Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition

24 Aug 2011 • by Natalie Aster

The conventional wisdom goes that gourmet/premium foods fare well during economic downturns because consumers view them as “affordable luxuries.” But the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009 disproved this theory as mighty Starbucks, the bellwether for the democratization of luxury, was among the first companies hit by cutbacks in consumer spending. For the market overall, Packaged Facts conservatively estimates that total U.S. retail sales of gourmet/premium foods and beverages through all retail channels rose to $67.1 billion in 2009, an increase of 3.7% over the previous year’s sales of $64.7 billion compared with the 2005-2009 compound annual growth rate of 8.7%
The report “Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition” by Packaged Facts pinpoints market size, analyzes growth potential and identifies issues and trends that will affect the marketplace through 2014. Focusing on consumer lifestyles and demographics through extensive analysis of Experian Simmons panel data, the report examines their attitudes and behaviors toward gourmet/premium foods and beverages, retail shopping patterns, and media usage and preferences, both traditional and social. Also included is extensive coverage of new product trends and marketing and advertising positioning, all discussed within the context of the social, economic, and psychographic drivers of current consumer behavior.

Report Details:

Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition

Published: September 2010
Pages: 216
Price: US$ 4,500.00

Market Insights: A Selection from the Report

One in Five U.S. Consumers Seeks Out Gourmet Products

According to the survey, one in five U.S. adults (20.0%) seeks out gourmet products when food shopping, including 5.0% who agree strongly with the statement, “When food shopping, I seek out gourmet products.” Another 22.0% are noncommittal about the statement and 57.0% somewhat (26%) or strongly (31%) disagree. The 20.0% who agree that they seek out gourmet products when food shopping in the Packaged Facts survey is slightly higher than the 17.5% of respondents to Experian Simmons’ Fall 2009 survey who agree that “I try to eat gourmet food whenever I can” (17.5%), although strong agreement is slightly lower, at 5.0% in the Packaged Facts survey vs. 5.8% in the Experian Simmons survey. A surprising 30% of consumers are willing to pay more for gourmet food products, according to the Packaged Facts findings, including 6% who strongly agree with this statement.

Beverages the Largest Product Classification

According to NASFT data, the single largest specialty food category at retail is cheese, representing almost 11% of total specialty food and beverage dollar sales, followed by condiments (8%), frozen and refrigerated meals (5%), and chips and snacks (almost 5%). However, beverages—including juices, functional drinks, coffee, tea, bottled water and other drinks—collectively account for more than 12% of total dollar sales. The NASFT category sales data excludes sales through Walmart and Trader Joe’s, as well as “price-look-up” (PLU—i.e. non-scanner) items such as prepared foods, meat/poultry/seafood, and bakery products (NASFT: ibid).

Examining the entire gourmet/premium food and beverage spectrum through all retail channels, Packaged Facts calculates that beverages (including bottled water and refrigerated juices in the dairy case) comprise the largest classification, accounting for 34% of retail dollar sales in 2009. In second place is the baked goods (including cookies, crackers, breads and sweet baked goods) pasta, and grains classification, representing 14% of sales, with the meat/produce/seafood and produce departments combined a close third at 13%, followed by prepared foods contributing 10% of gourmet/premium dollar sales.

More information can be found in the report “Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition” by Packaged Facts.

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