Specialty food sales hit all-time high

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Specialty food sales hit all-time high

06/05/2019
Millennials make up 84% of consumers who purchase specialty foods

The Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) annual "State of the Specialty Food Industry Report" shows that sales of specialty foods, such as plant-based and gluten-free foods, increased by 9.8% to $148.7 billion last year.

According to the report, specialty foods continue to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the grocery industry, outpacing the growth of all food at retail – 10.3% versus 3.1%.

“Diverse consumer lifestyles are taking specialty foods mainstream,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of the New York-based SFA. “To reach these consumers and increase their own sales, food merchants have embraced the vast assortment of specialty products. Our research outlines the momentum in the industry and provides a comprehensive picture of where we are today and how businesses can prepare for the future. Conducting important research like this is a part of our mission to champion specialty foods and help our members continue to innovate and succeed.”

Key highlights from SFA’s annual report include:

THE TOP 5 CATEGORIES WITH THE HIGHEST DOLLAR GROWTH:

  • Refrigerated Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

  • Rice Cakes

  • Frozen Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

  • Water

  • Refrigerated RTD Tea and Coffee

THE SHARE OF CONSUMERS BUYING SPECIALTY FOODS BY GENERATION:

  • Gen-Z: 66 percent

  • Millennials: 84 percent

  • Gen X: 75 percent

  • Baby Boomers: 69 percent

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