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Domenick Celentano

Specialty Foods and Their Impact on Food Trends for 2013

By October 18, 2012

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Specialty foods are defined as foods of premium quality, that are often made by small or local manufacturers or have ethnic or exotic flavors--foods that are distinctive.

If you make products that are categorized as specialty foods, you want to read October issue of Specialty Food Magazine, "Today's Specialty Food Consumer 2012.

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT), says nearly two thirds of consumers purchased specialty foods within the past six months, up 11% 2011. The 2/3 compares to  46 percent who claimed to buying these products in 2009.Taste of Crete Greek Olive Oil CookiesTorn Ranch products are gift arrangements.

"Specialty foods are continuing to make gains as more consumers across all age groups and regions are cooking, eating and talking about new foods and updated classics like never before," says Ron Tanner, NASFT's vice president of communications and education. "This is a good sign for the $75 billion specialty food industry."


If you are in specialty foods, take note: the social media conversation is hot specialty food, with Facebook the predominant platform.

Specialty Foods Consumer Metrics Highlight

  • Main specialty food drives: meals at home and affordable indulgence.
  • Approximately 22 percent the food spend is specialty.
  • Impulse drives more than 40% of consumers to purchase specialty foods.
  • Three quarters of specialty food consumers have shopped at a farmers market within the past year.
  • Italian and Mexican remain the top international food purchases.
  • Coffee and chocolate are the specialty foods most likely to be purchased online.
  • More than half of specialty food consumers purchase foods with a cause related focus.


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