As the popularity of specialty items grows, so does their distribution. While many items still launch in natural and specialty stores, traditional supermarkets and mass retailers are ramping up sales quickly, according to Susan Szymanski, VP of Marketing for SPINS who spoke at the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo.
The Natural Channel
SPINS puts the channel sales in the natural channel at $8.2 billion, reflecting a robust +6.3 percent growth. Natural retailers include retailers such as Sprouts, Natural Grocers and Earth Fare. Natural products comprise the lion’s share of the sales mix and drove bottom line growth with dollar sales up +6.6 percent . Specialty/wellness items grew +5.5 percent in this channel.
Channel sales in the specialty/gourmet channel is very similar, at $8.2 billion, reflecting retailers including Bristol Farms, Heinen’s, Marianos and the Fresh Market. While the natural channel saw robust growth, dollars were down -0.9 percent for specialty/gourmet channels driven by declines in conventional item sales. While natural products did better, they too did not achieve the level of growth they did in the natural channel, at 0.8 percent. Specialty/wellness products grew +0.4 percent.
Dwarfing the first two, channel sales in traditional supermarkets and mass, total $607 billion, reflecting growth of +0.5 percent. Importantly, the power of specialty items for these channels is very evident in the growth rates. Natural products in traditional stores grew a whopping +8.9 percent. Likewise, specialty and BFY products saw strong growth, at +4.0 percent.
These kinds of growth percentages clearly indicate the power of specialty to drive differentiation and sales in a challenging marketplace for retailers trying to offer an array of product types to their shoppers. To get the full array of the most candy and snack specialty products, people and trends in one location, join us at the 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo – be notified when registration opens!