Specialty Foods Sales on the Rise

What is Specialty food? “Foods and beverages that exemplify quality and innovation, including artisanal, natural, and local products that are often made by small manufacturers, artisans and entrepreneurs from the U.S. and abroad.”

According to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s (NASFT) annual State of the Specialty Food Industry 2011, total sales of specialty foods in 2010 were $70.32 billion, with $55.92 billion of sales at retail. Specialty foods represent 13.1 percent of all retail food sales. In the US alone there are about 25,000 Specialty Foods stores.

US consumer spending on specialty foods and beverages, a rose 7.7 percent in 2010 according to a study done by Hoovers. This means that the Specialty Food Industry is on the rise. Specialty Foods are a growing part of the American food scene, driven by new flavors, new products and growing consumer interest.

Many grocers are still confine specialty foods products to a specific area. Try integrating the fresh, organic and natural products with other similar products. This will let the consumer know they have better choices throughout the store. Store entrances and exits are a perfect showcase for these products. Display creative pictures and directional ads as consumers enter a store to create the sense that your store is promoting a variety of specialty foods. Try to avoid items such as gossip magazines, candy, soda and vending machines at the exit of the store. Replace these items with health magazines and cookbooks, fresh juices and healthier snacks.