The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has just released its annual State of the Specialty Food Industry Report—and its findings are enough to showcase just why the industry as a whole is one to watch no matter the market. Based on sales data from the past three calendar years, the specialty food industry hit a whopping $158.4 billion in sales, a 10.7 percent increase since 2017.
"The impact of COVID-19 on the specialty food industry cannot be underestimated," said Bill Lynch, Interim President of the SFA. "Food retail is an essential business channel and while that has been beneficial to sales for our members, many of whom are small businesses, the overall landscape is both optimistic and uncertain. The intel provided in our State of the Industry report is one of the many resources we provide our members for fortifying and growing their businesses."
According to a press release, the annual report is an examination of market size and sales; dollar and unit sales growth; specialty food category penetration; growth forecasts in key categories; and consumer demographics, habits, and preferences. The report also tracks the evolution of the specialty food consumer, market, and sales forecasts in key categories.
This year, SFA partnered with Mintel to uncover the top five categories with the highest dollar growth, which included the following:
With how many companies are flocking to the plant-based meat category, it’s no surprise that it took the top spot in SFA’s report. Innovators across the industry debut new products in the category every week, continuing to shape plant-based and feed into ravenous consumer demand.
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In addition, the top five categories in retail sales included:
Foodservice and online sales also continued to grow through 2019; while in brick-and-mortar retail, the specialty food and beverage market continued to outpace sales of all food, growing three times faster than the entire food and beverage market during 2017-2019, as noted in the press release.
On top of all of this growth, more categories than ever before (12) achieved at least $2 billion in annual sales in 2019.
To read SFA’s report in its entirety, click here.
For more specialty food insights like this, keep enjoying Deli Market News.