December 10th, 2013
As retailers look to the future, three groups of consumers should command their attention: seniors, Latinos and women, states Packaged Facts, a division of Rockville, Md.-based MarketResearch.com. These three groups are projected to have even more significant purchasing power as 2020 approaches.
For example, based on its analysis of Census data, Packaged Facts found that the percentage of the U.S. population age 65 and over will increase from 41 million in 2010 to 56 million by 2020. However, baby boomers and seniors will not simply fade into the background, especially in regard to their presence in the retail sector. For retailers, success in the future will require building and maintaining relationships with this influential and often loyal consumer segment.
Latinos will continue to gain in importance and influence in America’s retail landscape as well. Much of this Latino spending power and cultural influence has to do with sheer force of numbers. The Hispanic population in the United States will reach 64 million by 2020, and will be a third as large as the non-Hispanic white population (at 199 million) and larger than the African-American population (at 42 million).
Women round out the trio of the game-changing consumer cohorts heading into 2020, as delayed marriage, combined with a greater propensity to pursue higher education, will allow women in the workplace to secure more positions of authority and affluence, ushering the nation into an era of income equality among the genders. Additionally, America is on the cusp of having more than half of first-born children born to unwed mothers as a result of the trend toward delayed marriage. Packaged Facts forecasts this tipping point will occur before 2020 and will shape the future of American households because female-headed households will remain on the rise.
December 9th, 2013
PRNewswire/ — Inventure Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNAK) (“Inventure”), a leading specialty food marketer and manufacturer, today announced the completion of the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Fresh Frozen Foods, LLC, a branded frozen vegetable processor (“Fresh Frozen”) on Friday, November 8.
Headquartered in Georgia, Fresh Frozen is a family-owned, full-service processor and supplier of more than 60 varieties of frozen vegetables and fruits to retail outlets. The acquisition will allow both companies to leverage each other’s sales organizations, distribution channels, and products. Additionally, Inventure will now have year-round freezing operations and be able to freeze blueberries and other fruits in a new region of the country.
“As we learn more about the business, we are even more excited to have finalized this acquisition,” said Terry McDaniel, Chief Executive Officer of Inventure Foods, Inc. “Fresh Frozen is a perfect strategic fit in our healthy/natural portfolio, allowing us to not only diversify into frozen vegetables, but also to meet growing consumer demand for our frozen fruit products. Fresh Frozen along with our current brands strengthens our position in the “Better for You” section of the frozen food aisle.”
December 6th, 2013
For the third time since last spring, fast food workers across the country walked off the job yesterday.
Organizers claim 100 cities will see the push for higher wages.
Fast food workers contracted by the federal government say President Obama can do something about this now – without waiting for Congress to raise the minimum wage.
Yesterday”s demonstration began with McDonald’s employees who work inside the Smithsonian.
Like protesters around the country, they’re pushing for a $15 minimum wage. “It’s a struggle. With $7.25 I can barely afford light bills or rent, decent shoes for my kids,” said one worker.
“These workers live in complete poverty. They work for the richest corporations in the country. This is a $200 billion dollar industry,” said Kendall Fells, the Organizer of Fast Food Forward.
But the National Restaurant Association says a 15 dollar minimum wage could put many of these people out of work. “The skill level that is required at 15 dollars an hour would be very different than the experience level that you have with most of the entry level workers who are making minimum wage right now,” said Scott DeFife of the National Restaurant Association.
President Obama wants to push the current minimum wage up to ten dollars an hour. “Fast-food workers, and nurse assistants, and retail salespeople who work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty,” said the President.
Yesterday’s protesters will ask the President to sign an executive order guaranteeing a living wage for federally-contracted workers.
Several states are already taking action. Five recently tried to raise their minimum wage. Four more may vote on it next year.
Source: NBC News
December 5th, 2013
According to Supermarketnews.com Safeway, the second largest supermarket chain in North America, has agreed to sell a snack manufacturing plant in Joplin, Mo., to Annie’s Inc., Berkeley, Calif., for $6 million and the cost of inventory and supplies, according to published reports and statements from Annie’s.
The plant, which manufactures cookies and crackers, has been the primary supplier of those products for Annie’s since the natural and organic foods company introduced snacks in 2002, the reports said.
According to a statement from Annie’s, the plant accounts for more than 50% of its overall snack sales, and the majority of the plant’s production goes to supply Annie’s.
December 4th, 2013
China’s Singles Day is a strange little holiday created in the ’90s by university students who thought the date 11/11 looked like four solitary stick figures. Somehow, it has evolved into the country’s largest e-commerce shopping event, with Western brands eager to cash in.
And for good reason: Last year’s Nov. 11 was so big the transactions overloaded banks, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba logged $3 billion in sales — two times what U.S. retailers achieved on Cyber Monday.
China’s e-tailing fest exploded out of nowhere. Alibaba, which is preparing for a much-awaited IPO, launched the holiday just five years ago with 27 brands. This year more than 20,000 brands are in the game, including many Western companies competing for the attention of China’s booming middle class. In a country where only 44% of the population is online, the holiday has room to grow.
The date, also known as Double 11, is “a great time to be discovered,” said Kevin Der Arslanian, analyst at China Market Research Group. “This is really a time when consumers are actively going online trying to find good deals, trying to find new items, and with the right combination of discounts and gifts, you can attract some new customers.”
December 3rd, 2013
While “all natural” continues to be a huge marketing tool, a backlash appears to be forming against this largely unregulated descriptor.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that food manufacturers as diverse as PepsiCo and Campbell’s Soup are dropping the designation despite the $40bn in sales of foods marketed under the “natural” rubric. following a series of challenges.
It’s not surprising that food companies were bullish on the term initially, since controversy over the nature of just what is organic, instances of fraud and bait-and-switch with conventional foods, and the continued high prices for organic foods translated into consumer hostility. Studies like one in 2012 by Mintel found that shoppers will seek out “all natural,” preferring it to “organic.”
Unlike organic, no government regulations limit the use of the term “natural,” nor are there any guidelines for its use. That may all be changing: a “food label modernization bill” was introduced in September in Congress that would require the FDA to establish a standardized labeling protocol. While the bill has not been passed, food companies are acting to remove “all natural” designation on their own or because of lawsuits. Over 100 suits have been filed against products ranging from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (which contains partially-hydrogenated oils or trans fats) to Beam, Inc.‘s Skinnygirl alcoholic drinks. One of the thornier issues is whether GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) are natural or not. Judges this past Summer in cases against Gruma Corp.’s Mission tortilla chips and General Mills Inc. Nature Valley granola bars have delayed ruling until the FDA decides whether GMO foods can be marketed as “all natural.”
Advocacy groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest applaud the litigation for keeping food marketers honest, the fallout in court has confused efforts by some companies to deliver healthier foods. For example, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division dropped the term “all natural” from 80 products that had been reformulated to remove artificial colors and flavors after lawsuits were filed against it for keeping GMOs and additives such as caramel color, citric acid and maltodextrin. The company already paid $9MM this year to settle a suit alleging its Naked Juice contained GMOs and artificial vitamins.
December 2nd, 2013
According to a new report published by Transparency Market Research—Aquaculture (Marine Water, Freshwater and Brackish Water) Market for Carp, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Salmon, Trout and Other Fishes – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019—the global market for aquaculture was valued at $135.10 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $195.13 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2013 to 2019. In terms of volume, global production was 66.5 million tons in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.3% from 2013 to 2019.
Volume of captured fish is fast depleting and is expected to be one of the primary factors driving global aquaculture production over the next few years. In addition, increasing consumer awareness regarding health benefits associated with consumption of fish and fish products is expected to boost aquaculture production within the forecast period. Aquaculture is expected to surpass captured fish industry as the major source for human consumption by the end of 2015.
November 27th, 2013
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s vegetarian burritos are moving across the country. Thousands of diners on the West Coast, from Vancouver to California, can now have their burrito or taco stuffed with the Mexican chain’s Sofritas, which is made with organic, non-genetically modified tofu.
If the new menu item gains traction with diners, Chipotle has said the chain may roll out Sofritas in other states. Sofritas are made from shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of aromatic spices.
Chipotle began testing Sofritas at seven Bay Area restaurants in February, using tofu from a local supplier in Oakland, Calif. “We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO said at the time.
Chipotle has long been considered a leader in the healthy fast food movement, emphasizing the quality of its ingredients and a commitment to responsible agriculture.
November 26th, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reported that Panera will be investigating new ways to remedy their “good problem” of too many people standing on line to get their food. Many customers are simply walking away rather than face the long lines and spotty service.
The company says it will tackle the service problems in several ways, including adding 35 extra hours of labor per week to each store (that alone will add $15 million to annual labor costs), retrain workers, buy new equipment, redesign some of the workflows, and work to move phone orders over to the web.