We've been predicting it for years. Given the prominence of unhealthy products in the market and their impact on our health, it was only a matter of time before once Dorito-loving, Pepsi guzzling conventional shoppers turned their attention to healthier food products. Well, that time is now according to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Food & Beverage Industry.
The top four trends predicted to impact grocery retail in 2013 are …
- Private Label Foods
For kicks and giggles I compared these to food trends that shaped 2003. Yes, that really was 10 years ago. These appeared in Food Technology magazine which is published by the Institute of Foods Technologists.
- Adios, Carbs. Remember the South Beach Diet?
- Heat and Eat. Ready-to-eat, packaged foods that require no utensils top America's "most wanted" list.
- Country Charisma. "Plain American" still tops the list of foods and cooking styles that consumers say they "really" enjoy.
- Snacks and Mini Meals. Convenient, ready-to-eat snacks and mini/mobile meals
It's not surprising that our preferences have evolved given today's obesity epidemic and an increasing awareness of how food really impacts how we feel. Remember when gluten free was relatively unheard of?
What I find most interesting though is how much the above 2013 trends are predicted to impact retail sales. The U.S. Food & Beverage industry is confident store owners will see 13 percent growth in 2013. A focus on health and wellness will be the biggest driver accounting for growth, according to WeiserMazars LLP.
Considering dollar sale growth was only around 3 to 4 percent in 2012, according to Symphony IRI, such a prediction seems aggressive. So what factors will influence sales?
- New Customers (59 percent)
- New Products (51 percent)
- Increased Selling Prices (40 percent)
We've come a long way in 10 years and, as you know, conventional stores are working to revamp their image as centers for health and wellness. Consider Walgreen's new tagline: "At the Corner of Happy and Healthy" or Rite Aid's Alex the Informacist. But your store likely provides draws these big-box chains never will—an established community, knowledgeable staff and inviting shopping environment. Highlight your strengths to capture today's growing numbers of crossover consumers.