Natural Foods Merchandiser
'Superfruit' segments ripe for sales surge

'Superfruit' segments ripe for sales surge

Exotic fruits such as pomegranate, açai and goji berry continue to rise in popularity. Hailed as "superfruits," they contain a myriad of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, phytosterols, prebiotic fiber, essential fatty acids and amino acids—all of which play an important role in health and disease prevention. As the awareness of superfoods increases, so does the array of available power-fruit products, from cereal and energy bars to juices and functional beverages.

Sales of food, beverage and supplements products containing pomegranate, açai or goji berry as a primary ingredient reached $62.1 million in naturals supermarkets and conventional food, drug and mass outlets combined. The açai segment had the most significant growth, with a combined-channel sales increase of 197 percent and a 52-week gain of $19.5 million. Pomegranate sales followed, with a 151 percent increase, while goji berry was close behind, at 146 percent.

With 37 new products launched in naturals supermarkets and 36 in conventional FDM during the most recent 52-week period, açai not only leads in superfruit dollar sales, but also in the number of new item introductions. Açai products span 11 categories—though water (the No. 1 ranked category) and refrigerated juices and functional beverages (No. 2) together represent more than 71 percent of total segment sales. Leading brands of açai products include Sambazon and Glaceau's VitaminWater. Popular items in naturals supermarkets include Buried Treasure's Açai Complete, Zola's Açai Power Juice and VitaminWater XXX.

There are 14 different grocery categories of pomegranate products, including shelf-stable juices & functional drinks, energy bars, condiments and teas. Pomegranate items in the refrigerated juices & functional beverages category generate the highest sales volume, representing more than 62 percent of total segment sales. Top-selling brands include Odwalla and Nature's Path. Pomegranate items gaining momentum in natural supermarkets include Odwalla's PomaGrand pomegranate lemonade juice, Jarrow's pomegranate juice concentrate and The Republic of Tea's pomegranate green tea.

Goji berry products are found in nine categories, though the food supplements category generates the most sales, accounting for a 52 percent share of combined channel sales. The nuts, seeds, dried fruits and trail mixes segment follows with a 35 percent share. Genesis Today and Himalania are the leading brands of goji berry products, but dozens of goji berry items are gaining momentum. In naturals supermarkets, Himalania's chocolate and yogurt covered goji berries, Celestial Seasonings' goji berry pomegranate green tea and Vosges' dark chocolate goji bar all show strong growth. Naturals supermarkets currently represent 94 percent of goji berry product sales, but sales in conventional FDM are growing rapidly.

Açai, pomegranate and goji berry product assortments are more developed in naturals supermarkets, as is often the case with emerging natural foods trends. During the most recent 52-week period, 82 new items featuring at least one of these superfruits were introduced in naturals supermarkets, accounting for approximately $2.6 million, or less than 10 percent, of total superfruit product sales. Conversely, more than half of the 121 superfruit items in conventional FDM were introduced during the most recent 52-week period, contributing 53 percent to total sales. Conventional FDM continues to be a platform for top-selling items, while naturals supermarkets offer product selections that are innovative, vibrant and vast.

Naturals Supermarkets

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total Pomegranate

$7,427,269

$3,116,945

138%

100.0%

Refrig. Juices & Functional Beverages

$3,423,497

$1,713,178

100%

46.1%

Food Supplements

$1,667,744

$819,344

104%

22.5%

Teas

$781,775

$478,769

63%

10.5%

Energy Bars & Gels

$626,144

$2,676

23,299%

8.4%

Shelf-Stable Juices & Functional Drinks

$293,372

$21,218

1,292%

3.9%

Cold Cereals

$260,529

$35,206

640%

3.5%

Vitamins & Minerals

$167,496

$13,011

855%

2.3%

Water

$127,127

$17,544

877%

1.7%

Miscellaneous Supplements

$31,960

na

na

0.4%

Condiments

$24,189

$15,422

57%

0.3%

Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruits & Trail Mixes

$20,950

na

na

0.3%

Candy & Individual Snacks

$2,034

na

na

0.0%

Puddings & Shelf-Stable Desserts

$452

$577

-22%

0.0%


Naturals Supermarkets

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total Açai

$11,161,203

$7,711,600

45%

100.0%

Refrig. Juices & Functional Beverages

$3,821,248

$3,183,044

20%

34.2%

Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

$2,398,469

$2,457,601

-2%

21.5%

Food Supplements

$2,089,988

$1,170,114

79%

18.7%

Shelf-Stable Juices & Functional Drinks

$1,452,537

$810,125

79%

13.0%

Water

$293,372

$21,218

1,292%

3.9%

Cold Cereals

$260,529

$35,206

640%

3.5%

Vitamins & Minerals

$167,496

$13,011

855%

2.3%

Water

$596,825

na

na

5.3%

Frozen Desserts

$268,458

$16,394

1,538%

2.4%

Teas

$24,189

$6,817

3,272%

2.1%

Yogurt & Kefir

$136,169

$22,774

498%

1.2%

Energy Bars & Gels

$86,188

$24,945

246%

0.8%

Meal Rplcmts. & Supplement Powders

$64,336

$19,684

227%

0.6%

Carbonated, Func?l. & RTD Tea & Coffee Bevs

$17,137

$102

16,637%

0.2%


Naturals Supermarkets

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total Goji Berry

$9,027,100

$3,878,142

133%

100.0%

Food Supplements

$4,788,799

$1,670,481

187%

53.0%

Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruits & Trail Mixes

$3,148,342

$2,157,246

46%

34.9%

Candy & Individual Snacks

$733,726

$19,590

3,645%

8.1%

Teas

$215,826

$4,470

4,729%

2.4%

Energy Bars & Gels

$67,010

$16,019

318%

0.7%

Conserves & Jams & Nut Butters

$34,202

$984

3,376%

0.4%

Baking Mixes, Supplies & Flours

$20,433

$7,249

182%

0.2%

Cold Cereals

$12,272

$2,103

484%

0.1%

Carbonated, Func?l. & RTD Tea & Coffee Bevs

$6,490

na

na

0.1%


Naturals Supermarkets

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Açai

$11,161,203

$7,711,601

45%

$3,449,602

Goji Berry

$9,027,099

$3,878,142

133%

$5,148,957

Pomegranate

$7,427,268

$3,116,945

138%

$4,310,323


Conventional FDM

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total Pomegranate

$15,693,679

$6,106,060

157%

100.0%

Refrig. Juices & Functional Beverages

$10,944,112

$5,803,857

89%

69.7%

Energy Bars & Gels

$1,626,858

$2,157,246

46%

34.9%

Cold Cereals

$998,187

$63,236

1,479%

6.4%

Food Supplements

$786,896

$25,855

2,944%

5.0%

Water

$786,896

na

na

3.6%

Shelf-stable Juices & Functional Drinks

$476,135

$44,415

972%

3.0%

Teas

$256,222

$168,697

52%

1.6%

Diet Formulas

$31,498

na

na

0.2%

Candy & Individual Snacks

$5,970

na

na

0.0%

Vitamins & Minerals

$1,788

na

na

0.0%


Conventional FDM

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total Açai

$18,169,996

$2,166,467

739%

100.0%

Water

$10,807,006

na

na

59.5%

Refrig. Juices & Func?l.

$5,752,243

$1,762,869

226%

31.7%

Shelf Stable Juices & Func'l. Beverages

$733,224

$272,966

169%

4.0%

Food Supplements

$318,081

$43,749

627%

1.8%

Carbonated, Func?l. & RTD Tea & Coffee Bevs

$214,158

$4,558

4,598%

1.2%

Teas

$150,309

$1,268

11,752%

0.8%

Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

$124,649

$79,699

56%

0.7%

Yogurt & Kefir

$39,131

$1,358

2,782%

0.2%

Frozen Desserts

$24,898

na

na

0.1%

Energy Bars & Gels

$4,626

na

na

0.0%

Meal Rplcmts. & Supplement Powders

$1,671

na

na

0.0%


Conventional FDM

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Total Goji Berry

$584,246

$28,845

1925%

100.0%

Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruits & Trail Mixes

$212,701

$26,989

688%

36.4%

Food Supplements

$5,752,243

$1,762,869

226%

31.7%

Shelf Stable Juices & Func'l. Beverages

$733,224

$272,966

169%

4.0%

Food Supplements

$211,678

na

na

36.2%

Teas

$141,928

$1,856

7,548%

24.3%

Carbonated Func?l. & RTD Tea & Coffee Bevs

$16,065

na

na

2.7%

Energy Bars & Gels

$1,874

na

na

0.3%


Conventional FDM

Current $

Year Ago $

% Change

$ Share

Açai

$18,169,997

$2,166,467

739%

$16,003,530

Goji Berry

$584,246

$28,844

1,926%

$555,401

Pomegranate

$15,693,678

$6,106,059

157%

$9,587,619


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 12/p. 50

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