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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Gourmet sales report for 2009

Is it a match made in heaven? Like all marriages, only time will tell. But gourmet/specialty and natural sure seem like an ideal pair. Consider their shared values: premium quality, regional, artisan-crafted and high flavor profile.

“We see a significant crossover in natural and specialty products as consumers seek items that meet their quality standards yet also display unique characteristics,” says Amy Jacobsen, vice president of business development at SPINS, a market research firm in Schaumburg, Ill. “Natural retailers have responded to the crossover with an increase in specialty items within their supermarkets, and interestingly, many of these stores have then since experienced double-digit growth.”

Natural and gourmet sales are also escalating—gourmet grew 2.7 percent last year, according to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, and an impressive 9.7 percent in natural products stores, according to SPINS—not bad considering the tough economic climate of ’09.

To cover this growing convergence, SPINS recently launched its SPINSscan Specialty Gourmet program. Along with a peek at the initial data, our first Gourmet Guide can help you better understand why this high-margin category might be a good fit for your natural products store.

Anna Soref, Editor

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