Specialty Food Sales Up 7.4% to $175 Billion in 2021

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The specialty meals market strike $175 billion in 2021, an uptick of 7.4% from 2020, in accordance to the latest Point out of the Specialty Food Market Report from the Specialty Foods Association.

Substantially of the expansion was thanks to inflation — for example, the specialty retail current market grew 4.3% in greenback profits, but only .6% in device quantity product sales. The report notes that “stay-at-dwelling mandates and food planning drove advancement in quite a few groups in 2020, leaving not only very little space for continued growth, but a number of falloffs in 2021 as men and women ventured additional out of the property.” Advancement is envisioned to continue this calendar year, but at a slower rate.

Specialty meals produced up 21.9% of all food stuff and beverage profits in retail final yr, mostly center-retailer, shelf stable grocery solutions. Nonetheless, though this group grew 3.2% in greenback product sales, device revenue reduced .7% in comparison to 2020. Refrigerated foodstuff ended up the fastest-escalating, with greenback product sales up 7.7% and unit profits up 4.2%.

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Top 10 types by retail dollar product sales Top 10 quickest-growing categories
  1. Meat, poultry, seafood (frozen, refrigerated)
  2. Cheese and plant-based cheese
  3. Chips, pretzels, treats
  4. Bread and baked items
  5. Espresso and sizzling cocoa, non-RTD
  6. Entrees (refrigerated)
  7. Chocolate and other confectionery
  8. Drinking water
  9. Desserts (frozen)
  10. Entrees, lunch, meal (frozen)
  1. Tea and coffee RTD (refrigerated)
  2. Creams and creamers (refrigerated)
  3. Entrees (refrigerated)
  4. Breakfast meals (frozen)
  5. Appetizers and snacks (frozen)
  6. Seasonings
  7. Pasta (refrigerated)
  8. Fruits and greens (frozen)
  9. Sauces, pasta, and pizza (Shelf steady)
  10. Soda and carbonated drinks


The plant-based specialty retail sector looked to some degree distinctive in 2021 than in 2020. When plant-centered specialty merchandise grew a lot quicker than the specialty retail industry as a whole, some plant-primarily based categories grew at a significantly slower amount. The “largest advancement gap” was for refrigerated plant-dependent meat alternate options, which grew only 34% in specialty when compared to 66% in the complete industry. The report notes that prior to 3 many years in the past, the plant-centered alternative meat group was 97% specialty solutions, but now non-specialty products and solutions make up much of the group development.

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The specialty beverages market place is also shifting. In 2021, specialty beverages grew 2 times as quickly as foods, which was a reversal from the preceding 12 months when food grew 21% and beverages only 16%. This jibes with IRI’s just lately released New Merchandise Pacesetters report, the place beverages arrived at document illustration.

Heading ahead, the report notes that development will count on each provide chain bandwidth and how properly suppliers can adapt. In addition, specialty meals customers are searching for goods with more compact footprints, perishables, and products from BIPOC- and ladies-owned manufacturers.