Natural Foods Merchandiser

Projections for the future

Bulk up with growth categories

Combine a down economy with the sustainability trend and you get a perfect formula for increased bulk sales. Here's a look at what's happening in the bins and registers, courtesy of United Natural Foods.

Bulk saves consumers money

Product size (oz.)

Conventional package price

Bulk package price

Savings

Oatmeal

16

$5.48

$0.79

85.58%

Wheat Germ

12

$2.15

$0.97

54.88%

Nuts

16

$3.99

$2.99

25.06%

Olive Oil

16

$8.46

$6.79

19.74%

Corn Flakes

20

$4.29

$3.74

12.82%

Coffee

16

$7.59

$6.19

18.44%

Raisins

16

$3.54

$2.99

15.53%

Candy

16

$4.79

$4.29

10.44%


Areas of growth (percentages are growth from previous year)

  • Bulk beans – 52 percent
  • Bulk grains – 43 percent
  • Bulk flours and sweeteners – 41 percent
  • Bulk seeds – 35 percent
  • Bulk pasta – 23 percent
  • Bulk herbs and spices – 19 percent
  • Bulk tea – 15 percent A look ahead

    Core basics/staple items will continue to grow: flour, beans, grains, sweeteners (sugar). This ties in with more people eating at home and preparing more at-home meals vs. going out to restaurants.

    Typically in this time of higher-cost commodities, traditionally lower-cost categories such as grains, beans and seeds are able to sustain their sales even after incurring steady price increases, because these items typically have lower cost structures to begin with in comparison to nuts and dried fruit categories.

    Natural vs. organic:

    UNFI typically sells about 60/40 organic over natural. On one hand, an obvious comment would be that natural would gain some ground because of pricing alone; however, the core audience in most instances supports organic over natural.


    Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIX/number 13/p. 8

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