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Specialty Food Association Releases 2022 Today's Specialty Food Consumer Report

Specialty Food Association

NEW YORK, NY (October 6, 2022) – The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has released its annual Today's Specialty Food Consumer research, a complement to The State of the Specialty Food Industry Report. This year's online consumer survey saw 23 questions asked of 1,630 adults (age 18+) who say they share in or take primary responsibility with grocery shopping in their household. The survey was conducted with SliceMR in July 2022 to understand the motivations and habits of specialty food consumers.

Research highlights:

• Consumers reporting they purchase specialty food hit a record-breaking 76 percent.

• Spending on groceries and away-from-home food is up. Inflation plays a role here but spending choices indicate consumers are returning to restaurants and buying freshly prepared foods.

• Incidence of purchase is holding steady among many age groups and has risen 6 percent over last year among millennials—the core specialty food consumers.

• Gen-Z is a rising generation and with most now age 18+, is equal to Gen-X in specialty food purchase likelihood. Both groups are second only to millennials.

• Purchases in eight of the top 10 categories are up over the past two years, driven partly by staying and cooking at home.

• One-quarter of specialty food consumers report they like to shop where the store features products from diverse suppliers including women-, Black-, BIPOC-, LGBTQ+-, and veteran-owned companies.

• Better-for-the-environment attributes are gaining ground as motivators for purchase. Specialty food consumers care about attributes like organic, sustainable, and upcycled.

• Online purchases will continue growing steadily as specialty food consumers buy more categories. The average SFC online purchaser buys 6.4 items compared to 15 for in-store purchases.

“People continue to care more about what they eat, how it is made, where it comes from, who is making it, and how it impacts local and global communities and the environment,” said Denise Purcell, SFA vice president, resource development.

The full Today's Specialty Food Consumer report, 2022-2023 Edition, may be purchased in the Learning Center on SFA members, log in to receive discount pricing.

About the Specialty Food Association

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading trade association and source of information about the $175 billion specialty food industry for 70 years. Founded in 1952 in New York City, the SFA represents manufacturers, importers, retailers, distributors, brokers, and others in the trade. The SFA is known for its Fancy Food Shows; the sofi™ Awards, which have honored excellence in specialty food and beverage for 50 years; the Trendspotter Panel Show reports and annual predictions; the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report and Today's Specialty Food Consumer research; the new ecommerce enabled SFA Product Marketplace, where members showcase products, tell their brand story, field meeting inquiries, and sell directly to qualified buyers; SFA Feed, the daily source for news, trends and new product information in the specialty food industry, and Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association Podcast.

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