Specialty food and beverage sales improve

April 8, 2011

Sales of specialty food and beverages increased 7.7 % in 2010 to reach $70 billion, said the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).

“The rebound is impressive,” said Ron Tanner, Vice President, Communications and Education, NASFT. “As consumers feel more confident about the economy, they are coming back to specialty foods.” Sales in 2009 rose 4.5%.

Research on the sales of specialty foods was published in The State of the Specialty Food Industry 2011 from NASFT, Mintel International, and SPINS. The top five categories are cheese, meats, chips and snacks, bread and baked goods, and condiments, with functional foods and yogurt and kefir as the fastest growing specialty food categories.

Other findings in the report are

  • Sales of specialty foods to the foodservice industry in 2010 were $14.4 billion (total U.S. sales of specialty foods in 2010 were $70.32 billion).
  • Specialty foods represent 13.1% of all food sales at retail.
  • Natural food stores are the fastest growing retail channel, and showed a sales increase of 14.7% between 2008 and 2010.
  • Mediterranean and Indian are the most influential emerging cuisines, according to importers.
  • Seventy-six percent of specialty food manufacturers reported a sales increase in 2010, with 36% reporting a sales increase of more than 20%.
  • The number of gluten-free introductions increased, with 119 new products introduced in 2010 versus 67 in 2009.
  • The average specialty food manufacturer produces 51 different items and earns $2.3 million in annual sales.

Press release