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Specialty Food Sales Hit Record $140.3 Billion
USAgNet - 06/14/2018

The Specialty Food Association's (SFA) annual State of the Specialty Food industry report, issued this week, reveals that specialty food remain one of the fastest-growing segments of the food business. Fueled by increasing interest from both consumers and retailers, total sales jumped 11% between 2015 and 2017, hitting $140.3 billion last year. Specialty food sales outpaced the growth of all food at retail -- up 12.9% vs. 1.4%. Product innovation and the wider availability of specialty foods through mass-market outlets is also playing a part in the industry's success. Sales through foodservice increased 12.8% and online by 21% as U.S. consumers make specialty food a regular part of their diets both at home and when dining out.

"The specialty food industry is a business that is constantly evolving," said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association. "Consumers of all ages are embracing specialty foods and making purchases everywhere they happen to be -- from convenience stores to big box retailers to online, as well as in traditional gourmet shops and groceries. Foodservice and retailers are relying more and more upon our products. The industry's growth has been building and will continue to maintain momentum for years to come. Our research provides a comprehensive picture of where we are today and can be used to help businesses prepare for future success."

Beginning this year, SFA has refocused its annual research into a single, comprehensive State of the Specialty Food Industry report. Working with Mintel, the report explores where the current market stands, the opportunities and challenges it faces, where it is going based on sales forecasts in key categories, and how the specialty food consumer is evolving.

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