Foods - The NASFT State of the Industry Report - The Market - US - October 2009

Specialty foods are defined as products that have limited distribution and a reputation for high quality. These items are becoming more popular—and easier to find—as the American consumer has developed a more sophisticated and discerning palate and as a growing number of channels offer foods to attract these consumers. NASFT estimates that there are more than 190,000 specialty foods products in the marketplace in channels that vary from boutiques and department stores to specialty food stores, natural food stores, supermarkets, and drug stores. The number and range of specialty food products has been growing steadily since NASFT and Mintel began to report on the industry in 2004; consumers have shown many times over that their interest in specialty foods—both imported and US made—shows no sign of slowing.

A number of factors have contributed to the continued growth in the industry—globalization, a greater interest in high-quality ingredients, and more disposable income available for non-discretionary food purchases. Consumers continue to educate themselves about the food traditions of other regions through travel and armchair travel, by reading books and magazines, and by watching cooking and travel shows on television. They have also expanded their away-from-home eating horizons by visiting more sophisticated restaurants that feature foods of unusual areas or regions. And consumers have begun to include more specialty foods and beverages in their at-home menus as well, both from foreign countries and from a number of distinct regions in the US.

This report encompasses three years of sales data (2006-08) for each of 47 segments, and discusses the positive and negative factors that may have a bearing on each segment’s future growth or decline. New products in each segment, drawn from Mintel’s GNPD database, are included in order to illustrate representative examples in each product class or to point out new avenues that a product class is taking. Also included in this report is a comprehensive look at distribution channels within the specialty food trade, from importer and broker to retailer.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction and Abbreviations

      • Definition
        • Segment definitions and examples
          • Brand positioning
            • The 2009 Mintel/NASFT/GMI Midwest Survey
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                  • A $48 billion market for specialty foods
                    • The current economy is the major market driver
                      • Spending on food at home
                        • Diverse food traditions
                          • New product launches
                            • In-depth analysis of 47 key segments
                              • Supplier surveys: Manufacturers, importers, distributors, brokers
                                • Specialty food retailer survey
                                  • Retail distribution: Mainstream, specialty food stores, natural food stores
                                  • Market Factors

                                    • The economy
                                      • Spending on food at home
                                        • Figure 1: Average expenditures of all CUs for food and beverages at home and away from home, 2005-07
                                        • Figure 2: Consumer Price Index, all food, food at home, food away from home, 2006-08
                                      • Imports—foods and food traditions—help drive market
                                        • Figure 3: Persons obtaining legal permanent resident status by country of last residence, fiscal years 2006-08
                                        • Figure 4: Number of international trips by U.S. resident travelers, by destination, 2008
                                      • New specialty foods launches
                                        • Figure 5: New specialty food and beverage product launches in gourmet stores, health food stores, and specialty retailers, by category, 2006-08
                                    • Market Size and Trends

                                      • Sales in the retail channel
                                        • Figure 6: Total U.S. retail dollar sales of specialty foods, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                      • Estimating the total specialty food universe
                                        • Figure 7: Total U.S. sales of specialty foods, 2008
                                    • Market Segmentation

                                        • Figure 8: Sales of specialty foods market, segmented by food type, 2006 and 2008*
                                        • Figure 9: Total retail sales (specialty and non-specialty) in market segments included in specialty universe, 2006 and 2008*
                                    • Segment Analysis

                                        • Cheese and cheese alternatives
                                          • Figure 10: Sales of specialty and all cheese and cheese alternatives, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Condiments
                                          • Figure 11: Sales of specialty and all condiments, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Frozen and refrigerated entrees, pizzas and convenience foods
                                          • Figure 12: Sales of specialty and all frozen and refrigerated entrees, pizzas and convenience foods, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Frozen and refrigerated meats, poultry and seafood
                                          • Figure 13: Sales of specialty and all frozen and refrigerated meats, poultry and seafood, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Chips, pretzels and snacks
                                          • Figure 14: Sales of specialty and all chips, pretzels and snacks, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Frozen desserts
                                          • Figure 15: Sales of specialty and all frozen desserts, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Frozen and non-frozen bread and baked goods
                                          • Figure 16: Sales of specialty and all frozen and non-frozen bread and baked goods, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Refrigerated juices and functional beverages
                                          • Figure 17: Sales of specialty and all refrigerated juices and functional beverages, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Coffee, coffee substitutes and cocoa
                                          • Figure 18: Sales of specialty and all coffee, coffee substitutes and cocoa, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Shelf-stable sauces, salsas and dips
                                          • Figure 19: Sales of specialty and all shelf-stable sauces, salsas and dips, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Cookies and snack bars
                                          • Figure 20: Sales of specialty and all cookies and snack bars, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • Milk, half and half and cream
                                            • Figure 21: Sales of specialty and all milk, half and half and cream, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Candy and individual snacks
                                            • Figure 22: Sales of specialty and all candy and individual snacks, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Yogurt and kefir
                                            • Figure 23: Sales of specialty and all yogurt and kefir, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Cooking oil
                                            • Figure 24: Sales of specialty and all cooking oil, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Carbonated, functional and RTD tea and coffee beverages
                                            • Figure 25: Sales of specialty and all carbonated, functional and RTD tea and coffee beverages, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Shelf-stable pastas
                                            • Figure 26: Sales of specialty and all shelf-stable pastas, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Baking mixes, supplies and flour
                                            • Figure 27: Sales of specialty and all baking mixes, supplies and flour, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Shelf-stable fruits and vegetables
                                            • Figure 28: Sales of specialty and all shelf-stable fruits and vegetables, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Teas
                                            • Figure 29: Sales of specialty and all teas, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Cold cereal
                                            • Figure 30: Sales of specialty and all cold cereal, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Shelf-stable juices and functional beverages
                                            • Figure 31: Sales of specialty and all shelf-stable juices and functional beverages, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Refrigerated entrees, sushi and grab-and-go meals
                                            • Figure 32: Sales of specialty and refrigerated entrees, sushi and grab-and-go meals, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Refrigerated non-dairy beverages
                                            • Figure 33: Sales of specialty and all refrigerated non-dairy beverages, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Refrigerated sauces, salsas and dips
                                            • Figure 34: Sales of specialty and all refrigerated sauces, salsas and dips, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Crackers and crispbreads
                                            • Figure 35: Sales of specialty and all crackers and crispbreads, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Water
                                            • Figure 36: Sales of specialty and all water, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Soup
                                            • Figure 37: Sales of specialty and all soup, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Seasonings
                                            • Figure 38: Sales of specialty and all seasonings, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Beans, grain, and rice
                                            • Figure 39: Sales of specialty and all beans, grain, and rice, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Entrees and mixes
                                            • Figure 40: Sales of specialty and all entrees and mixes, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Nuts, seeds, dried fruit and trail mixes
                                            • Figure 41: Sales of specialty and all nuts. seeds, dried fruit and trail mixes, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Other dairy
                                            • Figure 42: Sales of specialty and all other dairy, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Energy bars and gels
                                            • Figure 43: Sales of specialty and all energy bars and gels, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Sweeteners
                                            • Figure 44: Sales of specialty and all sweeteners, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Shelf-stable meat, poultry and seafood
                                            • Figure 45: Sales of specialty and all shelf-stable meat, poultry and seafood, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Conserves, jams and nut butters
                                            • Figure 46: Sales of specialty and all conserves, jams and nut butters, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Frozen fruits and vegetables
                                            • Figure 47: Sales of specialty and all frozen fruits and vegetables, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Shelf-stable non-dairy beverages
                                            • Figure 48: Sales of specialty and all shelf-stable non-dairy beverages, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Eggs
                                            • Figure 49: Sales of specialty and all eggs, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Frozen and refrigerated meat alternatives
                                            • Figure 50: Sales of specialty and all frozen and refrigerated meat alternatives, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Puddings and shelf-stable desserts
                                            • Figure 51: Sales of specialty and all puddings and shelf-stable desserts, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Hot cereal
                                            • Figure 52: Sales of specialty and all hot cereal, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Tofu
                                            • Figure 53: Sales of specialty and all tofu at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Baby food
                                            • Figure 54: Sales of specialty and all baby food, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Rice cakes
                                            • Figure 55: Sales of specialty and all rice cakes, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                          • Frozen juices and beverages
                                            • Figure 56: Sales of specialty and all frozen juices and beverages, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                        • State of the Industry: Supply Chain

                                          • Introduction
                                            • Figure 57: Number of SKUs manufactured/carried, by supply chain sectors, 2008
                                            • Figure 58: Median average annual sales, by supply chain sectors, 2008
                                          • Manufacturers
                                            • Figure 59: Number of SKUs produced per specialty food manufacturers, 2008
                                            • Figure 60: Average annual specialty food sales, by specialty food manufacturers, 2008
                                            • Figure 61: Full- and part-time staff employed, by specialty food manufacturers, 2008
                                            • Figure 62: Breakdown of manufacturer expenses, by type, 2008
                                            • Figure 63: Share of specialty food manufacturer annual sales, by channel, 2008
                                            • Figure 64: Facility ownership and incidence of co-packing, by specialty food manufacturers, 2008
                                            • Figure 65: Environmentally friendly product manufacturing, 2007-08
                                            • Figure 66: The effect of the economy on sales, 2008
                                          • The voice of the manufacturer
                                            • What is the biggest threat to your business?
                                              • Have you taken any steps to make your operation more sustainable/green? If so, what steps have you taken?
                                                • Have you taken any steps to manage your business during the economic downturn? If so, what steps have you taken?
                                                  • Importers
                                                    • Figure 67: Number of SKUs carried per specialty food importers, 2008
                                                    • Figure 68: Average annual specialty food sales by specialty food importers, 2008
                                                    • Figure 69: Regions from which specialty food importers obtain products, 2008
                                                    • Figure 70: Number of countries imported from, 2008
                                                    • Figure 71: Share of specialty food importer annual sales, by channel, 2008
                                                    • Figure 72: Percentage of specific types of products imported, 2008
                                                    • Figure 73: Importing environmentally friendly products, 2008
                                                  • The voice of the importer
                                                    • Do you plan to expand your import horizons to other countries or to other food lines? If so, what do you consider the “next best place” or the “next best products” to explore?
                                                      • How has the weak economy affected your business, and what have you done to confront that challenge?
                                                        • Distributors
                                                          • Figure 74: Number of SKUs carried per specialty food distributor, 2008
                                                          • Figure 75: Average annual specialty food sales by specialty food distributors, 2008
                                                          • Figure 76: Stores serviced, 2008
                                                          • Figure 77: Share of sales of specialty food distributors, by channels sold through, 2008
                                                        • The voice of the distributor
                                                          • What do you see as the fastest-growing channel for specialty foods?
                                                            • How has the weak economy affected your business, and what have you done to confront that challenge?
                                                              • Brokers
                                                                • Figure 78: Number of SKUs represented per specialty food broker, 2008
                                                                • Figure 79: Average annual specialty food sales by specialty food brokers, 2008
                                                                • Figure 80: Number of stores serviced, 2008
                                                              • The voice of the broker
                                                                • How has the weak economy affected your business, and what have you done to confront that challenge?
                                                                  • All: Attitudes towards sustainability and “green” business practices
                                                                    • Figure 81: Attitudes towards sustainability and “green” business practices, 2008
                                                                • Retail Distribution

                                                                    • Retail channel sales of specialty foods
                                                                      • Introduction
                                                                        • Figure 82: U.S. retail sales of specialty foods, by channel, 2006-08
                                                                      • Mainstream channels (supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers)
                                                                        • Figure 83: Supermarket sales of specialty foods, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                                                      • Specialty food stores
                                                                        • Figure 84: Specialty food store sales of specialty foods, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                                                      • Natural food stores
                                                                        • Figure 85: Natural food store sales of specialty foods, at current and constant prices, 2006-08
                                                                    • State of the Industry: Specialty Food Retailers

                                                                        • Operating statistics
                                                                          • Figure 86: Specialty food store operating statistics, 2008
                                                                          • Figure 87: Number of SKUs carried by specialty food stores, 2008
                                                                        • Relations with suppliers
                                                                          • Figure 88: Number of suppliers from whom retailers make purchases, 2008
                                                                          • Figure 89: Mean percentage of purchases made through distributors vs. direct purchases, 2008
                                                                        • Stores: Departments and product mix
                                                                          • Figure 90: Departments in specialty food stores, 2008
                                                                          • Figure 91: Mean sales by department within specialty food stores, 2008
                                                                          • Figure 92: Characteristics of products carried, by retailers, 2007-08
                                                                          • Figure 93: Retailing environmentally friendly products, 2008
                                                                          • Figure 94: Strategies used to cope with economic downturn, 2008
                                                                        • Labor issues
                                                                          • Figure 95: Full-time staff in specialty food stores, 2008
                                                                          • Figure 96: Labor costs as a percentage of sales, 2007-08
                                                                        • The voice of the retailer
                                                                          • What is the biggest challenge to you as a specialty food retailer?
                                                                            • What is the biggest threat to your business?
                                                                              • How do you judge whether or not a product or group of products is right for your market area?
                                                                                • What strategies do you use to get customers to come to your store rather than buying specialty food through supermarkets and other mass merchants?
                                                                                  • How do you retain good sales staff?
                                                                                    • What steps are you taking to make your stores more eco-friendly and sustainable?

                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                    • AK-Mak Bakeries
                                                                                    • Amy's Kitchen Inc.
                                                                                    • Annie's Homegrown Inc.
                                                                                    • Applegate Farms
                                                                                    • Barbara's Bakery Inc.
                                                                                    • Barilla America Inc
                                                                                    • Blue Diamond Growers
                                                                                    • Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods
                                                                                    • Boca Foods Company
                                                                                    • Boylan Bottling Co. Inc.
                                                                                    • Brinker International Inc.
                                                                                    • Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Inc.
                                                                                    • Cape Cod Potato Chip Company, The
                                                                                    • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                    • Ciao Bella Gelato Co Inc
                                                                                    • Clif Bar Inc.
                                                                                    • Coca-Cola Company (The) (USA)
                                                                                    • Divine Chocolate Ltd
                                                                                    • Dr Oetker
                                                                                    • Eden Foods Inc.
                                                                                    • Eggland's Best, Inc.
                                                                                    • Emmi
                                                                                    • Florida Crystals Corporation
                                                                                    • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                    • Frontera Foods Inc
                                                                                    • General Mills Inc
                                                                                    • GNC Corporation
                                                                                    • Goya Foods, Inc.
                                                                                    • Green & Black's Ltd
                                                                                    • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
                                                                                    • Greenfield Online
                                                                                    • Grupo Herdez SA de CV
                                                                                    • Häagen-Dazs
                                                                                    • Horizon Organic
                                                                                    • Importations De-Ro-Ma (1983) Ltée
                                                                                    • IZZE Beverage Co.
                                                                                    • Joyva Corp
                                                                                    • Kashi Co. Inc.
                                                                                    • Kellogg Company
                                                                                    • Kettle Foods, Inc.
                                                                                    • Kikkoman Corporation
                                                                                    • La Brea Holdings, Inc.
                                                                                    • Lake Champlain Chocolates
                                                                                    • Lifeway Foods Inc.
                                                                                    • Lindt & Sprüngli (US)
                                                                                    • Lucini Italia Co
                                                                                    • Lundberg Family Farms
                                                                                    • Morningstar, Inc.
                                                                                    • Naked Juice Company
                                                                                    • Nasoya Foods Inc
                                                                                    • Nature's Path Foods Inc
                                                                                    • Odwalla Inc.
                                                                                    • Office of Immigration Statistics
                                                                                    • Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
                                                                                    • Organic Valley Family of Farms
                                                                                    • Pacific Foods
                                                                                    • Pamela's Products Inc.
                                                                                    • Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc.
                                                                                    • Pepsi-Cola North America
                                                                                    • R Twining and Company Limited
                                                                                    • R.C. Bigelow Inc.
                                                                                    • R.W. Knudsen
                                                                                    • Rao's Bar & Grill
                                                                                    • Rudi's Organic Bakery, Inc.
                                                                                    • Safeway Inc
                                                                                    • Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker
                                                                                    • Seneca Foods Corporation
                                                                                    • Simply Organic
                                                                                    • Small Planet Foods Inc. (Cascadian Farms)
                                                                                    • Snyder's of Hanover
                                                                                    • Stacy's Pita Chip Co Inc
                                                                                    • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                    • Stonyfield Farm
                                                                                    • Stretch Island Fruit Company
                                                                                    • The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
                                                                                    • The Kerrygold Company Ltd
                                                                                    • Tillamook County Creamery Association
                                                                                    • Tinkyada
                                                                                    • Trader Joe's Company Inc
                                                                                    • Tree of Life (USA)
                                                                                    • Tropicana Products Inc.
                                                                                    • Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas
                                                                                    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
                                                                                    • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                    • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                    • Weetabix Ltd.
                                                                                    • Westbrae
                                                                                    • Wet Planet Beverages
                                                                                    • Whole Foods Market Inc
                                                                                    • Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc.
                                                                                    • Wolfgang Puck Worldwide Inc.
                                                                                    • Yelp Inc.

                                                                                    Specialty Foods - The NASFT State of the Industry Report - The Market - US - October 2009

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