New York, NY—The Specialty Food Association issued its annual State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, revealing that specialty food remains one of the fastest-growing segments of the food business, according to a press release. Total sales jumped 9.8% between 2016 and 2018, reaching $148.7 billion last year.

Specialty food sales outpaced the growth of all food at retail, the release adds: up 10.3% vs. 3.1%. Product innovation and availability plays a role in the industry’s success.

Top five categories with highest dollar growth:
  • Refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives
  • Rice cakes
  • Frozen plant-based meat alternatives
  • Water
  • Refrigerated RTD tea and coffee
Top five categories—retail sales:
  • Cheese and plant-based cheese
  • Frozen, refrigerated meat, poultry, seafood
  • Chips, pretzels, snacks
  • Non-RTD coffee and hot cocoa
  • Bread and baked goods
The report concludes that plant-based is going strong, specialty beverages are gaining traction, reduced packaging and food waste are hot points, and there’s opportunity for innovation and growth in breakfast, according to the release.

Read morehere.

Extra details will be released during the Summer Fancy Food Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center from Sunday, June 23 to Tuesday, June 25.