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Food Gifting in the U.S.


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Today’s food gifting market is no longer the domain of men buying boxed chocolates for their sweetheart and companies giving specialty food gifts to clients and colleagues. Consumer interest in food gifts is booming, with sales up 56% from 2004 to 2006, spurred by frustration with traditional gifting and the desire to give a gift that is unique, personal, indulgent, convenient, fun to share and sure to please. Corporate spending on food gifts also grew by 14% during that period. In short, food gifts are a no-brainer for many shoppers. A rising interest in gourmet, natural/organic and other specialty foods is also fueling demand. While boxed chocolate for Valentine’s Day is still the single most popular item, one out of three consumers purchased a specialty food gift during the winter holiday season, with assortments, nuts and salty snacks the topping the list.

What makes the food-gifting boom more remarkable is that it comes at a time when Americans are tightening their belts on gift-giving overall. The consumer gift market shrank 8% from 2004 to 2006, despite a 13% increase in total retail/e-commerce sales. Self-gifting is on the rise, as consumers are daunted by the challenge of “What to buy?” and the frustration of gift misfires. The most popular holiday gift—clothing—is also the most likely item to be returned. Growth in food gifting is expected to continue with the entry of online retail giants such as 1-800-FLOWERS and Amazon.com, and the popularity of grocery stores and big-box discounters as a source for last-minute food gifts. Although future growth isn’t expected to keep up with the spectacular 47% increase of 2004-2006, Packaged Facts forecasts healthy growth over the next several years, pushing sales over $23 billion by 2010.

Food Gifting in the U.S. focuses on the U.S. market for consumer and corporate food gifts in the context of all gift purchases. The report analyzes the highly fragmented market by channel, including brick-and-mortar retailers (47% of food gift sales), online and direct marketers (32%), and independents, franchises and distributorships (21%). Trends in gift-giving overall and by occasion are examined, along with factors driving the food-gifting market. The report also reviews the results of an exclusive Packaged Facts online poll, along with marketing, retail and consumer trends and growth opportunities.

Report Methodology
The information in Food Gifting in the U.S. is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved interviews with industry experts such as the co-owner of Omaha Steaks and founder of 1-800-FLOWERS. Secondary research entailed gathering data from relevant trade, business and government sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unity Marketing, the National Retail Federation, BIGresearch, IRI InfoScan, company reports, retail audits, Gift Basket Review and Entrepreneur.com. Consumer data were obtained from Simmons Market Research Bureau’s Fall 2006 National Consumer Study. In addition, Packaged Facts conducted its own online poll of 1,000 adults in March 2007 to measure the spending and attitudes of shoppers.

What You’ll Get in This Report
Food Gifting in the U.S. makes important predictions and recommendations regarding the future of this market, and pinpoints ways current and prospective players can capitalize on current trends and spearhead new ones. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data that Food Gifting in the U.S. offers. Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.

How You Will Benefit from This Report
If your company is already doing business in the food-gifting market, or is considering making the leap, you will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current market for food gifts, as well as projected markets and trends through 2011.

This report will help:

  • Marketing Managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for food gifts.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for food gifts.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in the banking and retail industries understand the product buyer to develop messages and images that compel consumers to buy food gifts.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
      • The Gift Market
      • Food-gifting Sales by Channel
      • Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
      • Online and Direct Marketers
      • Independents and Franchises/Distributorships
      • The Food-gifting Consumer
      • Looking Ahead
  • The Gift Market
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Product Definitions
        • Table U.S. Consumer, Corporate and Total Gift and Food Gift Spending, 2004-2006 (in million $)
      • Consumer Gift-giving Down 8% from 2004 to 2006
        • Table Total Retail and E-commerce Sales vs. Consumer Gift Expenditures, 2000-2006 (in billion $)
        • Table Total Retail Gift Expenditures and Food Gift Share, 2000-2006 (in billion $)
      • Corporate Gift Market Mature and Difficult to Measure
      • Food-gifting Companies Report Mixed Results in Corporate Market
  • Food Gift Market Channels
    • Food Gift Market Highly Fragmented
      • Table Share of U.S. Food Gift Sales by Channel, 2006
      • Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
      • Online and Direct Marketers
      • Independents and Franchises/Distributorships
    • Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
      • Table U.S. Food Gift Sales by Brick-and-Mortar Retailers, 2004-2006 (in million $)
      • Mainstream Retailers
        • Table Average Retail Outlet Trips per Shopper per Month, 2003-2006
        • Table Average Retail Outlet Trips per Shopper per Month by Channel, 2006 and % change from 2005
        • Table Target's Online Assortment of Best-selling Gift Baskets and Gourmet Foods, March 2007
        • Table Wal-Mart's Online Assortment of Best-selling Gift Baskets and Gourmet Foods, $25- $50 Price Range, March 2007
        • Table U.S. Gift-Boxed Chocolate Sales by Food, Drug and Mass Merchandisers: Total, Percent Change and Share, 2004-2006 (in thousand $)
      • Gourmet Confectionary Retailers
      • Natural/Organic and Specialty Foods Retailers
    • Online and Direct Marketers
      • Table U.S. Food Gift Sales by Online and Direct Marketers, 2004-2006 (in million $)
      • Online Food Shopping Emerges Once Again
      • Catalog Sales Flourish at the Same Time
        • Table Percentage of U.S. Adults Buying Food/Perishables by Catalog in the Last 12 Months: Total, Harry and David, Omaha Steaks and 1-800-FLOWERS, 2003-2006
      • The Floral Industry Fuels Gourmet Food Gift Growth
      • Specialty Food Direct Marketers
      • Online Gift and Floral Companies
      • All Other Online and Direct Marketing Companies
        • Table Amazon.com's Best-selling Gourmet Foods, with Customer Ratings, March 2007
    • Independents and Franchises/Distributorships
      • Overview
        • Table U.S. Independent and Franchise/Distributorship Food Gift Company Revenues, 2004-2006 (in million $)
      • Independent Gift Basket Companies
        • Table Independent Gift Basket Companies: Number, Average Revenue and Total Revenues, 2003-2006 (in million $)
        • Table Independent Companies' Average Retail Price, Corporate vs. Consumer Gift Baskets, 2004-2006
        • Table Independent Gift Basket Companies' Top Products, 2004-2006
        • Table Independent Gift Basket Companies' Top Trends, 2006
        • Table Gift Basket Companies' Biggest Concerns, 2006
        • Table Independent Gift Basket Companies' Best-selling Occasions Outside of Major Holidays, 2004-2006
      • Franchise and Distributorship Food Gift Companies
        • Table Franchise/Distributorship Gourmet Gift and Gift Basket Companies: Units, Revenue per Unit and Total Revenue, 2004-2006 (in thousand $)
  • The Food-gifting Consumer
    • Note on Simmons and Packaged Facts Data
      • Gift Spending
        • Table Gift Spending, Winter Holiday Gifts vs. All Other Gifts
      • Boxed Chocolates and Other Gift-packaged Candy
        • Table Gift-packaged Candy Purchased for Self or as a Gift
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Gift-packaged Candy, by Occasion
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Gift-packaged Candy, by Recipient
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Gift-packaged Candy, by Number of Recipients
        • Table Amount Typically Spent on a Single Purchase of Gift-packaged Candy
        • Table Amount Typically Spent on Gift-packaged Candy in a Year
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Gift-packaged Candy for Self or as a Gift, by Brand
      • Specialty Food Gifts
        • Table Specialty Food Gifts: Percentage Buying for Self and as a Gift and Percentage Receiving as a Gift
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Specialty Food Gifts, by Occasion
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Specialty Food Gifts, by Recipient
        • Table Percentage Purchasing Specialty Food Gifts, by Number of Recipients
        • Table Amount Typically Spent on a Single Purchase of a Specialty Food Gift
        • Table Amount Typically Spent on Specialty Food Gifts in a Year
      • Attitudes Toward Specialty Food Gifts
        • Table Change in Spending on Specialty Food Gifts, Last 12 Months vs. a Few Years Ago
        • Table Reasons for Buying Specialty Food Gifts
        • Table Attributes People Look for When Buying Specialty Food Gifts
        • Table Alternative Gifts Likely to Be Considered in Lieu of Specialty Food Gifts
        • Table Sources for Buying Specialty Food Gifts
        • Table Reasons That Could Prevent Purchasing Specialty Food Gifts
      • Trends and Demographics of Online and Direct Marketing Shoppers
        • Table Percentage of Households Buying Food/Perishables via Mail/Phone/Internet/Catalog and Catalog Alone, 2003-2006
        • Table Demographic Characteristics Favoring Online and Direct Marketing Purchases of Food/Perishables
  • Looking Ahead-Future Trends and Forecast
    • Customized Food Gifts
      • Organic/Wellness/Ethnic Food Gifts
      • Food Gifting All Year Round
      • Industry Consolidation
      • Forecast for 2010
        • Table U.S. Food Gift Sales Forecast by Channel, 2004-2010 (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Food Gift Sales Forecast for the Consumer, Corporate and Total Markets, 2004- 2010 (in million $)

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