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Health, Convenience and Choice Drive Fruit Snacks NPD
One of the key growth areas in the snacks category in recent years has been fruit-based snacks.
Their share of global tracked snack launch activity recorded by Innova Market Insights has more than doubled from less than 8% to nearly 18%, over the past five years. This makes it the number three snacks sub-category overall after savory/salty snacks and snack nuts/seeds.
“The market is now very diverse,” notes Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “But it can generally cover a number of categories, led by dried snacking fruit, fruit bars and processed fruit snacks. There is ongoing activity in emphasizing the snack positioning of fruit products, with more user friendly packaging such as resealable stand-up pouches and small pots and trays, making them more suitable for anytime snacking. There has also been growth in the availability of multi-packs of individual snacks.”
The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending 4 December 2016, reveal a particularly strong performance for premium own label ranges in the run up to the festive period.
Shoppers are spending 13% more on these lines than they did last year against a backdrop of continued slow growth for supermarkets overall, where year-on-year sales increased by just 0.7%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Top-tier private label finds its way into 12% of shopping trips, with 88% of consumers now buying from these lines. In the past 12 weeks, 6.3% of own label purchases were from premium lines such as Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, well ahead of the 5.7% recorded last year. We’ve seen particularly impressive performances from Morrisons’ The Best, which saw sales increase by 35%, and Asda Extra Special which grew by 15%. Over Christmas it’s likely that premium lines will record their highest ever sales figures as even more shoppers trade up to treat their loved ones.
“Despite widespread anticipation of higher prices shoppers are yet to feel the pinch of rising inflation, with a typical basket of everyday groceries 0.1% cheaper than this time last year. However, some categories are beginning to see prices increase, with fresh fish up 5.3% year-on-year, chilled ready meals up 2.3% and beer up 2.1%.
“Prices are still falling overall despite shoppers now spending less on promoted items than they did this time last year. Some 36.9% of spending was on offers during the past 12 weeks, down from nearly 40% in the 12 weeks to December 2015. Promotional activity has dipped across all five of the biggest retailers, reflecting ongoing efforts to simplify shopping and offer more of an everyday low pricing model, which relies far less heavily on promotions.”
Aldi was the only retailer to record double-digit sales growth over the past 12 weeks: its premium Extra Special brand helped the discounter increase sales by 10.0% year on year. As a result, Aldi’s share of the grocery market has increased by 0.6 percentage points to 6.2%. The next fastest-growing retailer was Iceland, with an 8.6% sales uplift contributing to a 0.2 percentage point increase and bringing the grocer’s share of the market to 2.2%. Other retailers growing sales over the past 12 weeks include Lidl, which saw a 5.7% uplift, Co-op, which saw an increase of 2.0%, and Waitrose, up 1.1% year on year.
Fraser McKevitt continues: “Tesco’s volumes sales are growing faster than its value sales, particularly in the meat and fresh produce categories. Its value sales remain ahead of the market, increasing by 1.6% year on year as the retailer grew its market share to 28.3%. Sales at Sainsbury’s fell by 0.6%, with market share down 0.2 percentage points to 16.5%, while Asda saw sales fall by 4.7% at a marginally slower rate than in recent months. Reflecting a smaller store estate, Morrisons’ overall sales declined by 1.4%, but the retailer saw particularly strong performance online – recording its highest ever sales in that channel.”
Rise in Consumer Health and Sustainability Concerns Drives Food and Beverage Trends
The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, reports a 25 percent increase in vegetarian and a 257 percent rise in vegan global food and drink product launches between Sept. 2010–Aug. 2011 and Sept. 2015–Aug. 2016.
PMMI explores the steadily growing consumer focus on health and wellness as well as sustainability in the association’s latest infographic “What’s Next: Food and Beverage Trends Impact Industry Growth.”
“Increasing consumer demand for more healthful foods and beverages continues to fuel the rise of organic, vegetarian and vegan products,” said Jorge Izquierdo, vice president of Market Development, PMMI.
“Meanwhile, growing demand for convenient, on-the-go and single serve options underscores the need for brand owners to accommodate more active consumer lifestyles.”
In addition to their own health and wellness, consumers are also showing greater concern for the environmental impact of the supply chain—particularly, the 1.3 billion tons of food waste representing one-third of food produced for human consumption. Meanwhile, interest in greater packaging sustainability remains strong.
“Shifting consumer preferences for natural, healthy and Earth-friendly brands place new demands on the manufacturing operations of food and beverage processors,” Izquierdo said.
“These companies must fine-tune product lines to accommodate new ingredients, implement alternatives to chemical preservatives and often build or modify lines for greater flexibility. Additionally, they must do it all while minimizing changeover times and learning curves for operators.”
To help food and beverage processors find the solutions they need to adapt their production lines, ProFood Tech will offer a wide range of processing technologies and educational programming. The new, biennial show, powered by three of the world’s top trade show leaders—PACK EXPO, Anuga and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)—ProFood Tech is the only food and beverage focused event in North America that will cover all sectors, including the baking and snack, dairy, frozen foods, prepared foods, meat, poultry and seafood industries. The show will bring together more than 6,000 attendees to view innovations from 400 of the world’s top food and beverage industry suppliers across more than 150,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Additionally, the ProFood Tech Conference Program presented by IDFA will address market changes, trends and regulations with a 36-session program.