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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.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


One in Five U.S. Consumers Seeks Out Gourmet Products

According to the survey, one in five U.S. adults (20.0%) seeks out gourmet products when food shopping, including 5.0% who agree strongly with the statement, “When food shopping, I seek out gourmet products.” Another 22.0% are noncommittal about the statement and 57.0% somewhat (26%) or strongly (31%) disagree. The 20.0% who agree that they seek out gourmet products when food shopping in the Packaged Facts survey is slightly higher than the 17.5% of respondents to Experian Simmons’ Fall 2009 survey who agree that “I try to eat gourmet food whenever I can” (17.5%), although strong agreement is slightly lower, at 5.0% in the Packaged Facts survey vs. 5.8% in the Experian Simmons survey. A surprising 30% of consumers are willing to pay more for gourmet food products, according to the Packaged Facts findings, including 6% who strongly agree with this statement.

Beverages the Largest Product Classification

According to NASFT data, the single largest specialty food category at retail is cheese, representing almost 11% of total specialty food and beverage dollar sales, followed by condiments (8%), frozen and refrigerated meals (5%), and chips and snacks (almost 5%). However, beverages—including juices, functional drinks, coffee, tea, bottled water and other drinks—collectively account for more than 12% of total dollar sales. The NASFT category sales data excludes sales through Walmart and Trader Joe’s, as well as “price-look-up” (PLU—i.e. non-scanner) items such as prepared foods, meat/poultry/seafood, and bakery products (NASFT: ibid).

Examining the entire gourmet/premium food and beverage spectrum through all retail channels, Packaged Facts calculates that beverages (including bottled water and refrigerated juices in the dairy case) comprise the largest classification, accounting for 34% of retail dollar sales in 2009. In second place is the baked goods (including cookies, crackers, breads and sweet baked goods) pasta, and grains classification, representing 14% of sales, with the meat/produce/seafood and produce departments combined a close third at 13%, followed by prepared foods contributing 10% of gourmet/premium dollar sales. [Table 2-2]

Specialty Foods The Foundation of Food Gifting Despite Challenging Economy

Packaged Facts’ new market research report, Food Gifting in the U.S., 2nd Edition (August 2010) found that specialty foods are the foundation of food gifting in the United States, which has helped the industry expand sales and product offerings in a challenged economy where few other areas of gift-giving have found success. Packaged Facts estimates the overall market for gift-giving in the U.S. increased...

In the News

Gourmet/Premium Food and Beverage Marketers Still Reaching Consumers

New York, September 8, 2010 — Consumers with caviar tastes but recession-induced tuna budgets are still finding reasons to purchase gourmet products, helped in part by savvy product introductions and marketing techniques from gourmet food purveyors, according to Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends in the U.S., 8th Edition by market research publisher Packaged Facts. Approximately 20% of consumers seek gourmet products and a surprising 30% of consumers are willing to pay more for gourmet food products, according to the report.

“Consumers who are passionate wine lovers do not switch from Chateau Lafitte Rothschild to jug wine because they are down on their luck. Instead, they start combing wine stores for the many excellent vintages that cost $10 a bottle or less. Likewise, consumers who have acquired a sophisticated taste for specialty coffee are not going to settle for cheap ground coffee, although they may have to make some tradeoffs to stay within their budget, even if that means forsaking their favorite coffeehouse drinks every morning,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Marketers, retailers and foodservice providers that are succeeding in this environment are finding ways to respond to the economic downturn—not by ignoring it or reversing strategy, but by incorporating its impact on consumer behavior. For example, with more consumers cooking and eating at home, retailers can recapture food dollars from the restaurant industry, which currently accounts for about half of consumer spending on food and beverages. It is also an opportunity for gourmet/premium food and beverage marketers to develop tantalizing restaurant-quality products that help culinary-aware consumers bring the restaurant experience home.

Such visionary exploits by industry players helped total sales of gourmet/premium foods and beverages through all U.S. retail channels increase 4% to more than $67 billion in 2009, compared to sales of $65 billion the previous year. Packaged Facts projects the market will approach $87 billion within the next five years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%. During the 2010-2014 period, the positive upscaling factors that are being dragged down by the still weak economy will gradually regain the upper hand, causing annual growth to rise from 4% in 2010 to 7% by the end of the forecast period.

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

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products.

  • Executive Summary
    • Scope of Report
    • Terminology
    • Some Foodservice Crossover
    • Report Methodology
    • The Market
      • U.S. Retail Sales of Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages
      • Beverages the Largest Product Classification
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages: By Classification, 2009 (percent)
      • Supermarkets Lead Retail Market with 54% of Sales
      • The Economy and Its Impact
      • Dining Out Less, Cooking More
    • Consumer Trends
      • One in Five U.S. Consumers Seeks Out Gourmet Products
      • High Socioeconomic Status Characterizes Gourmets
      • Gourmet Foods Appeal to Younger Adults
      • An Ethnic Skew
      • Attitudes Toward Food and Cooking
    • Food Trends and Preferences
      • Thousands of Marketers, from Conglomerates to Artisans
      • An Industry Founded on Entrepreneurs
      • Joint Ventures and Licensing Offer Synergies
      • Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Unilever Lead Marketers in 2009
      • More than 1,800 New Products Projected for 2010
      • The Gourmet/Natural Foods Synergy
      • Selling Health Benefits
      • Selling Convenience
      • Private-Label Products
    • Retail and Foodservice
      • Supermarkets vs. Foodservice: Blurring the Boundaries
      • Really Local Farms
      • Supermarkets Field Larger Experimental Gardens
      • Chef-Run Local Markets
      • Grocery Spending Patterns
      • Consumer Attitudes/Behavior Toward Shopping
      • Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice
    • Consumers and Media
      • Internet Has Changed How Consumers Spend Free Time, Shop
      • Gourmet Consumers and Traditional Media
      • Making Use of Websites and Social Media
      • Food Show Sponsorships
      • Celebrity Spokespeople
  • Market Overview - Highlights
  • Market Overview
    • Scope of Report
    • Terminology
    • Some Foodservice Crossover
    • Report Methodology
    • Market Size and Growth
      • Sales Estimates Amorphous
      • U.S. Retail Sales of Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages, 2005-2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Beverages the Largest Product Classification
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages: By Classification, 2009 (percent)
      • Supermarkets Lead Retail Market with 54% of Sales
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages: By Channel, 2009 (percent)
      • Seasonal Sales Vary by Product Category
    • Market Outlook
      • The Economy and Its Impact
        • Table Household Income Levels: Gourmet Consumers vs. All Consumers, 2009 (percent)
      • Demographic Shifts: Youthful and Ethnic Consumers
        • Table Demographic Snapshot of the U.S. Population as of July 1, 2008
      • The Restaurant Role
      • Fine-Dining Restaurants Hit by the Recession
      • Dining Out Less, Cooking More
      • A Food-Focused Culture
      • An Expanding Industry and Marketplace
      • The Global Palate
      • Overlap Between Natural and Gourmet/Premium Foods
      • New Dietary Guidelines Due by the End of 2010
      • Going Local
      • Artisan Foods
  • Consumer Trends - Highlights
  • Consumer Trends
    • Packaged Facts Proprietary Survey Methodology
    • One in Five Seeks Out Gourmet Products
      • Table Percent of U.S. Adults Who Agree with the Statement "When Food Shopping, I Seek Out Gourmet Products," May-June 2010
    • One in Five Often Buys Gourmet Products in Specialty, Gourmet, or Natural Food Stores
      • Table Percent of U.S. Adults Who Agree with the Statement "I Often Buy Gourmet Products from Specialty, Gourmet or Natural Food Stores," May-June 2010
    • 30% Willing to Pay More for Gourmet Products
      • Table Percent of U.S. Adults Who Agree with the Statement "I Am Willing to Pay More for Gourmet Food Products," May-June 2010
    • One in Three Believes Premium Packaged Products Compare with Gourmet in Quality and Taste
      • Table Percent of U.S. Adults Who Agree with the Statement "Premium Packaged Products in Supermarkets Are Comparable to `Gourmet' Foods in Quality and Taste," May-June 2010
    • Specialty Foods The Foundation of Food Gifting Despite Challenging Economy
      • Table Percent of U.S. Adults Who Have Purchased or Received Specialty Food Gifts in the Last 12 Months, May-June 2010
    • Experian Simmons Consumer Survey Methodology
    • Almost One Out of Five Adults Are Gourmets
    • High Socioeconomic Status Characterizes Gourmets
    • Gourmet Foods Appeal to Younger Adults
    • An Ethnic Skew
    • Attitudes Toward Food and Cooking
    • Food and Nutrition Interests Extend Beyond Gourmet
    • Attitudes Toward Nutrition
    • Cheddar Cheese, Barilla Pasta The Most Widely Used Gourmet/Premium Products
    • Godiva Chocolate Tops Gourmet/Premium List by Gourmet Index
      • Table Trended Number and Percentage of Gourmet Consumers, 2005-2009 (in millions)
      • Table Indexes by Age Bracket: Gourmet Consumers vs. All Consumers, 2009
      • Table Selected High-Index Demographics of Consumers Who Agree or Agree a Lot with the Statement "I Try to Eat Gourmet Food Whenever I Can, 2009 (U.S. adults)
      • Table Demographic Overview of Consumers Who Agree with the Statement "I Try to Eat Gourmet Food Whenever I Can," 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults, any agree)
      • Table Demographic Overview of Consumers Who Agree a Lot with the Statement "I Try to Eat Gourmet Food Whenever I Can," 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Food and Cooking, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Nutrition, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Leading Gourmet/Premium Products and Brands by Consumer Penetration, 2009 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Table Usage Rates for Selected Gourmet/Premium Brands and Products, 2009 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Table Leading Gourmet/Premium Branded Products by Gourmet Consumer Indexes, 2009 (U.S. adults)
      • Table Brand and Product Indexes by Agreement with Statement: "I Try to Eat Gourmet Food Whenever I Can," 2009 (index of U.S. adults)
    • Food and Retail Shopping Lifestyle Segmentations
      • Five Food Lifestyle Groups
        • Table Food Lifestyle Segments: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Retail Shopping Segmentations
        • Table Retail Shopping Segmentations: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Other Survey Findings
      • The NASFT Consumer Survey
      • The Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Survey
  • Food Trends and Preferences - Highlights
  • Food Trends and Preferences
    • Competitive Trends
      • Thousands of Marketers, from Conglomerates to Artisans
      • Food and Beverage Marketers
      • An Industry Founded on Entrepreneurs
      • Joint Ventures and Licensing Offer Synergies
      • Recent Mergers and Acquisitions
      • Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Unilever Lead Marketers in 2009
      • Brand Performance: From Triple-Digit Advances to Double-Digit Declines
        • Table Selected Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2009 (in millions of dollars)
    • New Product Introductions
      • More than 1,800 New Products Projected for 2010
        • Table "Gourmet" and "Upscale" Claims on New Product Launches, 2005-2010 (number)
      • Foods Dominate New Product Launches
        • Table Gourmet/Premium Product Launches: Foods vs. Beverages, 2005-2010 (number)
      • "Upscale" the Top Product Claim on All Foods and Beverages
        • Table Top 10 Product Claims/Tags on All U.S. Food and Beverage Launches, 2005-2010 (number)
      • Top Claims on Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages: "Upscale" and "Natural"
        • Table Top 20 Product Claims/Tags on Gourmet/Premium U.S. Food and Beverage Launches, 2005-2010 (number)
      • Chocolate Candy Leads Gourmet/Premium Food Launches
        • Table Top 15 Categories for Gourmet/Premium Food Launches, 2005-2010 (number)
      • Tea Tops Gourmet/Premium Beverage Launches
        • Table Top 10 Categories for Gourmet/Premium Beverage Launches, 2005-2010 (number)
      • Retailers Ahead of Marketers in Product Introductions
        • Table Top 20 U.S. Marketers Launching Gourmet/Premium Foods and Beverages, 2005-2010 (number)
    • Marketing Trends
      • The Gourmet/Natural Foods Synergy
        • Table Number of Gourmet/Premium Food and Beverage Launches: By Selected "Natural" Package Tags/Claims, 2008 vs. 2009
      • Selling Health Benefits
        • Table Number of Gourmet/Premium Food and Beverage Launches: By Selected "Healthy" Package Tags/Claims, 2008 vs. 2009
      • Selling Convenience
        • Table Number of Gourmet/Premium Food and Beverage Launches: By Selected "Convenience" Package Tags/Claims, 2008 vs. 2009
      • Private-Label Products
        • Table Number of Private-Label Gourmet/Premium Food and Beverage Launches, 2005-2010
      • Artisan, Handmade, and Handcrafted Foods and Beverages
        • Table Number of Artisan, Handmade and Handcrafted Gourmet/Premium Food and Beverage Launches, 2005-2010
    • Selected New Product Introductions
      • Frozen and Shelf-Stable Meals
      • Dairycase
      • Yogurt: It's All Greek to Me
      • Condiments, Sauces and Meal Starters: Innovation and Convenience
      • Fresh Foods
      • Fresh Meat: Branding Meat with Celebrity Appeal
      • Fresh Fruits: It's All About Unusual Colors
      • Fresh Vegetables: Artisanal Salads and Colorful, Flavorful Assortments
      • More Sophisticated Flavors Distinguish Gourmet/Premium Snacks
      • Confectionary and Desserts
      • Cookies
      • Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
      • Beverages
      • Sodas: Handcrafted and All-Natural
      • Teas
  • Retail and Foodservice - Highlights
  • Retail and Foodservice
    • Trend Overview
      • Supermarkets vs. Foodservice: Blurring the Boundaries
      • Really Local Farms
      • Supermarkets Field Larger Experimental Gardens
      • Chef-Run Local Markets
      • What's Hot, According to Chefs
      • Gastropubs and Pubs in Supermarkets
      • Tableside Service Personalizes the Dining Experience
    • Retail Channels
      • Types of Outlets
      • Supermarkets Lead Retail Market
      • Mass Merchandisers and Supercenters
      • Contest for National Warehouse Club Supremacy
      • Gourmet/Specialty Food Stores
      • Natural Food Stores
      • Convenience Stores
      • Express-Format Grocery Stores
      • Internet, Mail Order, and Subscriptions
    • Shopping and Foodservice Patterns
      • Experian Simmons Consumer Survey Findings
      • Grocery Spending Patterns
        • Table Grocery Spending Patterns, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Retail Shopping Patterns
        • Table Retail Shopping Patterns: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Consumer Attitudes/Behavior Toward Shopping
        • Table Attitudes/Behavior Toward Shopping: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice
        • Table Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Restaurant Usage Patterns
        • Table Visits to Selected Restaurants in the Past Month: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • NASFT Consumer Survey
  • Consumers and Media - Highlights
  • Consumers and Media
    • Usage Trends
      • Experian Simmons Consumer Survey Findings
      • Internet Has Changed How Consumers Spend Free Time
        • Table The Internet and Lifestyle Changes: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Internet Has Changed How Consumers Shop
        • Table Internet Usage Patterns: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Gourmet Consumers and Traditional Media
        • Table Traditional Media Patterns: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Gourmet Consumers' Attitudes Toward Advertising
        • Table Attitudes Toward Advertising: All Consumers vs. Gourmet Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Advertising and Marketing Trends
      • Few National Advertisers
      • Making Use of Websites and Social Media
      • Food Show Sponsorships
      • Celebrity Spokespeople
      • Advertising and Marketing Positioning
      • Adventurousness
      • Authenticity/Heritage
      • Customization
      • Emotional Appeal
      • Flavor Variety
      • Healthfulness
      • Limited Edition
      • Organic
      • Premium Quality vs. Ordinary Products
      • Pure/Simple Ingredients
      • Restaurant-Style
      • Sex Appeal
      • Versatility
  • Addresses of Selected Industry Participants

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