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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Frozen food trend on the up, says Packaged Facts
By Caroline Scott-Thomas, 23-Dec-2010
"The frozen foods industry in the United States has boomed over the past few years – and growth in the sector looks set to continue in 2011, according to a new report from Packaged Facts."

The market research organization said that the frozen food sector has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth, as consumers are eating at home more often and manufacturers have innovated with healthier options that also tap into demand for convenience. Packaged Facts’ “Frozen Foods in the U.S., 3rd Edition” report found that from 2006-2010 sales of frozen foods rose 22 percent, or about $10bn, to reach a total value of $56bn in 2010.

Publisher of Packaged Facts Don Montuori said: "A lingering effect of the recession is that consumers are eating at home more. This trend has had a positive impact on the frozen foods market, as consumers turn to the freezer aisles to supplement more expensive fresh produce and meats. Additionally, microwaveable frozen products provide a quick and easy lunch-at-work for those looking to avoid pricey lunches out."

In addition, the report says that the economy is no longer holding back frozen food innovation. After two years of declines, the number of new frozen food and beverage product introductions reached a new high in 2010, increasing 21 percent on the previous year, to 728, more than in pre-recession 2007. The market researcher said this is “a sign that economic conditions are no longer discouraging frozen food marketers from bringing new products to the market.”

While frozen dinners and entrees continued to sell well in 2010, sales of frozen appetizers and snacks are flat, and the frozen juice category is in free-fall, the report said.

“Canned, bottled and frozen juices have all experienced losses in the millions as consumers turn to beverage options with less sugar, or to functional beverages such as energy drinks and enhanced waters,” according to the market researcher.

Packaged Facts predicts that the frozen food and beverage sector will reach $70bn in retail sales by 2015, up 25 percent on 2010.

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The Writing Gourmet: Psst Santa! Chocolate is Still the Craze Everywhere

The Writing Gourmet: Psst Santa! Chocolate is Still the Craze Everywhere
By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

I can remember that when I was a little girl chocolate was a part of holidays in suburbia, where I grew up. Once Christmas rolled around, through the New Year's holiday, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, and homemade fudge were rich treats that everyone in the family couldn't resist.

Four more days to Christmas...And if you're wondering what gift to get for you know who, chocolate may be just the perfect thing. According to consumer companies, it's the dark healthy stuff that is making the news for the future chocolate makers and chocolatiers.

Here, take a look at some sobering facts, straight from my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010)--that'll show you that chocolate is still the crazy during the best and worst of economic times:

* Research company Packaged Facts claiming in a past report that the U.S. market for chocolate was primed for growth from $16 billion to $18 billion in 2011.

* Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer products, believes the sweet tooth does not seem to be linked to the economic downturn. Mintel projects Americans will continue indulging in innovative dark and premium chocolates.

* The international market for chocolate has skyrocketed in Asia, where chocolate is a modestly priced and available Western luxury that attracts the middle-class folks.

* More than 6 of 10 Americans are loyal to a particular brand of chocolate, but many are trying new brands.

* What's more, nearly 4 out of 10 Americans eat chocolate at least a few times per week.

* Fifty-four percent of Americans said they eat chocolate because they like it, while 4 percent eat chocolate for health reasons.

* Chocolate is American's favorite flavor.

* Chocolate was a favorite comfort food during the Depression in the 1930s.

So, these days come with challenges for many people due to the sluggish economy due to the Great Recession. But the chocolate craze, whether you bake a batch of fudge or buy a box of premium chocolates or gourmet chocolate bar, continues on as a tradition.

A very furry Christmas

A very furry Christmas

By Eve Mitchell
Contra Costa Times
Updated: 12/19/2010 03:39:01 PM PST
Just like a typical 3-year-old, Benny will be showered with gifts come Christmas morning. He will show his appreciation with cries of happiness -- and a lot of tail-wagging.

"He'll get plenty of toys. He's well-liked," said his adoring owner, Fran Tarr, 83, of Rossmoor, after picking up Benny, a Shih Tzu, from his grooming appointment at the Petco store in Walnut Creek last week. "The family will buy him toys. And I've got two at home that I haven't given him. He's like a little kid."
One of those holiday gifts will be from Tarr's neighbor Barbara McKenzie.
Walnut Creek resident Hirsh Morton and his dog, Toshi, visit with Santa Claus recently at Pet Food Express in Walnut Creek. (DAN ROSENSTRAUCH/STAFF )

"I think I'll get this little tiger," said McKenzie, 82, of the squeaky toy she purchased for Benny.
Tarr and McKenzie are doing what many holiday shoppers are doing: buying holiday gifts for the furry and not-so-furry.

A survey of pet owners showed that 51 percent of dog owners and 43 percent of cat owners purchased a Christmas present for their animals in 2008, the last year for which data is available from the American Pet Products Association, a trade industry group.

Cats and dogs are not the only pets with something under the tree. About 32 percent of owners of small animals bought their pets holiday gifts, while 31 percent of bird owners, 18 percent of horse owners, 9 percent of reptile owners and 6 parent of fish owners bought their pets holiday gifts, the survey said.
While pets can receive gifts, animal advocates do not recommend buying a pet as a holiday gift for a human. They say too many uncertainties are involved when giving a pet as holiday gift.

The association estimates that Americans will spend $47.74 billion during 2010 on pet food, supplies, veterinary care and buying pets, along with services such as grooming, boarding and pet sitting -- a projected 4.9 percent increase from 2009. (The association does not provide data for holiday gift spending.)
The pet market tends to be recession-resistant, said David Lummis, a senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts, a division of

Still, Lummis is projecting an overall growth rate of 4 percent in 2010 on U.S. spending for pet products and services, or down from a pre-recession growth rate that was close to 6 percent.
While he does not formally track holiday sales of pet gifts as a component of the pet market, he does expect such sales to be brisk this year.

"It's a good climate in the pet market right now for it to be a good holiday season," he said. "There is pent-up demand. The pet market is largely comprised of above-average income consumers who are more likely to bounce back more quickly from the recession, and also to just generally be less devastated by it."

The survey found that in terms of overall gift giving, dogs receive more gifts than cats do. Eighty percent of dog owners surveyed said they buy presents for their canines, spending an average of $45 throughout 2008 to purchase five gifts. Compare that to 61 percent of cat owners who said they spent an average of $24 throughout 2008 to purchase four gifts for their felines.

"People spend a lot more on dogs than on cats," said Michael Levy, president and founder of Oakland-based Pet Food Express, a chain of 35 pet food and supply stores in Northern California. Dog toys also tend to cost more than those for cats.

"Cat toys are relatively inexpensive. With dog toys, you have more of a range," he said.

One of the most popular gifts this year buy for pets are heated beds, he said. So are puzzle toys, which are designed to hide food or a treat and require the pet to open the toy before eating. Such toys can help dogs deal with separation anxiety, he said. Water fountains are popular gifts for both dogs and cats, he added.

"Northern California tends to be the most sophisticated market for pet products in general in the United States. Pets are truly way more like family than in any other place. "... If you ask people about their pet, they don't stop talking."

People are still talking about the recession, which economists say started in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009. The poor economy has made some changes in the types of pet gifts that people are buying.

"I think they are buying somewhat more practical (gifts) where perhaps before they buying a lot of fanciful-type stuff, whether it was clothing boutique-type stuff, fancy collars or leashes or maybe that extra-special toy," said Lane Nemeth, founder and chief executive officer of Concord-based, a website that, among other things, sells pet products.

She is also seeing a trend of people buying holiday presents for the pets of relatives and friends, much in the way that McKenzie bought a gift for Tarr's dog.

"People will love you to do death if you bring something for their pet. We are a pet-centric country," she said.
Levy, of Pet Food Express, also is seeing that trend in his stores.

"There are pet grandparents," he said. "Definitely, gift card sales are way up at this time of year."

Choosing a gift for someone's pet also can be an alternative to trying to figure out what to buy for that person, especially if he or she is the type that has everything, Nemeth said.

"So many of us, especially the boomers, we don't want more stuff. So give us something for our pets, and we are happy," she said.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Functional, Fortified and Inherently Healthy Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition : Packaged Facts

Functional foods—defined here as food and beverage products that offer a distinct health advantage beyond basic nutrition by including specific ingredients whose therapeutic benefits provide a primary market positioning—continue as a key food industry driver due to greatly ramped up product development and marketing.

Although the economic recession may prohibit some consumers from purchasing higher-priced specialty items, functional foods can actually save consumers money in the short term by pumping up basic food items with ingredients shoppers would otherwise have to get in the form of more expensive nutritional supplements.

Additionally, whereas in the past consumers were primarily reactive, trying to treat health problems after they arise, today they are more proactive, focusing on overall “wellness” and turning grocery aisles into hunting grounds for healthful, functional foods to prevent illness and chronic conditions.

This fully updated fourth-edition Packaged Facts report examines the U.S. market for functional foods and beverages from all angles while providing insight into key international markets, identifying global trends in new product introductions by geographic region and company and exploring developing markets poised for growth. For the U.S. market, it presents retail sales breakouts of food and beverage categories with a strong functional tilt, from yogurt to food/snack bars to cranberry juice; examines market drivers and trends; and maps out the overall competitive situation. Trends in new product introductions are examined in depth, based on data from Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics, as are trends in functional ingredients and condition-specific product thrusts.

The report also profiles major marketers, including Groupe Danone, Kellogg Co., Kraft Foods, NestlĂ© SA, PepsiCo and Nature’s Path Organic.

An exclusive feature of Functional, Fortified and Inherently Healthy Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition is custom survey data from Packaged Facts’ February 2009 online poll of 2,600 U.S. adults, which was conducted to measure purchasing patterns, attitudes and demographics specific to functional foods and beverages. Drilling down to the marketer and brand level, the analysis also relies on consumer survey data from Experian Simmons’ Fall 2008 National Consumer Study, and on Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Review data charting product sales in mass-market channels.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Mmm, Chocolate

Seemingly recession-proof, chocolate’s appeal continues to evolve with the times.

By Joanna Cosgrove, Nutraceuticals World, Published December 9, 2010

“Over the last decade chocolate makers have been responding to consumers’ drive to live healthier lifestyles,” commented Packaged Facts’ Curtis Vreeland, a seasoned chocolate industry analyst and author of the report. “Their efforts have brought us portion-controlled packaging, sugar-free sweets, heart-healthy dark chocolate and fortified confections of unbelievable variety and veracity. This trend should continue, as healthier confectionery offers consumers an irresistible package: health and wellness, plus indulgence and a convenient serving modality.”

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Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine

The African-American Market in the U.S., 8th Edition

With Hispanic foods and beverages achieving such prominence, it’s no wonder that sales were close to $7 billion in 2009, according to the latest market study from Packaged Facts. "Our analytical market review of the Hispanic food and beverage market anticipates continued aggressive growth through 2014," notes Packaged Facts publisher Don Montuori. "Sales will top $9.5 billion in 2014."

Packaged Facts' Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine 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.

Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S. key components include:

In addition to covering packaged products sold through retail, Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine includes qualitative and quantitative information on foodservice sales through channels such as fast-food outlets, sit-down restaurants, mobile units, etc.

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Tea and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Tea in the U.S.: Retail, Foodservice and Consumer Trends

The African-American Market in the U.S., 8th Edition

Findings from Packaged Facts' market study on Tea and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Tea in the U.S.: Retail, Foodservice and Consumer Trends confirm that marketers are hot on exotic flavored teas, tea and fruit infusions, and higher quality loose tea bags at the forefront of innovations in both the retail and foodservice arenas.

Packaged Facts predicts the 5 product trends that will drive the tea market are as follows:

  1. “Upscale” Tops Marketing Claim in 2008 & 2009
    -With consumers still tightening their monetary belts post recession, products that can offer the experience of “luxury on a budget” resonate.
  2. Health Appeals Reign Supreme
    -Marketers looking to optimize shelf presence while introducing fewer products are adding products that promise value-added benefits such as, antioxidants and vitamins.
  3. Green Tea Still Seeing Plenty of Action
    -Consumer interest in green tea is at an all-time high, with green tea showing up as the top tea“flavor” both at retail (cited by 43% of consumers) and in the foodservice channel (16%), according to Packaged Facts’ proprietary data.
  4. The Superfruit Surge
    -Exotic superfruit flavors, such as blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate, are gaining ground in the tea category. Açai and goji berry tea flavors are also on the rise!
  5. Fast-Food Chains Increase Tea Offerings
    -Consumers are enjoying the new iced tea offerings by fast-food chains, with Subway, Jack in the Box, and Jamba Juice all adding iced tea options to their beverage menu.

Tea and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Tea in the U.S.: Retail, Foodservice and Consumer Trends examines the U.S. market for tea across the retail and foodservice spectrum, including ready-to-drink (RTD) tea, leaf (bagged and loose) tea, and instant tea. Following an introductory chapter documenting tea types, packaging trends, “the ethics of tea,” and global market trends, the report segments and quantifies the market by channel and product type, providing historical sales figures and projections through 2014.

The report also examines market drivers and trends and thoroughly maps out the competitive situation to the marketer and brand share level, profiling brands including:

  • Arizona RTD Tea
  • Bigelow Tea
  • Celestial Seasonings
  • Honest Tea
  • Lipton
  • Starbucks
  • Tazo Tea

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The Education Foodservice Market in the U.S.: Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education : Packaged Facts

With restaurant foodservice sales generally under pressure, education foodservice sales remain a bright spot: Packaged Facts forecasts education foodservice sales at primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools will reach $41.15 billion in 2010, up 2.5% from 2009, according to The Education Foodservice Market in the U.S.: Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education.

We view federal food programs and student loans as revenue bulwarks that have helped soften the recessionary blow on educational foodservice, as they have helped shield it from swoons in discretionary spending. In response to the children’s obesity crisis and propelled by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, we believe that K-12 foodservice will continue to receive significant attention—and funding—beyond the Obama administration’s first term. The wild card concerns state and local revenue: With property tax revenue declining steeply and with many budgets facing significant revenue shortfalls, primary and secondary schools are in a real fight for local and state budgetary dollars.

Within the next five years, nutritional change will continue to aggressively evolve, as policy makers ready their revisions to school meal nutritional guidelines. We believe these changes are widespread and significant enough that they will ripple out of schools and into the home, helping to reshape how consumers interact with food.

As for today’s college students, the children of the Restaurant Age expect more than ever from their foodservice programs. But with more families in economic straits and lower college enrollment rates ahead, college foodservice programs will need to compete more aggressively to grow revenue.

The Education Foodservice Market in the U.S.: Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education provides the insight industry participants need to understand today’s evolving educational foodservice market, by mapping key trends and policies shaping the K-12 and university sales growth and by profiling a range of school district programs, college foodservice programs, and educational foodservice contractors.

Packaged Facts forecasts educational foodservice to grow 2.7% in 2011 and 2.9% in 2012, with slightly higher estimates for college foodservice than for K-12 foodservice.


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

The African-American Market in the U.S., 8th Edition

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

Sephora AdvertisementEthnic 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 are now offering premium-to-high-end beauty and grooming regimens sold through pop-prestige outlets such as Sephora, as well as through TV home shopping networks.

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Weight Management Trends in the U.S.

With 68% of U.S. adults overweight or obese, the opportunity for companies to provide a better solution to the nation’s obesity epidemic continues to grow. Mass-market sales of weight control powders, liquids, and OTC drugs claimed $1.2 billion in sales in 2009.

Health and Beauty marketers entering this market or looking to expand their current offerings will be interested to see the competitive strategies of key players, new product and ingredient trends, and marketing and advertising positioning, all within the context of the medical, social, economic, and psychographic drivers of consumer behavior.

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Millennials in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults are a number of differences between Gen-Y consumers and their older counterparts with respect to the use of personal-care products. Assessing which products - from dental floss to hair conditioner - resonate with this cohort could spell success for personal care marketers during the recession.

The report continues with a forecast of the growth of the buying power of Gen-Y consumers through 2015 and a detailed demographic profile of the Gen-Y population. Inside you'll also find extensive analyses on how Gen-Y consumers manage and spend money.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate treats add to Christmas cheer

U.S. sales of chocolate keep booming, driven by studies touting the health benefits and growing consumer interest in organic and fair-trade products. Total U.S. chocolate sales are expected to soar to $18 billion annually by 2011, up from $16 billion in 2006, with organic and dark chocolate representing the fastest-growing segment, according to Packaged Facts, a national food-research firm.

When baking with chocolate, Grove recommends using dark chocolate, which is richer and not as sweet-tasting as lighter varieties, and high-quality cocoa powder. Also, select chocolate with care.

"Pick a chocolate with the flavor nuances you like best, from caramel to chile, and one that fits the particular treat you are baking," he said.

Read more:
Chocolate treats add to Christmas cheer
-The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Future of Pet Insurance in North America

The North American market for pet health insurance has never been more competitive. During the past five years the number of established players has doubled, and all of the companies now in the market appear to be on solid ground. Where is this market headed? How will companies incorporating distinct trends now impact the industry in the next five years? Furthermore, what business strategies will maximize their bottom line?

Presentation authored and read by David Lummis, Senior Pet Market Analyst, Packaged Facts