NEW YORK, NY (June 9, 2022) – The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has released its annual State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, revealing that the specialty food market reached total sales of $175 billion in 2021, up 7.4 percent versus 5.8 percent the year before, when foodservice’s steep decline offset outsized gains in brick-and-mortar retail and ecommerce.
"The specialty food market has prospered amid two difficult years, with our latest research showing specialty continues to grow at a faster rate than all food," said Denise Purcell, Specialty Food Association's vice president, content & education. "Growth will continue, but at a slower pace than the industry experienced during the 2020 pandemic-influenced whirlwind of grocery shopping and at-home meal preparation--and will depend on supply chain bandwidth and shifts in challenges like inflation, shipping issues, cost increases, and materials shortages."
The annual State of the Specialty Food Industry research is an examination of market size and sales; dollar and unit sales growth; specialty food category penetration; and 10-year tracking and forecasting in key categories. New this year: sales forecast for retail, foodservice, and ecommerce; video interviews with members of the supply chain; and a closer look at sales and opportunities in specialty perishables departments.
Key Facts and Figures:
Top 10 Categories in Retail Dollar Sales
1. Meat, poultry, seafood (Frozen, refrigerated)
2. Cheese and plant-based cheese
3. Chips, pretzels, snacks
4. Bread and baked goods
5. Coffee and hot cocoa, non-RTD
6. Entrees (Refrigerated)
7. Chocolate and other confectionery
9. Desserts (Frozen)
10. Entrees, lunch, dinner (Frozen)
Top 10 Fastest-Growing Categories
1. Tea and coffee RTD (Refrigerated)
2. Creams and creamers (Refrigerated)
3. Entrees (Refrigerated)
4. Breakfast foods (Frozen)
5. Appetizers and snacks (Frozen)
7. Pasta (Refrigerated)
8. Fruits and vegetables (Frozen)
9. Sauces, pasta, and pizza (Shelf stable)
10. Soda and carbonated beverages
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