Member Directory   Members Only   Membership   Contact Us   Recipes   News & Events   
  News & Events

Specialty Food Category Forecasts

November 17, 2017

More forward-looking research is something specialty food makers and buyers have told us would help them plan more effectively. So, working with market researcher Mintel, the Specialty Food Association has forecasted sales growth or decline of 33 specialty food categories over the next five years.

In this new research—first released as part of LevelUP, the new future-focused attraction rolled out at the Summer Fancy Food Show in June—Mintel projects which categories will grow, slow, or take off. Among those areas that will fare successfully, drivers include mega trends like fresh foods, convenience, wellness, snacking, sustainability, plus generational patterns like the huge millennial generation aging and starting families. 

For example, categories Mintel highlighted for strong growth potential included waters and snack and wellness bars, both driven by consumers’ interest in health, convenience, and desire for better-for-you alternatives. Interestingly, both of those categories were cited by the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Enhanced waters along with other low-sugar or functional beverages, and snack bars packed with ancient grains, fiber, nuts, and seeds were part of the on-trend product innovations the panel discovered at the show. 

Mintel’s David Lockwood and Shelley Balanko from the Hartman Group also partnered for a session at the Summer Show entitled, “The Food Market of Tomorrow: Trends and Forecasts to Prepare for Today,” where Lockwood reported the specialty food category overall is projected to grow 7.7 compound annual growth rate over the next five years. Consumers’ trading up to products that are artisanal, local, and have distinctive flavors will drive that growth, according the Hartman’s research. Balanko reported that 53 percent of consumers break from their normal eating routine at least once a week. Of those, 38 percent break for higher quality and 43 percent for variety—two hallmarks of specialty foods.

The category forecasts are available for download, free for members in the Learning Center on You can also download Lockwood and Balanko’s full session

What are your views these projections of the industry and your category in particular? We’d like to hear your feedback and know what other types of research would best help you prepare and plan in your businesses. Weigh in on this and share your questions in the Q&A Forum!

Supplier Relationships Key to Pricing, Assortment Strategies

Vermont Sugarmakers Reflect on New Challenges

Pints of Passion: Gelato Company Scoops Out Quality Flavors

Announcing the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals!

Localvore expansion to MA and ME is growth model for job creation in VT

Report: Workforce development critical to sustain local food economy

Special thanks to Vermont dairy farmers on National Milk Day

Wonkblog Organic food fraud leads Congress to weigh bill doubling USDA oversight

Gut Health Tops Nutrition Trends for 2018

Up to $60,000 available through Local Food Market Development Grant program

VSFA Welcomes New Members

Bennington distiller adds partners

Vermont’s workforce dilemma


Famous Vt. Baking Brand Sees Growth, Thanks in Part to Retail Giant


2018 Good Food Awards Finalists

Specialty Food Category Forecasts

SFA's Trendspotters' Top Trends for 2018

Policy and Communications Director Named at Agriculture

Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program Accepting Applications on November 15

Vermont Village Introduces Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars

FDA publishes more menu labeling guidance

ACORN Producers and Buyers Forum: Conversations Across the Local Food Spectrum

Cabot Creamery chooses FirstLight for data services

Workforce development, business succession plans required for food industry growth

Ag Agency Accepts Applications for Trade Show Assistance Grants

Amazon has slashed seller fees to try to improve its grocery selection online

At Neighborly Farms, Producing Cheddar Is a Family Affair

Community Capital of Vermont receives $1 million for microloans

Gov. Scott Celebrates Vermont’s Farm To School Grant Program With Students

Amazon's Stealth Takeover of Vermont

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Announces $1M in Grant Funding for Farm Capital Equipment Assistance Program

H Kenneth Merritt, Jr selected as ‘Super Lawyer’ for 5th Time


New England Super Lawyers recognizes seven PF+C Attorneys

Vermont businesses generate over $1.8M in total sales at The Big E

Working Lands Financing Conference

What Section 179 Expensing Means for Your Business

Scott signs proclamation designating October as Employee Ownership Month

Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces $750,000 in Available Investments To Help Grow Vermont’s Economy

Vermont Artisan Coffee moves, opens coffee bar to rave reviews

2017-2018 Windham Region CEDS Update

Vt. Governor Proclaims October Farm to School Month, New Grant Opportunities Released

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Announces Over $1M in Available Grant Funds

New Improvements to State Building Help Showcase Vermont Tradition and Emerging High-Quality Agricultural Products

Apple Season Has Arrived in Vermont – Get Picking!

From Wallflower to Expert Networker

Rooted in Vermont: Uniting all Vermonters around Local Food

Vermont Products Win Big at the 2017 Fancy Food Show

Job Opening: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Project Manager

Fuel Your Passion with Lake Champlain Chocolates’ Fifth Limited-Edition Bar for 2017 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Cabot receives 2017 Tourism Partner of the Year

2017 sofi Awards Winners

City Market, Onion River Co-op Celebrates Earth Week

Craftsbury Farmers' Market Looking for Vendors

2nd Annual Green Mountain Fair at Manchester seeking Vendors

Maple Syrup Never Tasted So Good

Vermont Artisan Coffee and Tea Makes the Big Move!

City Market Awards Co-Op Patronage Seedling Grants to 8 Local Non -Profits

Cabot Sets World Record for Largest Smoothie!

Vermont Fresh Pasta Celebrating 25 years!

Gringo Jack’s Flaky Chips Verified Non-GMO

Lake Champlain Chocolates to Host New Organic Bar Tastings

Lake Champlain Chocolates Debuts 4 New Organic Bars at Specialty Foods Winter Fancy Food Show

Castleton Crackers Debuts Colorful and Compact New Packaging

Runamok makes Oprah's Favorite Things List

Japanese consumers rave over Vermont products


Vermont Creamery's Non-GMO Cheese Hits the Market

Lake Champlain Chocolates achieves SQF Level 2 Certification

A Tour of Vermont Tortilla Company

Blake Hill opens Windsor plant

Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces $650,000 in Available Grant Funds and Two Innovative New Loan Programs

Lake Champlain Chocolates + Silo Distillery = A match made in heaven

Maple Syrup Breaks Away From Breakfast

US Chocolate Market to Reach $30B

Member Directory    |    Membership    |    Site Map    |    Recipes    |    Contact Us    |    Home
The official web site of the Vermont Specialty Food Association
148 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802.839.1930 Email:
©2015 Vermont Specialty Food Association. All rights reserved.

Designed & CMS by Cambium Group, LLC