The popularity of celebrity chefs and restaurant culture among consumers continues to grow, driven in large part by the dominance of food-related media, such as television programming, magazines and websites, and cookbooks. The big question is whether consumers will even give a hoot about brand mystique in the midst of an economic crisis as more pressing issues are at hand. Instead of feeling good about expensive and conspicuous purchases as they have in the past, many consumers will increasingly feel good about not spending in 2009. Not just on discretionary items, but on staple goods as well—including food.
Though the market for chef-and restaurant-branded food products in the U.S. grew at an annual rate of eight percent between 2004 and 2008 in dollar sales, in unit terms growth was much less exciting. And for 2009, a new era may be beginning. For food marketers the prospects of changing market dynamics due to shifting consumer preferences, economic worries and a New Frugality may be challenging but can also be viewed as providing new and exciting opportunities.
MarketTrend: The U.S. Market for Chef- and Foodservice-branded Food Sold at Retail examines these issues and many others by looking at the current market, trends, major brands, and consumer preferences. The report presents concise, thought-provoking analyses of various aspects of the industry and provides a forecast for the market through 2013.
Read an excerpt from this report below.Methodology
The report uses data from IRI, which tracks sales through mass retail channels (except Wal-Mart) and Product Launch Analytics, a service of Datamonitor, which provides data on new product introductions. Other research data were gathered from trade associations, business journals, financial reports and brand literature, and from the Internet for other useful information on the topic.
Where possible, discussion in terms of unit sales has been included to provide a picture of “real” growth. Sales for all of 2008 were estimated by Packaged Facts based on sales through September 2008 or in some cases through part of November 2008.
About the Author
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Market Insights: A Selection From The Report
Chef, Foodservice Brands Show Mixed Signals
Packaged Facts has seen similar trends as well between ready-to-eat food products and basic ingredient products. For example, a look at the chef-branded food in the soup/broth segment tracked by IRI shows that ready-to-eat soup sales were down 11% in 2008 while basic ingredient broth sales were up 22%. Still, many other ready-to-eat products such as Dinners/Entrées and Appetizers & Side Dishes, which are dominated by convenient frozen foods, also showed positive sales results, meaning that within the chef-and foodservice branded market place the trend is not absolute.
But while the results from 2008 seem positive, it should be noted that much of that increase was due to increases in average selling prices. Costs for various commodities rose and manufacturers and marketers had to pass much of those costs on to consumers. What they couldn’t pass on was often made up with reducing the unit size—a trick that many consumers often fail to recognize but maybe not for much longer as budgets tighten. In actuality, sales in real terms were essentially flat.
Frozen Foods, the Bastion of Foodservice Branding May Suffer
The above may be a harbinger of frugality for 2009 and 2010, especially for foodservice-branded foods. As consumers look to cut back spending, many will target foodservice brands and replace them with similar, less-expensive items. With so much support coming from celebrity chefs to cook at home, some consumers are likely to forego the purchase of a cheaper ready-to-eat, ready-to-serve frozen dinner altogether and opt for cooking the meal from scratch.
Consumers More Informed Than Ever
Value-interested shoppers on the whole are researchers, fact-finders and planners. Preparing for a purchase by staying informed is key. Value shoppers were 30% more likely than average to agree with the statement, “I Plan Ahead For Expensive Purchases,” and 43% more likely than average to agree with the statement, “I Ask Advice Before Buying New Things.” The control group of No Interest shoppers on the other hand indexed just eight points above average for “I Plan Ahead for Expensive Purchases” and nine points above average for “I Ask Advice Before Buying New Things.”In the News
Familiar Faces, Innovation to Keep Chef- and Restaurant-Branded
Foods Buoyant Post-Recession
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New York, April 16, 2009 - With the celebrity status granted through cable television, the host of high-powered chefs familiar to millions is influencing consumer culinary behavior on unprecedented levels. Cookbooks, magazines, and brand foods with restaurant and chef names have all savored the boon of celebrity association in recent years. The burning question now is to what extent will consumers’ purposeful frugality towards staple goods and discretionary items alike impact the market for premium chef- and foodservice-branded food.
During the 2004-2008 period, the total U.S. retail market for chef- and foodservice-branded food grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8%, according to MarketTrend: The U.S. Market for Chef- and Foodservice-branded Food Sold at Retail, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. However, the impact of the recession last year was irrefutable. An overall 5% increase in the average selling price per unit boosted the market from $3.5 billion in 2007 to $3.7 billion in 2008, but veiled flat total unit sales.
Packaged Facts forecasts the market will contract slightly in 2009 before recovering in 2010 for solid sustained growth thereafter. The market is expected to reach $4.4 billion by 2013, with a compound annual growth rate of 3%.
Key to the projected growth post-recession is chef- and foodservice-branded product innovators not restricting themselves to the traditional. Modern consumers have higher expectations for food deliverables than ever before—especially as they have become educated about health and wellness issues and eco-friendly living. Packaged Facts identifies both trends as emerging benefit areas.
Providing foods that appeal to America’s shifting and maturing palate is also expected to fortify the market and endear brands to cash-strapped consumers eager for the exotic cuisines they relished while dining out during heartier financial times.
“During the economic boom between 2004 and 2007, consumers spent more on dining out than ever before, many exploring new tastes and cuisines. However, many consumers have curtailed spending on restaurants during the recession and will look for ways to replace their new favorite restaurant foods,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Food processors that partner with restaurants and celebrity chefs to create spicier, more flavorful dishes reminiscent of those dining experiences might gain more loyal and affluent shoppers.”
MarketTrend: The U.S. Market for Chef- and Foodservice-branded Food Sold at Retail includes an overview and analysis of the market in dollar terms and its prospects for future growth, an analysis of major brands and product categories sold through mass-market venues, and a look at consumer trends and new product innovation driving the market and ideas for spurring future growth.
About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.