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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicago breakfast café opening - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Breakfast day part restaurant sales reached $37.2 billion in 2009, according to an August report from Packaged Facts, a consumer research firm in Rockville, Md.

Packaged Facts predicts breakfast sales will reach $37 billion in 2010 and $37.7 billion in 2011.

“While these figures may appear tepid at first glance, when viewed against the backdrop of lower overall restaurant sales, the breakfast day part has fared relatively well, taking share from the lunch and (especially) dinner day parts,” the report said.

Read more: Chicago breakfast café opening - Atlanta Business Chronicle
Chicago breakfast café opening - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Fiber Trend Offers Opportunities for Manufacturers

Issue Date: NFN30 - Fall 2010 (September/October), Posted On: 9/14/2010
By Holly Case, Natural Food Network Newsletter Editor

"Figures show that Americans fall far short of consuming the recommended amounts of fiber. However, consumers are increasingly aware of the need for fiber, and that presents opportunities for food products containing novel fibers."

"According to a recent Packaged Facts report, food products made with novel fibers are expected to grow by over 750 percent in the next few years."

Read full article

Younger adults to drive US economic recovery: Report

Younger adults to drive US economic recovery: Report
By Caroline Scott-Thomas, 24-Sep-2010

Younger consumers aged 18 to 29 are likely to play an important role in US economic recovery due to optimism and a willingness to try new things, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

Read full article>

Friday, September 24, 2010

Your opinion - Private Label Food and Beverage

Will selling private label food and beverage to third party retailers dilute the “exclusivity” of finding your favorite private label brands at your local store?

Your opinion?

Pet Supplies and Pet Care Products: The U.S. Market and a Global Perspective

Even as the economic picture improves, consumers remain cautious about spending, including in terms of the pet products they buy. Having lived up to its “recession-resistant” reputation once again, the business therefore continues to face challenges that have retailers, marketers and product developers relying more heavily than ever before on the all-important notion of pets as family. Accordingly, themes including health, function, comfort, safety, gifting, travel, and yes pet pampering are all weighing heavily on the value scale as market participants look to strike the perfect balance in pet categories across the board.
Tapping into Packaged Facts’ extensive pet market report collection and analyst expertise, Pet Supplies and Pet Care Products in the U.S., 8th Edition: Pet Health and Pampering: The New Value Equation provides detailed market breakouts and insights not available elsewhere. Covering non-food pet supplies of all types and for all companion animal types, the report examines trends in flea/tick care products, cat litter, toys, rawhide chews, bedding, grooming products, supplements, clean-up products and many other product segments. Using 2009 as the base year, it charts sales since 2005 and forecasts sales through 2014; breaks the market out by animal type and product category in both the mass-market and pet specialty channels; presents dollar sales and market share for leading marketers and brands; analyzes competitive strategies and shifts; profiles top companies and market innovators; analyzes new product trends; and provides demographic and psychographic profiles of product purchasers.

More Information>>

Younger adults to drive US economic recovery: Report

Food Navigator USA
By Caroline Scott-Thomas, 24-Sep-2010

Younger adults to drive US economic recovery: Report: "Younger consumers aged 18 to 29 are likely to play an important role in US economic recovery due to optimism and a willingness to try new things, according to a new report from Packaged Facts."

Read full article>

Food Flavor and Ingredients Outlook 2010, 7th Edition

While Wall Street claims that the recession has ended, Main Street will continue to face financial challenges through most, if not all, of 2010. Frugal behaviors consumers adopted in 2009 are becoming engrained and reflect a new normal when it comes to shopping, dining and eating preferences for the foreseeable future. What constitutes value is being redefined and consumers are starting to make different choices than in years past that will drive their food and beverage purchases. Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2010 describes the trends that Packaged Facts predicts will influence the flavors and ingredients that will drive food and beverage selection at retail and in restaurants and other foodservice establishments in the coming year and beyond.
The 2010 edition of this annual report (which was first published in 2004) includes coverage of eight primary focus areas impacting flavor and ingredient trends. To assess the shift in trends over time, predictions for last year are summarized along with Packaged Facts’ expectations for 2010 in relation to:

  • International Flavors
  • Redefining Healthy Eating
  • Local Food Production and Sourcing
  • Reenacted Flavors
  • Savory Trends
  • Sweet Trends
More Information>>

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Confections and Dessert: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

There’s a new landscape of treats that are at once sophisticated yet comforting. This report explores four overarching themes that are driving trends and new product development in confections and desserts:
    1. Nostalgia - Sweets are connected to positive childhood memories, including family celebrations and holidays. Recent innovative desserts often take familiar American flavors of the past (malt, buttermilk, vanilla, caramel) and diner-classic forms (sundaes, shakes, floats, pie) and re-interpret them in new ways.
    2. Indulgence - In difficult economic times, Americans seek out small pleasures they can afford - and sweets are one of them. We’re seeing interesting combinations of indulgent flavors.
    3. Flavor adventure - Americans may enjoy traditional flavors, but they’re opening up to new taste combinations as well, at once driven by and propelling their increased enthusiasm for global cuisine. In the dessert arena, this trend is manifested in the popularization of savory sweets with international flavors and textures.
    4. Artisan appeal - During a time when many Americans are more preoccupied than ever with eating food that is local, sustainable or organic, consumers continue to develop an appreciation of artisan producers and products. Artisan producers use higher-quality ingredients, more skill- and labor-intensive preparation methods, and traditional product formats that make finesse and freshness de rigueur. These appeal to consumer desires for authenticity - and stirs nostalgic cravings for products from a time before the mass industrialization of sweets.
More Information>>

Ethnic Hair, Beauty and Cosmetics Products in the U.S., 7th Edition

No market is an island -- but why do many marketers and retailers still consider the ethnic HBC aisle as separate from the rest of the store, sleepy and low-end? In reality, ethnic haircare, makeup, and skincare products are a vibrant $2.7 billion business that reflects the upscaling of the parent HBC market.


In 2010, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and other folks of color already account for over a third of U.S. population; as of 2013, their spending power will have surpassed $4.2 trillion. Marketers have thus ventured beyond the usual hair relaxers, the few darker tints of makeup and heavy moisturizers, to offer premium-to-high-end beauty and grooming regimens sold through pop-prestige outlets such as Sephora, as well as through TV home shopping networks HSN, QVC, and others. Organic formulations are driving ethnic HBC sales, too -- because Americans of color actually skew more green-minded than Whites.

Yet ethnic HBC’s sell-through in the prestige, natural grocery, and TV home shopping channels, is still small in relation to its fabulous potential. As for the effect of the struggling U.S. economy, this market achieved mid-single-digit increases during the global recession of 2008-2009, and is expected to return to double-digit progress as the recovery proceeds.

More Information>>

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Markets and Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 6th Edition

The U.S. market for ice cream and related frozen desserts neared $25 billion in 2009, with sales growth from previous years slowed somewhat by the recessionary economy. Manufacturers of retail frozen desserts and operators in the frozen dessert foodservice industry (which accounts for better than half of total category sales) adjusted their prices in order (or held the price line and reduced package sizes) to keep consumers screaming for ice cream instead of about how much it cost. Price controls and price-based promotions are likely to stay in effect as the economy slowly rebounds. So, too are cost-saving trends like the consolidation of companies and brands, as in the case of Hood and Brighams, and industry production and administrative facilities, as practiced most notably by Unilever.

But, as the Packaged Facts report on ice cream and other frozen desserts - including ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, frozen custard, water ices, non-dairy frozen desserts and frozen novelties - notes, keeping prices down will not be enough to expand sales. To do that, manufacturers and foodservice operators alike will be looking to build on the trends that have emerged over the past two years, notably a taste for tart frozen yogurt that features good-for-you probiotic bacteria that improve digestion. The Packaged Facts report suggests the likelihood of probiotics being added to other frozen desserts and includes coverage of other healthy ingredients that may soon be showing up in value-added health-oriented frozen dessert products such as prebiotics (that make probiotics more efficient), Omega-3, and...

More Information>>

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Consumer Payment Trends in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of
Businesses routinely seek to appeal to consumers by understanding which goods or services they want to buy. But understanding how shoppers prefer to buy—that is, which forms of payments they favor, and why—is also critically important. Marketers, retailers, card associations and other product and service providers hope to make transactions easy and convenient for consumers, but they must also balance these requirements against their own needs. Meanwhile, in the post-recession U.S. marketplace the world of payments keeps evolving as consumers back away from credit cards, debit cards move toward saturation, online payment options proliferate, and contactless payments and mobile payments move closer on the horizon.

This all-new report from Packaged Facts examines consumer payment forms of all kinds, including credit cards, debit cards, gift/prepaid cards, cash, checks, online payment and emerging forms, with a focus on how consumer preferences have changed during the past five years and vis-à-vis the economic downturn and recovery. It includes:

  • Analysis of how Americans’ financial outlook influences their spending and payment preferences.
  • Demographic and psychographic profiling by payment form and consumer age, gender, race, geographic region, income, educational level, etc.
  • Focus chapter on cash, whose straightforwardness and immediacy makes it the payment choice of more than half of U.S. adults.
  • Focus chapter on checks, which despite declining usage remain popular for bill paying and are getting new legs via “digital reinvention.”
  • Focus chapter on credit cards, which have reached saturation and face other challenges including more restrictive legislation and declining usage among consumers looking to reduce their debt.
  • Focus chapter on debit cards, which continue to win followers but whose rise may be diverted by laws restricting overdraft fees.
  • Coverage of gift cards and other prepaid debit cards, which are creating a fast-growing “second-tier” banking system for those without access to traditional banks.
  • Focus chapter on new payment methods, including contactless, cell phone and Internet-based, all of which are jockeying for position in the next wave of payment forms.
More Information>>

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NEW Proprietary Data: The U.S. Foodservice Landscape 2010: Restaurant Industry and Consumer Trends, Momentum and Migration

The U.S. Foodservice Landscape 2010: Restaurant Industry and Consumer Trend Momentum and Migration provides unique insights into consumers’ evolving relationship with the foodservice industry, helping restaurant operators position their brands—and menus—accordingly.

Highlights of the study include:
1) directional consumer behavioral and attitude analysis via Packaged Facts’ proprietary Consumer Restaurant Outlook Tracker, which identifies the consumers who will lead near-term foodservice growth;

2) Via its Consumer Restaurant Usage and Spend Tracker, unique analysis of meal usage by restaurant type, party size, and party spend, to help target consumers who can bring in higher guest check averages;

3) Share of Stomach sales analysis that trends foodservice sales by segment against its retail counterpart, and provides quarterly same-store comparable trends and guest traffic frequency trends for more than 50 restaurant brands by segment—all of which provide a thorough sense of where the industry is heading; and

4) current and future menu pricing strategies and detailed consumer brand affiliations, to provide competitive insight.

More Information>>

Snack and Dessert Trends

Packaged Facts forecasts a 0.7% sales decline at limited-service restaurants in 2010, the result of extremely aggressive price discounting strategies that place guest traffic growth before guest check growth (a strategy in which snacks have played a role).


Monday, September 20, 2010

NEW! Artisan Foods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

Artisan foods are everywhere, from their pervasive presence at large chain grocery store bakeries featuring in-house baked “artisan” loaves to fast casual chains such as Panera Bakery that have built an entire sandwich menu around freshly baked breads.

Manufacturers and restaurant operators have recognized that “artisan” has become another term for “quality.” It evokes small producers making traditional foods by hand, treating production as a craft and putting great care into the outcome. Larger producers are able to capture the aura of artisan with rustic-looking products, distinctive ingredients, unique cooking methods and stories that connect products to consumers.
This report explores the possibilities available in the world of artisan foods, and tracks some of the most exciting contemporary trends associated with this popular culinary segment.
Many artisans source their ingredients from nearby farms or grow their own, making a concerted effort to only use what’s available and in season to create a high quality, fresh-tasting product. Consumers savor these regional specialties and unique flavors. Artisan foods give consumers sustenance with a story featuring products that are more authentic and less conventional. For consumers it’s as much about nostalgia as it is about security in knowing they are feeding their families quality cuisine. Modern day artisans specialize and innovate on the traditional, producing savory and exotic ice creams, unusual types of cheese or specialized spirits to enliven and entice the palate. Like modern street food vendors, artisans make process part of their product, offering consumers a window into the traditions of the past. The current wave of artisan foodmakers is making the environment a priority, employing business strategies that minimize waste and negative impact on the earth. Reusable containers, compostable packaging and other eco-friendly practices allow consumers to be socially responsible while also enjoying an excellent product.
  • Local & Seasonal Eating —
  • Homemade/Authentic —
  • Flavor Adventure —
  • Consumer Engagement —
  • Going Green —
More Information>>

Millenials in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults

The 51 million adult members of the Millennial Generation (also known as Gen-Y) have been hit harder than any other age group by the recession. Millennials have the highest unemployment rate of all age groups, while those with jobs are most likely to have been asked at some point during the recession to work fewer hours, switch to part-time employment or agree to have their pay cut.
Yet, paradoxically, survey data show that Millennials are less likely than any other age segment to have cut spending during the recession, and they are more optimistic than other American consumers about the future of the American economy.


"Green" Household Cleaning Products in the U.S.: Bathroom Cleaners, Laundry Care and Dish Detergents and Household Cleaners

Method bathroom cleaners
 The U.S. market for household and laundry cleaning products is well on its way to a major shift in marketing strategies, product innovation and ingredient stories—primarily due to the continued consumer interest and understanding of greener and more sustainable lifestyles. The sweet spot for accelerated growth and highly profitable sales looks to be in eco-friendly products that target multiple consumer desires rather than a single stand alone functional benefit. These benefits may include: efficacy, safety, ease-of-use and convenience mixed with more emotional and sensory benefits. While green cleaners accounted for just a small sliver of the overall household cleaner market in 2009, Packaged Facts expects more and more consumers to make cleaning a lifestyle choice rather than simply a sanitary chore, pushing green cleaners from the fringe into the mainstream.

More Information>>

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Natural, Organic and Eco-Friendly Pet Products in the U.S., 3rd Edition

Although the 2008-2009 recession took a notable toll, natural and organic pet products continue as a top-growth market segment on their way to becoming the standard for premium pet products in the pet specialty channel and other upscale venues. Doing their part, all of the major mass-market and cross-channel marketers are tapping into the trend as well, keeping pressure on smaller marketers to scale up their product offerings even further. Most recently, in mid 2010 Procter & Gamble rocked the pet food industry by acquiring Natura Pet Products, whose natural and organic pet food brands include Innova, Evo, California Natural and Karma—a move that suggests that the natural pet food party is just getting started on the mass-market side.
Also underpinning steady market advancement is consumer demand for products perceived to be safer, an appeal that got a big boost from the Spring 2007 recalls and one that continues to define the way marketers formulate and position products. According to pet owner surveys conducted by Packaged Facts, 40% of dog owners and 38% of cat owners purchase natural/organic pet products; nearly half of pet owners would buy more natural/organic pet products if they were more affordable; and almost two-fifths would do so if they were more available. Featuring exclusive consumer data such as these, the report homes in on food and nonfood purchasing trends across multiple categories, as well as attitudes and demographic characteristics of natural and organic pet product purchasers.

U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2010-2011: Tapping into Post-Recession Pet Parent Spending

As the U.S. economy moves out of recession and into recovery, the purse strings of many pet parents will loosen, but shoppers will continue to demand greater value in the pet products and services they purchase as well as from the channels they shop. U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2010-2011: Tapping into Post-Recession Pet Parent Spending provides essential insights into the U.S. pet market overall as well as each of its four core categories: veterinary services, pet food, non-food pet supplies, and non-medical pet services (grooming, boarding, training, etc.).

Benefiting from many current trends and “future factors,” the market will rise from $53 billion in 2009 to over $70 billion in 2014, the report forecasts, with strong demand for products and services that both enhance pet health and pamper lifting many boats as pent-up pet parent demand begins to kick in during 2010.

Continuing the market tracking and forecasting of the previous edition of Packaged Facts’ annual report (see U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2009-2010: Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Economic Times, the 2010-2011 edition projects sales, market growth drivers, and competitive and marketing opportunities. In a new focus discussion, it details...

More Information>>

Prepared Foods and Ready-to-Eat Foods at Retail: The New Competition to Foodservice

Wegmans Cafe
Hoping to parlay recession-based foodservice-to-retail migration into long-term gains, food retailers continue to ratchet up their prepared foods and ready-to-eat programs. Packaged Facts estimates that grocery stores and supermarkets will grow prepared- and ready-to-eat foods sales by more than 7% in 2010. Their usage imprint is already imposing:

According to Packaged Facts’ proprietary consumer research, 64% of adult consumers have gotten ready-to-eat/heat-and-eat food from a grocery store or supermarket in the last month. Moreover, in terms of total usage occasions, grocery-related prepared foods use leads both family and casual restaurant segments and trails only fast food/QSR.
While convenience stores have also relied heavily on prepared foods and foodservice sales for sales and higher margins, increasing competition extends to supercenters, warehouse clubs, convenience stores and drug stores. At a time when food value is so closely associated with low cost and convenience—and when consumers increasingly perceive private label food retail brands as competitive with name brands on cost and quality—prepared and ready-to-eat foods programs that deliver on quality, taste and convenience can not only compete with foodservice fare, but can also help food retailers adapt to modern consumer lifestyles.

More Information>>

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Market Research: Fresh Convenience Foods in the U.S.

During 2008 and 2009, as the “Great Recession” took hold, many consumer product marketers and retailers acted as if the walls were closing in on them, in many cases resorting to rampant price-slashing. But not fresh convenience food marketers and retailers, who instead saw an opening. Wisely gauging their main competition as coming from the restaurant industry instead of less costly unprepared food, they continued the innovations in quality and convenience that had been underway in the market for several years, and simultaneously began aggressively competing on price with the foodservice industry in an effort to woo customers away.

According to Packaged Facts, these efforts proved successful, spurring a shift by many consumers from restaurant meals to prepared food purchased at retail outlets. As a result, the market for fresh convenience foods grew by 5.1% in 2009 to reach sales of $22.3 billion. Packaged Facts expects these marketing and merchandising efforts to continue to prove successful over the short term, driving sales of fresh convenience foods up another 28% by 2014 to $28.5 billion.

More Information>>

Cheese: Natural and Specialty Cheeses in the U.S. and Global Markets

With U.S. production of natural and specialty blended (N&SB) cheese at an all-time high — 10 billion-plus pounds by the end of 2009 — marketers are aggressively creating points of differentiation to better establish their brands in this highly competitive and crowded category. With more than 300 varieties of natural cheese made in the States, as well as just as many specialty blended cheeses, this is no easy feat, particularly when there are more than 200 marketers vying for the attention of consumers, retailers, chefs and even prepared foods product developers.

More Information>>

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rewards Cards in the U.S., 3rd Edition

2010 brings a perfect storm to the credit card industry, driven by recession-induced changes that are reshaping its core. At the same time, card rewards have become ubiquitous. In the face of some of the most significant changes the credit card industry has ever faced, some argue that rewards programs are simply no longer feasible in an era of constrained revenue and profits. However, as detailed in Packaged Facts’ Rewards Cards in the U.S., it is not a matter of eliminating reward programs, but rather about adapting them to some of the most significant changes the credit card industry has ever faced.
In its most consultative report in the series, this 3rd edition of Rewards Cards in the U.S. helps position industry participants to navigate this reengineering in card rewards by assessing the following industry trends and challenges:
  • How does continued migration to electronic payments shape the future of rewards?
  • Which regulatory changes are most relevant to rewards?
  • Understanding the macroeconomic and credit factors that shape the pool of current and future credit card customers.
  • How large is this pool of customers? 
  • Does the current credit environment effect migration from credit to debit? Why? How?
  • Which fee structures are being implemented—or could be implemented—to counteract regulatory change?
  • How are card issuers’ credit card portfolios adapting to change? How can they share in tapping a smaller pool of cardholders while growing profits?
  • What will happen to affluent, credit worthy cardholders? Less credit worthy cardholders? How do rewards play a role?
  • Can rewards help grow transactions and help extend card reach beyond a shrinking consumer base?
  • How does closed-loop versus open-loop competition and significant industry consolidation affect competition?
  • What is the fate of co-brand rewards?
  • Which reward types best fit the needs of specific consumers?
  • Over the course of the recession, which consumers are active card users? Multiple card users? Transactors? Revolvers? How has this changed over time?
More Information>>

Coffee and Ready-to-Drink Coffee in the U.S.: The Market and Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 6th Edition

McDonald's McCafe
As the U.S. economy slid deeper into recession during 2009, coffee marketers and foodservice operators moved in the opposite direction, digging out of the trench of 2008 with a variety of strategies designed to capitalize on the fact that even upscale coffee is a relatively thrifty luxury that offers comfort during stressful times. Two success stories were the rebound of Starbucks on the foodservice side and the revitalization of the former P&G retail coffee portfolio by J M. Smucker. Although the era when the coffee market grew effortlessly through premiumization may have ended, such upscale trends as the shifts towards specialty coffee beverages, gourmet beans and ethical consumerism are still clearly in force. What’s more, there’s ample opportunity for companies to capitalize on such trends as the economy recovers—not by ignoring the tougher times or reversing strategy, but by crafting an image that’s both upscale and responsive to consumers’ stronger-than-ever demand for value.

Packaged Facts’ Coffee and Ready-to-Drink Coffee in the U.S.: The Market and Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 6th Edition offers a comprehensive look at this $47.5 billion market, examining both the retail and foodservice sides of the business as well as the growing overlap of the two. On the retail...

More Information>>

Food Business News - Restaurants attracting customers through snacks, September 15, 2010
by Staff

Restaurants are using snack foods to strengthen consumer spending by using snacks to entice customers to buy additional foods and beverages, according market researcher Packaged Facts in its “Snack and Dessert Trends in the U.S. Foodservice Market” report.

Overall, the snack and non-alcoholic beverage categories reached $25.7 billion in 2009 with forecasts to drop to $25.4 billion in 2010 and then going back up to $25.8 billion in 2011.

“Snackable foods have caught on at a host of restaurant menus, from McDonald’s to Dairy Queen to Boston Market to The Cheesecake Factory,” said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Snack foods are the means through which these and other food service players are boosting mid-morning and mid-afternoon sales and are driving guest traffic. Plus, snacks possess upselling potential to higher-priced items and can be incorporated into bundles.”

Read Full Article>

Gay money talks -

New study highlights LGBT buying power, attitudes toward economyby Lucy Hough - Originally printed 9/16/2010 (Issue 1837 - Between The Lines News)

A recent report states that LGBT people are typically more optimistic about the general direction of the country, specifically in terms of economic growth, the job market and personal finances. And, as a result, LGBT buying power is high.

"The Gay and Lesbian Market in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities in the LGBT Community, 6th Edition" was released by Packaged Facts, a division of, in early August and relies on various data including that collected by Witeck and Combs Communications, which released a report in March 2010 about LGBT households' opinion of the economy.

"What we found out in March was that they were clearly more confident," Bob Witeck said.
Witeck and Combs work with Harris Interactive to do various research initiatives, typically dealing with LGBT people throughout the United States. Their sample includes individuals who are 18 years and older and self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Read Full Article>

Gluten-free has gone big time, but why so popular?

09/16/2010 - Michael Hill - Associated Press

This July 5, 2005 file photo shows gluten-free products on
display at a Hannaford Supermarket in Albany, N.Y. U.S.
sales of gluten-free food has more than doubled
since 2005 to over $1.5 billion, according to the market research
company Packaged Facts. And the growth spurt
is expected to continue at least through 2012.
(AP Photo/Jim McKnight, FILE)
Gwyneth Paltrow gushes over gluten-free. Chelsea Clinton's wedding cake was baked without it. The new Old Spice guy avoids the ubiquitous protein to help stay buff. In fact, odds are good you too have tried — or at least encountered — a product with the gluten removed.

Because gluten-free is what low-carb was a decade ago: The "it" diet discussed on daytime talk shows, promoted by hyper-slim actresses and adopted by masses. Grocery aisles are stocked with the likes of gluten-free pasta, crackers, cereal and beer.

Americans are enthusiastically exiling a dietary staple that wasn't even in most people's vocabulary a decade ago.

But why?

Unlike some other dietary boogeymen like trans-fats, gluten is not inherently bad to eat. Only a small percentage of people can't tolerate the protein, which occurs naturally in wheat, barley and rye. Plus, banning gluten from your diet can be really hard.

Not only is gluten an essential element of traditional breads and pastas (it's the protein that gives them their structure), it often is used as a thickening agent in processed foods, such as ketchup and ice cream. And cutting out gluten is no guarantee of weight loss.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Millennials Remain Ever Hopeful during Great Recession

Adult Millennials (those in the 18- to 29-year-old age group also often referred to as members of Gen-Y) have been hit harder than any other age group by the recession.  In 2009 the 16.6% unemployment rate experienced by 18- to 24-year-olds was higher than that of any other age group.  The unemployment rate for 25- to 29-year-olds (10.6%) was more severe than the unemployment rate among workers in older age groups.

Besides facing a higher risk of unemployment, Gen-Y workers are more likely than older workers to have faced on-the-job hardship as the recession unfolded.  According to data published by Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center in February 2010, 18- to 29-year-old workers are more likely to have been asked by their employers at some point during the recession to work fewer hours, switch from full-time to part-time employment or take a pay cut.
Yet, as seen in a new Packaged Facts report (“Millennials in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults,” October 2010) 18- to 29-year-olds have remained resolutely upbeat about the economy even in the face of their especially adverse circumstances.
To find out how Millennials compare to other consumers, this Packaged Facts report uses the Consumer Confidence Index of the Experian Simmons National Consumer Study, which ranks the confidence of consumers on a scale from 1 to 8.  “Anxious Consumers” are defined as consumers who rank between 1 and 3 on the scale.  “Confident Consumers” are those between 6 and 8 on the scale.
The analysis shows that only 12% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 29-year-olds are classified as Anxious Consumers, compared to 24% of Boomers (those in the 45- to 64-year-old age group) and 26% of consumers in the 65+ age segment.  While 26% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 29% of 25- to 29-year-olds fall into the Confident Consumer category, only 20% of 45- to 64-year-olds are categorized as Confident Consumers.
Conventional wisdom views Millennials as the product of “helicopter parents” who hovered over their kids during their childhood years and into their teens and even after they entered college.  The Boomer parents of Millennials are often criticized for being more concerned about beefing up their children’s self-esteem than subjecting them to rigorous academic competition.  The data in this Packaged Facts report suggest, though, that the parents of Millennials did something right and somehow prepared their kids to face the worst economy in 70 years with a spirit of hope and confidence.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

O.C. frozen yogurt chain to open drive-through shop

September 13th, 2010, 8:28 am · posted by Nancy Luna, Staff Writer - The Orange County Register

There’s a new twist to the intense frozen yogurt competition in Southern California.
Buena Park-based Cherry on Top plans to open a drive through yogurt shop at the end of the month in Los Angeles near Culver City. The chain claims, and I’d have to agree, that this will be the “first drive-thru store of its kind and a first for any leading frozen yogurt company.”
“This will give guests the opportunity to come in the store for a self-serve experience, or go though the drive-thru for a quick fix,” company founder David Kim said.
Frozen dessert sales increased 2 percent to $25 billion in 2009, according to market research firm Packaged Facts.  A bulk of that growth was generated from the frozen yogurt sector, which has grown in popularity since Pinkberry debuted its tart swirly desserts to consumers in 2005.

I wonder how it will work to order toppings at the drive-thru?
 The 30-unit Cherry on Top, founded in 2007, has been one of the more successful brands to enter the market, which has been flooded with dozens of concepts over the last few years.  Many businesses have closed due to over-saturation amid  fierce competition.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New sandwiches meet consumer interests, values

Sandwiches aren't just an important part of the American diet; they are essential to it. And lucky for hungry consumers, sandwiches are undergoing exciting flavor and quality upgrades on every level -- carriers, fillings and condiments.

New sandwich trends are driven by artisan and sustainable ingredients, American regional and global flavor profiles, and even better nutrition, according to the "Sandwiches: Culinary Trend Mapping Report" from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and market research publisher Packaged Facts.
Read Full Article>

US low-sodium product launches soar – but consumers go for taste

Food Navigator USA, Caroline Scott-Thomas, 12-Apr-2010

The US has launched more products claiming low or no sodium than any other country in the past three years, according to a new report from Packaged Facts – but consumers still prioritize good taste.

The US Department of Agriculture has estimated that the average American gets about 4,000mg of sodium a day, well above the recommended daily maximum of 2,300mg. Excessive sodium intake has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. And with an estimated 75 percent of sodium in the average US diet coming from packaged foods, industry is already under pressure to reformulate foods to contain less sodium.

However, Packaged Facts claims that reducing sodium intake is not at the top of consumers’ list of priorities for dietary change. The market research organization said that low-sodium is not as important to consumers’ healthy eating agendas as eating more fruit and vegetables, more fiber or limiting saturated fat, sugar and trans fat. Nevertheless, “if good-tasting, lower-sodium options are offered, consumers will buy them,” it said, as consumers are interested in eating healthier foods overall.

Sodium reduction poses many challenges for manufacturers, including functionality as a leavening agent or preservative, as well as consumers’ flavor preference. But there is still huge momentum in the industry to reduce sodium.


Low- and No-Sodium Foods and Beverages in the U.S.

Competition on Aisle Five

A new study finds consumers are flocking to grocery-store prepared meals for two reasons. And restaurants should be worried.

By Daniel P. Smith - QSR Magazine

Quick-service restaurants feeling more intense competition for the consumer’s dollar might not only look at their dining rivals across the street, but their supermarket down the block.

A growing array of prepared and ready-to-eat foods at retail outlets such as Walmart and Kroger are attracting consumers and threatening to put a dent in quick-service business, says a new report from Packaged Facts titled “Prepared Foods and Ready-to-Eat Foods at Retail: The New Competition to Foodservice.”

The report surveyed 1,881 U.S. adult consumers and found that half of respondents were more likely to eat dinner at home than they were three months ago, while 64 percent reported purchasing ready-to-eat or heat-and-eat food from a grocery store within the last month. The study predicts that supermarket prepared foods will grow to $14 billion by 2011, largely motivated by consumers migrating away from restaurants during the recession in search of value and one-stop-shop convenience.

“We see a lot of momentum here and expect growth of 7 percent from 2010 to 2011, which is a pretty monumental surge in a supermarket industry that has been accustomed to losing share,” says David Morris, the report’s chief analyst.

The study cites two distinct groups gobbling up supermarket-prepared foods: those who seek low-cost, quick alternatives out of necessity or convenience and those who see the prepared foods as an alternative to home cooking. Both groups have long been primary clientele for the quick-service category, heightening restaurant concerns in an already challenging environment.

“This is not a new trend, but we do see this as the year that grocery stores put this strategy at the forefront, which should be a competitive concern for restaurants,” Morris says.

Suzanne Long, a grocery retail analyst with New York–based SSA & Company, says grocery stores began stocking prepared meals more aggressively in 2005–2006. Noting a consumer conscious of price and time, the industry saw an opportunity to modernize its decades-old business model and push into new areas. Offering prepared meals was supposed to generate additional in-store purchases.

“There’s been a huge trend toward this for years now, but the retailers are looking far more at sales and market share over profit,” Long says.

Although still in its formative years, the prepared-meals trend is gaining momentum, particularly as the recession lags. Grocery chains continue to experiment with more diverse offerings, portion size, and operational efficiencies to better compete with restaurants and draw customers.

“Grocery stores feel as if they haven’t come close to achieving their goal of grabbing greater market share, so there’s absolutely a continued push,” Long says.

The study predicts that supermarket prepared foods will grow to $14 billion by 2011.While the threat of increased competition in an already heated foodservice field brings concern to some restaurant brands, others see the rise of grocery stores in the prepared-foods arena as a complement—not a competitor—to business.

In June, Canadian chain Tim Hortons announced it would add 48 self-service coffee kiosks to new Tops Friendly Markets locations in the northeast U.S. The partnership adds to Tim Hortons’ already strong relationship with the grocer, which includes existing kiosks in 82 Tops outlets in upstate New York. Each of the locations serves Tim Hortons’ signature blend coffee, Timbits donut holes, hot chocolate, and tea.

“We’re taking the brand to the people,” says Tim Hortons COO David Clanachan. “The key thing is convenience. People are time-starved and they want what they want. If we make our products available and win loyal customers, then it feeds our brand.”

Whether competitor or complement, there remains little question that grocery’s major players intend to challenge restaurants. While grocery stores might succeed and expand in the short term, Morris sees a ceiling to their market share.

“The grocery stores cannot be ignored, but they still cannot recreate the restaurant experience unless they build out and create their own branded restaurant-like setting,” he says. “That’s one thing the restaurant world has going for it, even as the competition grows.”

For information on Prepared Foods and Ready-to-Eat Foods at Retail: The New Competition to Foodservice click here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hispanic Food and Beverages

Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine, 4th Edition : Packaged Facts
Burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas—you don’t have to go to Mexican restaurant or scour the ethnic foods aisle in your supermarket if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Hispanic foods and beverages have become so common a part of the American menu many consumers would have to think twice before characterizing them as a distinct ethnic cuisine. Are there any food courts in sports venues these days that don’t offer nachos as standard fare alongside hotdogs? Is there a supermarket or grocery anywhere in the country that doesn’t carry tortilla chips and salsa, even if there are no Hispanic consumers in their community?

With Hispanic foods and beverages achieving such prominence, it’s no wonder that sales were close to $7 billion in 2009, according to the recent report from Packaged Facts titled “Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine, 4th Edition. This represented an increase of 28.7% from $5.4 billion in 2005. In addition, Packaged Facts predicts continued aggressive growth through 2014, with sales projected to top $9.5 billion in 2014.

The report details how the expanding appetite for Hispanic food and drink among non-Hispanic Americans combined with the rapid increase in the Hispanic population is driving sales of Mainstream Mexican products along with Authentic Hispanic and Nuevo Latino foods. Expanding distribution channels, the rise of the “foodie” and other key trends affecting the marketplace are described along with the changing demographics and other factors driving growth.  In addition, the report profiles major marketers, both in the manufacturing and foodservice arenas.

Finding inspiration in street food

Finding inspiration in street food: "Street food is enjoying a renaissance in the United States – and although small-scale outlets are driving the trend, there are ways for larger-scale food makers to get on board, according to Packaged Facts."
By Caroline Scott-Thomas, Food Navigator USA

Shifts in Consumer Demographics during the Great Recession

Attitudes and habits among American consumers are undergoing a change in the aftermath of the recession. Recent survey data from Nielsen group reveals that while the intensity of the economic panic had subsided since 2008, concerns persist and new habits in spending and saving are solidifying.

Consumer Confidence a Dynamic Phenomenon

One of the most striking findings of this Packaged Facts analysis is that “consumer confidence” is a highly fluid concept. From 2005 through 2009 there were tens millions of Americans who migrated in and out of the ranks of Confident and Anxious Consumers. At the end of this period, the demographic profile of Confident and Anxious Consumers had been dramatically transformed.

Multicultural Consumers More Confident

As noted in the February 2010 edition of Packaged Facts The African-American Market in the

U.S., African Americans were especially hard hit by the Great Recession. Yet, in the face of declining incomes and daunting unemployment rates, survey research from a variety of sources suggests that the sense of empowerment created by the election of Barack Obama has led blacks to adopt a more optimistic vision of the future than that held by other Americans. For example, data released in January 2010 by Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center survey found that the number of blacks who rate their personal finances as excellent or good was up from 2007 (32% vs. 27%). In sharp contrast, the ratings among whites dropped substantially, from 52% to 35%.

While non-Hispanic whites account for 69% of the population, they represent 80% of Anxious Consumers. In sharp contrast, 29% of blacks are counted as Confident Consumers, compared to only 19% of non-Hispanic whites. Non-Hispanic whites are three times as likely as blacks to be categorized as Anxious Consumers (23% vs. 8%). Latinos and Asians also are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be Confident Consumers and are less likely to be Anxious Consumers.

The Confident Consumer represents the most attractive target for marketers eager to participate in a post-recession rebound. The average household income of Confident Consumers is significantly higher than that of Anxious Consumers ($82,928 vs. $64,279). The aggregate income of Confident Consumers totals $1.9 trillion, 27% higher than that of Anxious Consumers.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Food service lunch spending forecast to rise, September 8, 2010
by Keith Nunes

Consumer spending on lunch served in restaurants is forecast to rebound 2% in 2011 and reach $114 billion following two years of recession-related declines, according to “Lunch Trends in the U.S. Foodservice Market,” a report produced by research publisher Packaged Facts. After rising to $119 billion in 2008, lunch daypart sales declined 4% in 2009, and sales are projected to fall another 3% in 2010 to $112 billion.

“This has been a very tough climate for lunch food service and its counterparts, and that won’t change overnight although change is coming," said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Growth in the lunch daypart still faces a few near-term challenges, including the impact of unemployment on work-driven restaurant routines, bargain-minded consumers who weigh the cost of a bagged lunch against the indulgence of eating out, and an industry environment in which players are chasing foot traffic at the expense of guest check through the extreme push of value meal deals.”

A survey of consumers conducted by Packaged Facts showed that interest in lunchtime meals priced under $5 and under $10 is stable across household income brackets, suggesting price sensitivity among a large segment of diners regardless of their personal wages. Respondents aged 18 to 24 are 60% more likely than average to choose a restaurant because it offers meals for under $3.

Limited time offers and menu options that allow consumers to bundle their meal components for a set price are two menu strategies that have proven attractive to consumers, according to Packaged Facts. Examples cited in the report include Taco Bell’s $2 Meal Deal and Jack in the Box’s Pick 3 for $3 customizable limited time offer value meal.
Read Food Business News Article

Premium foods pick up as marketers adjust to changing demand

Food Navigator, Lorraine Heller, 09-Sep-2010

Growth of gourmet and premium foods may have slowed from previous double-digits, but consumers are unwilling to give up some luxuries and marketers have found ways to respond to the changing demand, according to a new report.

Read Article>

Novel fibers to grow 750% as consumers seek fiber-rich foods

By Stephen Daniells, 10-Sep-2010, Nutra Ingredients

The use of novel fibers in food products is set to sky-rocket over the next few years, with growth of 750 percent predicted, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

Consumer interest in dietary fiber has been growing with scientific studies linking increased intake to reduced risks of cancers such as colorectal and cardiovascular disease, digestive health benefits and weight management.

A 2008 International Food Information Council survey found 77 percent of people are proactively trying to consume additional fiber.

Despite such good intentions, however, many Americans only achieve about 50 percent of their recommended amount of 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily.

And such stats are driving the introduction of new fiber-fortified food and beverage products, according to a new report Fiber Food Ingredients in the U.S.: Soluble-, Insoluble- and Digestive-Resistant Types by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

While interest in all types of fibers – insoluble and soluble – is expected to increase, the biggest growth is expected for so-called novel fibers. Packaged Facts defined novel fiber as “one that has not historically been viewed as a fiber food ingredient. This includes, but is not limited to inulin, FOS, GOS, resistant maltodextrin and soluble corn fiber.”

“Packaged Facts determined that sales of all fiber food ingredients (i.e., conventional, insoluble-type fibers; conventional, soluble-type fibers; and novel fiber food ingredients) will continue to increase indefinitely, as the market for fiber-enhanced foods is still in its infancy,” said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

“There is a great deal of room for growth across almost all food categories, which presents an opportunity for the many different fiber ingredients that are among the most popular with today’s food formulators,” added Montouri.

Novel growth

The market researcher is predicting a significant growth for these novel fibers, with the category predicted to increase its share of the market by more than 750 percent, jumping 35 percentage points from an almost 5 percent share in 2004 to a 39 percent share in 2014.

Packaged Facts estimates that in 2004, 91 percent of all fiber food ingredient sales were of conventional, insoluble-type fibers, which contains cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin and cannot be dissolved in water.

The remaining 9 percent share was split evenly between conventional, soluble-type fibers and emerging, novel fibers. The market researcher projects that insoluble fibers will decrease to 53.3 percent by 2014, while the share for the mostly new or newly refined conventional, soluble-type fibers will decrease slightly to 7.4 percent.

Soluble versus insoluble

Studies have also reported that insoluble fiber may reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes, but the biological mechanism underlying the benefits has only been assumed.

The assumption was that the fiber reduced the glycemic response (a rise in blood glucose), thereby increasing satiety and decreasing energy intake. A lower glycemic response decreases the demand for insulin, therefore reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In Europe and Japan, soluble fiber has the greater market share than insoluble. In the US, where the entire fiber market was worth $192.8m (€151.0m) in 2004, insoluble fiber dominates the market with $176.2m (€138.0m), and $16.6m (€13.0m) soluble.

But while Frost and Sullivan predicts overall growth in the US to $470m (€369m) by 2011, the soluble fiber sector is expected to increase by almost twice the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) compared to insoluble fiber - 26.3 percent compared to 13.1 percent.

The arrival of multinationals

Data from Datamonitor in 2009 indicated that food manufacturers are increasingly adding fiber to their products, in a move described as going “back to basics”.

The market researcher said fiber has become an ingredient of choice for products targeting health conscious consumers and products designed to help combat obesity.

Based on data from its Product Launch Analytics, which tracks new products entering the global marketplace, Datamonitor said the percentage of new food products launched in the US that claim to be high in fiber hit 6.3 percent in 2008, up from 5.2 percent in 2006.

“Consumers have long known that fiber is ‘good for you.’ Now food makers are redoubling their efforts to increase the fiber content of many popular food products,” said Datamonitor.

Companies that have launched products touting their fiber content include the multinationals PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Kellogg and Dannon.


Healthier Options Key To Reviving Lunch Business

Healthier Options Key To Reviving Lunch Business

Marketing Daily, Karlene Lukovitz, 09/09/2010, 2:53 PM

After two years of substantial decline, restaurant lunch performance is expected to regain some ground in 2011, according to a new U.S. food service lunch trends report from Packaged Facts.

Restaurant lunch spending among U.S. consumers reached $119 billion in 2008 but dropped 4% last year, and is expected to decline by another 3% this year to $112 billion, PF reports. However, a 1.8% partial rebound to $114 billion is projected for 2011.

While some economic recovery is factored in, the prospects for increased consumer spending on restaurant lunches (or eating out in general) are dim for the near future.

Challenges to reviving lunch sales growth in the near term include unemployment's effect on work-driven restaurant routines, "bargain-minded consumers who weigh the cost of a bagged lunch against the indulgence of eating out, and an industry environment in which players are chasing foot traffic at the expense of guest checks through the extreme push of value meal deals," sums up Packaged Facts publisher Don Montuori.

In fact, thanks to discretionary spending cutbacks and the expectations created by value deals, limited-service formats now account for nearly 75% of all lunch sales, and price sensitivity appears to be the trend across income groups. Packaged Facts' own recent consumer survey found that interest in lunchtime meals priced under $5 and under $10 is stable across household income brackets. (Overall, about 35% of consumers cite a meal priced at under $5 -- and about 31% cite a meal priced at under $10 -- as influencing their choice of restaurants for lunch.)

Young adults, among the hardest-hit by unemployment, are 60% more likely than average to choose a restaurant because it offers meals for under $3, although they spend a higher percentage of their income on lunch than other age groups (and are by far the heaviest consumers of fast food).

Faced with such trends, restaurant operators will continue to rely heavily on limited-time offers, which help attract new visits and also enable testing longer-term menu strategies, according to the report.

However, some chains are also adding "bundled" deals as a means of increasing check sizes without undermining traffic. Examples cited include Jack-in-the-Box's limited-time "Pick 3 for $3" offer and Taco Bell's $2 Meal Deal (one main item, chips and a drink for $2).

At the same time, operators are increasingly attuned to leveraging "better for you" menu offerings. For example, PF cites a March 2010 study which finds that 46% of consumers report that they have been choosing more healthful items when eating out. And while consumers' actual behaviors don't necessarily mesh with their survey statements, restaurant operators are confirming guests' increasing interest in healthier fare, according to the report.

Fresh or less processed ingredients, fiber and whole grains, and more fruits/vegetables and less meat (as opposed to fewer calories or carbs or lower sodium) are the attributes that appear to be most desired in "healthful" meals among consumers. However, some consumers are also attracted by the often lower calorie counts of such meals -- and healthier entrées frequently offer lower prices than meat-based or other more traditional entrées, as well.

Certainly, other operators have noted the trend-bucking success of chains with formats that focus on offering fresh, quality, better-for-you, reasonably priced menus. Examples cited by PF include Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, which realized much of its growth last year through lunch sales driven by introducing new salads, according to the report.

Another example: Freshii ("Fresh Food, Custom Built, Fast"), which was started with a single location in Toronto in 2005 and now operates locations in a rapidly growing number of key U.S. as well as Canadian markets, plus international markets including Austria and Dubai.

In addition to its heavy stress on "fresh" and "healthful" selections, Freshii provides customers with a simple system that enables them to see nutritional information and select and customize their items accordingly. The chain also offers fast service options that include simple order forms on mini clipboards available at the counter; phone, fax and online; and a GPS-based app that locates the nearest outlet and enables ordering from phone touchscreens.

SupplySide West International Trade Show and Conference

Join Packaged Facts Research Analyst David Sprinkle at the 2010 SupplySide West International Trade Show. Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM at the Venetian & Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

David will present, ‘Product Format Wars in the Nutritional Supplementation Market: Traditional Supplements vs. Specialty Formats vs. Fortified Foods’.

Product Format Wars in the Nutritional Supplementation Market: Traditional Supplements vs. Specialty Formats vs. Fortified Foods

With health and wellness established as a top driver for consumer choices and with the nutritional industry poised for growth as the economic downturn of 2008/09 recedes, this discussion examines key trends in consumer preferences for supplements, fortified food and beverages, and specialty formats such as energy shots and beauty drinks. Session will draw on consumer surveys, retail sales-tracking data, new product introduction statistics, and analysis of social media streams to discuss best-selling products across the competitive landscape and current pathways/obstacles to nutritional product success.

Session will draw on several sources:

--Upcoming Packaged Facts report on The U.S. Market for Nutritional Supplements (August 2010)

--Proprietary Packaged Facts national online consumer surveys conducted in February 2010 and May 2010

--Analysis of social media data streams using CollectiveIntellect software

This educational session provides a cross-sector analysis of consumer patterns and preferences to pinpoint key opportunities and competitive strategies.

About the Presenter:

David Sprinkle, Research Director

David worked a dozen years for the Marigny Research Group (New Orleans) as an analyst, editor, and research coordinator for consumer product and demographic reports. He also taught business communications at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, where he earned his MBA. As Research Director for MRDC, David combines his research and communications skills to keep information flowing to our team of market analysts. He also plays a key role in analyzing consumer and product data for MRDC’s custom publishing operations.

For more details please visit the event website here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sandwiches: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

Sandwiches─with their universal appeal, limitless versatility and attractive price-points─are bucking the recession and proving to be the country’s most resilient food category. The sandwich form itself is infinitely variable and delightfully portable: a sandwich can be simple or complex, everyday or gourmet, healthy or indulgent, hot or cold, and even sweet as well as savory. It remains one of the most approachable, friendly and relevant foods across all consumer groups. In short, sandwiches aren’t just an important part of the American diet: they are essential to it.

But like most food categories today, this much beloved staple has undergone an exciting 21st-century transformation. Classic sandwiches are getting ingredient upgrades on every level - carrier, fillings and condiments. These upgrades could be from artisan, local or sustainable ingredients, reflecting a chef ’s touch or a regional flavor profile. Creative sandwich makers are also tweaking the form for flavor adventure, adding global touches and bursts of exoticism with new international breads, attention-grabbing fillings, and spicy sauces. Some sandwiches are even solving consumers’ quandaries over healthful eating by offering more nutritious components in appropriate portion sizes, yet still satisfying with layers of mouthwatering flavor.

This report examines today’s emerging sandwich trends and offer strategic ideas on how to put new spins on a classic and import creative concepts for new marketing opportunities.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • The “Fine Fast” Sandwich Shop: These gourmet sandwich shops feature high-quality, artisan and locally sourced ingredients and a wide range of house-made condiments and toppings.
  • The Asian Sandwich Invasion: Bao (a Taiwanese pork-based sandwich, served on a steamed bun) and banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich featuring grilled meat or paté served on a French roll) perfectly marry the familiar with sandwich versions new to Americans.
  • The Reinvented Jewish Deli: Concerns about the dwindling numbers of traditional Jewish delis have led to a new spin on an old favorite that’s more “sustainable, affordable and ethical.”
  • Glamorous Grilled Cheese: This nostalgic favorite is being upgraded to appeal to more sophisticated consumer tastes with freshly baked specialty bread, artisan cheese and a multitude of toppings.
  • The Great Sandwich Shop Takeover: Some sandwich shop chains are innovating on the sandwich form, offering more healthful options, global flavor profiles and local sourcing of ingredients.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich: This long-standing North Carolina barbecue favorite is getting national attention. While its flavor profile is new to many, it evokes the South and aligns nicely with America’s current devotion to pork.
  • Better Burgers: Americans love burgers but are ready for a quality upgrade that still maintains a good value. This means adding various types of exotic toppings, using grass-fed or locally sourced beef, home-made or heartier buns—or all of the above.

Petailing2010 Leadership Conference

Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas

Pet Business and APPA present the first Petailing Leadership Conference scheduled for October 27 & 28, 2010 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. This two-day event will feature key industry insiders and experts speaking on various topics that concern retailers and suppliers in the pet industry.

David Lummis, a senior market analyst for Packaged Facts will be presenting the State of the Industry, accompanied by a series of breakout sessions on topics such as social media, identifying customer insights to increase revenues, the role of distributors in the market and much more. Presentation comences at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2010.

About the Presenter:

David Lummis, Senior Pet Markey Analyst

David Lummis is the senior pet market analyst for market research publisher Packaged Facts. He is also author of the monthly “Market Outlook” column in Pet Product News International, and a regular contributor of articles and market insight to other pet industry magazines as well as major business media including The New York Times and CNNMoney. Mr. Lummis also is president of New Orleans-based Marigny Research Group, Inc., a producer of custom market research reports for Packaged Facts. Since 1986, MRG has prepared more than 175 studies on consumer packaged goods markets and developed full report lines covering pet, demographic, retail and financial markets.

For more details please visit the event website here.

Petailing2010 Leadership Conference

Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas

Pet Business and APPA present the first Petailing Leadership Conference scheduled for October 27 & 28, 2010 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. This two-day event will feature key industry insiders and experts speaking on various topics that concern retailers and suppliers in the pet industry.

David Lummis, a senior market analyst for Packaged Facts will be presenting the State of the Industry, accompanied by a series of breakout sessions on topics such as social media, identifying customer insights to increase revenues, the role of distributors in the market and much more. Presentation comences at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2010.

About the Presenter:

David Lummis, Senior Pet Markey Analyst

David Lummis is the senior pet market analyst for market research publisher Packaged Facts. He is also author of the monthly “Market Outlook” column in Pet Product News International, and a regular contributor of articles and market insight to other pet industry magazines as well as major business media including The New York Times and CNNMoney. Mr. Lummis also is president of New Orleans-based Marigny Research Group, Inc., a producer of custom market research reports for Packaged Facts. Since 1986, MRG has prepared more than 175 studies on consumer packaged goods markets and developed full report lines covering pet, demographic, retail and financial markets.

For more details please visit the event website here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch Trends in the U.S. Foodservice Market

To help foodservice industry participants face challenges unique to the lunch daypart, Lunch Trends in the U.S. Foodservice Market provides insight on the lunch goer’s decision-making process. By putting a finger to the lunch goer’s pulse, we provide insight on two keys factors to lunch-time foodservice: how and why the consumer decided on a specific restaurant from which to obtain lunch, and how and why that consumer decides what to order from the menu.

Introductory findings include the following: When deciding on a restaurant from which to obtain lunch, 37% of lunch goers cite a favorite menu item as influencing their choice, and some 36% cite a different menu item than what they have at home. But low cost has become the industry mantra—and is also important to many consumers. About 35% cite a meal priced under $5 as an influence when selecting a restaurant, and 31% say that a meal priced under $10 has influenced them to select a restaurant for lunch.

With proprietary consumer research laying the foundation, this report weaves consultative insight with analysis of lunchtime limited-time offer and value trends; current lunchtime guest check averages; planned restaurant spending; and guest traffic patterns at selected brands. We also shine a light on leading lunch-centric brands, by outlining menu strategies and related innovations, and then tying them to demographic analysis of the brand users’ diet, health, and food attitudes; and usage patterns. The report also trends lunch daypart sales by demographics such as income, age, region, and race/ethnicity. Analysis also focuses on consumers particularly important to the lunch daypart, such as the full-time and part-time employed.

While the restaurant industry is the primary focus of the report, consumer survey assessment incorporates prepared foods at grocery stores and convenience stores, and trend analysis incorporates both restaurants and food retail.


Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition

The conventional wisdom goes that gourmet/premium foods fare well during economic downturns because consumers view them as “affordable luxuries.” But the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009 disproved this theory as mighty Starbucks, the bellwether for the democratization of luxury, was among the first companies hit by cutbacks in consumer spending. For the market overall, Packaged Facts conservatively estimates that total U.S. retail sales of gourmet/premium foods and beverages through all retail channels rose to $67.1 billion in 2009, an increase of 3.7% over the previous year’s sales of $64.7 billion compared with the 2005-2009 compound annual growth rate of 8.7%.

Still, success remains to be had, and many gourmet/premium marketers and retailers are succeeding by finding ways to respond to the economic slowdown not by ignoring it or reversing strategy, but by incorporating its impact on consumer behavior as a factor among others.

This new report from Packaged Facts is an indispensible tool to this end, answering such questions as:

  • Which gourmet/premium products and market segments have been faring well in the new economy?
  •  How are marketers and retailers adjusting? How can they recast and reposition their goods?
  • Who are the most viable consumers, and how can they best be reached?
  • Which media and marketing messages resonate for these consumers, and in what contexts?

Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition also 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.


Additional data sources include SymphonyIRI Group sales tracking of selected products and brands through tracked mass-market channels; Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics data tracking new product introductions; and proprietary data from Packaged Facts’ own consumer survey, which is based on a national online poll conducted in May/June 2010.


State of the market: After Atkins and beyond

Packaged Facts Publisher, Don Montuori presents "State of the market: After Atkins and beyond" at Food Navigator's Weight Management 2010 virtural tradeshow

State of the market: After Atkins and beyond

November 4th, 10 am - 11 am (EDT, New-York)

The weight management market is estimated by some to be worth $5bn. This presentation will chart the rise of the weight management sector, with special focus on dietary programs to achieve weight management, from Atkins to GI and Weight Watchers. Such programs have attracted big consumer followings, and some manufacturers are getting on board by producing ranges of reduced fat and reduced sugar foods. This session will look at understanding the success and failures of current programs and how to predict the next big thing.

Cost: Free
Register here>

Weight Management 2010 – November 4th (Virtural Confernece)

Weight Management 2010 – November 4th
From Science to Market Success


NutraIngredients-USA and FoodNavigator-USA present the first virtual show on the future of weight management. It is the one-day virtual event on the latest trends and strategies in weight management for the food, beverage and dietary supplements industries.

Live conferences Free access!

conference details>