Schaumberg, IL— New data from SPINS shows that the growing specialty gourmet category has experienced growth of 10% last year, representing over $18B in sales.

Defined as a store that shares its focus on both healthy and gourmet, this ever-expanding category currently has over 1000 stores, along with other stores beginning to transfer to the new format.

Part of the success that specialty gourmet stores are enjoying is due to the niche that it occupies. Generally skewing upscale, many of the products in specialty gourmet retailers combine the unique flavor profiles that define gourmet with the health benefits and social and environmental impact of natural foods. It is the upscale nature of these offerings that sets them apart in financial terms, though, as while natural and specialty products may only account for only half of the dollar sales in these stores, they represent nearly 70% of the channel’s absolute dollar growth overall.

Another important factor to consider is the way this trend is affecting the industry as a whole. Seeking to meet the preferences of a widening audience, specialty gourmet stores are increasing both size and product offerings, and traditional supermarkets are following suit in some cases, offering new formats that cater to the higher-end consumer interested in specialty gourmet. In a statement SPINS CEO Tony Olson noted that the channel “had been stagnant for many years,” but is growing due to the combination of “vibrant mix of innovative, better-for-you products with a superior taste profile.” Together, these factors lead to great opportunities for product makers and retailers not just in specialty foods, but in natural and organic channels as well.

Posted 7/1/2015