Specialty Food Sales Soar to Record $140.3 Billion

Driven by product innovation and increased availability through mass market outlets, specialty food sales soared to a record $140.3 billion in 2017, according to the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) annual State of the Specialty Food industry report. Total sales jumped 11 percent between 2015 and 2017.

Judie Bizzozero, Content Director

June 18, 2018

1 Min Read
Specialty Food Sales Soar to Record $140.3 Billion

The specialty food category outpaced all other food and beverage categories, reporting retail and foodservice sales growth of 12.9 percent compared to 1.4 percent. Sales through foodservice increased 12.8 percent and online by 21 percent.

The top five categories with the highest dollar growth between 2015 and 2017 were water (76.1 percent), rice cakes (64.1 percent), refrigerated ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee (63.2 percent), jerky and meat snacks (62.1 percent), and shelf-stable creams and creamers (61.7 percent). iGens were the largest purchasing group of specialty foods (79 percent), followed by Millennials (67 percent), Gen Xers (65 percent), and Baby Boomers (60 percent).

“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.”

About the Author(s)

Judie Bizzozero

Content Director, Informa Markets Health & Nutrition

Judie Bizzozero oversees food and beverage content strategy and development for the Health & Nutrition group at Informa Markets (which acquired VIRGO in 2014), including the Food & Beverage Insider, Natural Products Insider and SupplySide/Food ingredients North America brands. She reports on market trends, science-based ingredients, and challenges and solutions in the development of healthy foods and beverages. Bizzozero graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the healthy food and beverage industry.
Join 30,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like