Health and wellness are important factors in the buying habits of an increasing number of consumers, with sales of natural, local, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO products spiking over the past year. This and dozens of other food industry and consumer trends in supermarket fresh departments are detailed in What’s in Store 2015, the 29th edition of the annual trends publication of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA).
Among the highlights of this health and wellness movement:
The dieting trend is on the decline, with individuals seeking a more balanced approach to weight loss and management.
Seventy-five percent of retailers and wholesalers reported an increase in sales of health and wellness products, with more than 40% posting sales growth of 10% or more, according to Supermarket News.
Sales of local food are worth at least $9 billion annually, with 40% of consumers stating they purchase food weekly and 28% buying local at least once a month, according to A.T. Kearney.
The value of the gluten-free market is substantial, with sales estimates as high as $10.5 billion in 2013 and a projected worth of $15.6 billion in 2016, according to Mintel.
Gluten-free buying habits translate into higher sales ($100 vs. $33 per overall average basket), according to Catalina Marketing.
IDDBA research shows that digestive health is a distinctive health concern among Millennials, who seek out more fermented, cultured, and probiotic products.
Almost 13% of all new food and beverage launches in 2013 include “free-from” claims.
Sales of organic food and non-food items in the United States exceeded $35 billion in 2013, an 11.5% year-over-year increase and the fastest growth rate in five years, stated the Organic Trade Association.
Confirming these health and wellness trends are findings in IDDBA’s original research, Engaging the Evolving Shopper: Serving the New American Appetite, which shows that consumers view foods found in the fresh perimeter categories as antidotes to unhealthy, processed foods. For example, the dairy department represents a real-food source of protein in the form of yogurt, milk, cheese, eggs, and tofu, while the bakery department has an increasing opportunity to deliver on key wellness priorities with more focus on a wider variety of fresh, whole grain and gluten-free products.
“In-store bakeries, delis, and dairies can engage consumers by presenting them with a variety of fresh, real, and minimally-processed foods,” said Eric Richard, education coordinator, IDDBA. “By doing so, they become part of shoppers’ conversations about what is healthy and delicious to eat, and where they can easily find these foods to purchase.”