Consumers with caviar tastes but recession-induced tuna budgets are still finding reasons to purchase gourmet products, helped in part by savvy product introductions and marketing techniques from gourmet food purveyors, according to “Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition” by market research publisher Packaged Facts. Approximately 20% of consumers seek gourmet products and a surprising 30% of consumers are willing to pay more for gourmet food products, according to the report.
“Consumers who are passionate wine lovers do not switch from Chateau Lafitte Rothschild to jug wine because they are down on their luck. Instead, they start combing wine stores for the many excellent vintages that cost $10 a bottle or less. Likewise, consumers who have acquired a sophisticated taste for specialty coffee are not going to settle for cheap ground coffee, although they may have to make some tradeoffs to stay within their budget, even if that means forsaking their favorite coffeehouse drinks every morning,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.
Marketers, retailers and foodservice providers that are succeeding in this environment are finding ways to respond to the economic downturn—not by ignoring it or reversing strategy, but by incorporating its impact on consumer behavior. For example, with more consumers cooking and eating at home, retailers can recapture food dollars from the restaurant industry, which currently accounts for about half of consumer spending on food and beverages. It is also an opportunity for gourmet/premium food and beverage marketers to develop tantalizing restaurant-quality products that help culinary-aware consumers bring the restaurant experience home.
Such visionary exploits by industry players helped total sales of gourmet/premium foods and beverages through all U.S. retail channels increase 4% to more than $67 billion in 2009, compared to sales of $65 billion the previous year. Packaged Facts projects the market will approach $87 billion within the next five years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%. During the 2010-2014 period, the positive upscaling factors that are being dragged down by the still weak economy will gradually regain the upper hand, causing annual growth to rise from 4% in 2010 to 7% by the end of the forecast period.
“Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition” pinpoints market size, analyzes growth potential and identifies issues and trends that will affect the marketplace through 2014. Focusing on consumer lifestyles and demographics through extensive analysis of Experian Simmons panel data, the report examines their attitudes and behaviors toward gourmet/premium foods and beverages, retail shopping patterns, and media usage and preferences, both traditional and social. Also included is extensive coverage of new product trends and marketing and advertising positioning, all discussed within the context of the social, economic, and psychographic drivers of current consumer behavior.
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