The US specialty meals market reached a whopping $175 billion in gross sales in 2021, a rise of seven.four% from the earlier yr, based on the Specialty Meals Affiliation.
That progress compares with a 5.eight% rise a yr earlier, when a pointy drop in foodservice offset outsized beneficial properties in retail and e-commerce, the affiliation stated in its State of the Meals Business Report. specialty meals of 2022, printed yesterday.
Frozen and chilled meat, poultry and seafood led the specialty meals classes in retail greenback gross sales in 2021, adopted by cheese and plant-based cheese in second place, and chips, pretzels and different snack meals in third place. Three chilled classes led the fastest-growing group: ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and coffees at No. 1, adopted by creamers and creamers after which entrees.
“The specialty meals market has thrived amid two robust years, with our newest analysis displaying that specialty continues to develop at a quicker price than all meals,” stated Denise Purcell, vp of content material and training for the Affiliation of Specialty Meals. Particular Meals (SFA), stated in an announcement. “Development will proceed, however at a slower tempo than the trade skilled throughout the 2020 pandemic-influenced turmoil of grocery buying and residential meal preparation, and can depend upon provide chain bandwidth and adjustments in challenges equivalent to inflation, delivery points, price will increase, and materials shortages.”
Producers proceed to report that they can not precisely forecast gross sales as a result of they typically do not know what shipments from their suppliers will appear like, based on SFA’s State of the Specialty Meals Business Report. Cargo lead occasions additionally fluctuate, inflicting delays within the manufacturing schedule. These components affect how producers formulate their merchandise, as they assess which SKUs they’ll confidently produce, made with substances they’ll reliably supply, and priced appropriately to make a revenue regardless of rising manufacturing prices. uncooked materials, based on the report.
After lagging behind in 2020, specialty drinks overtook meals and grew twice as quick in 2021. SFA stated shoppers view sure merchandise as vital and others as discretionary. For instance, meals was extra of a client precedence throughout the early levels of COVID-19, however over time, shoppers expanded their buying lists to incorporate extra purchases of specialty drinks. RTD alcoholic drinks like sturdy mineral water, arduous kombucha, and useful fermented cocktails are rising quickly.
The general plant-based specialty retail market grew 6% to exceed $7.7 billion in 2021 after 26% progress in 2020, based on the SFA report. Plant-based progress has outpaced your complete specialty retail market, which expanded four% in 2021 and 20% in 2020. Nevertheless, some plant-based classes grew specialty gross sales extra slowly than your complete market in 2021 , together with yogurt and plant-based yogurt; tofu; lotions and lotions (storage secure); vegetable milk (chilled); and plant-based milk (everlasting). The most important progress hole is with chilled plant-based meat alternate options, which grew 34% in specialty however 66% within the complete market.
The highest specialty meals classes in retail greenback gross sales for 2021 had been meat, poultry, seafood (frozen, chilled); plant-based cheese and cheese; chips, pretzels, snacks; bread and baked items; and low and scorching chocolate (not RTD). Finishing the highest 10 for gross sales are refrigerated dishes; chocolate and different confectionery merchandise; water bottle; frozen desserts; and frozen entrees for lunch and dinner.
As for fast-growing segments, SFA stated the highest 10 classes had been RTD (chilled) tea and low; lotions and lotions (chilled); entrees (chilled); frozen breakfast meals; frozen snacks and snacks; condiments; pasta (chilled), frozen vegatables and fruits; sauce, pasta and pizza (everlasting in storage); and delicate drinks and carbonated drinks.
The SFA famous that this yr, the report took a more in-depth have a look at specialty produce gross sales, that are anticipated to succeed in practically $33.5 billion in 2022. progress, the affiliation stated. . After being challenged by closures throughout COVID, perishables could broaden to raised meet shoppers’ wants for recent, scorching, ready-to-eat or take-home, heat-and-eat meals; meal kits; sandwiches, aspect dishes and salads; breakfast meals; sweets and desserts; and cold and hot drinks.
As well as, shoppers need extra BIPOC and women-owned manufacturers, based on the SFA report, and retail patrons and foodservice operators are in search of incubators, brokers, wholesalers and distributors, and gross sales consultants focusing on supporting and develop these manufacturers. The show of such manufacturers has gone far past seasonal traits to align with noticed months equivalent to Black Historical past or Girls’s Historical past, the SFA famous. The affiliation added that the pandemic has additionally given retailers extra perception into what retailer codecs buyers need subsequent, with smaller footprints with minimal human contact in demand.