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Retailers Share Momentum-Gaining Trends

Retailers weighed in on break out trends, during the Summer Fancy Food Show session “The Rise of Specialty: Expanded Opportunities,” Sunday.

Jeff Turnas, senior vice president of Whole Foods Market, said that low- and no-alcohol cocktails are gaining momentum at Whole Foods.

“We [first] spoke about the rise of zero proof cocktails in 2019 and that category has just blown up,” he said.  “There is Athletic Brewing Company and when [Whole Foods] announced the trend, we referenced them. They were in one region at the time and now they’re in all of our stores and just received Whole Food Market’s Supplier of the Year award. This category had 54 percent dollar growth in January and it’s not stopping.”

Matthew Bunevich, manager of 7-Ventures and business development at 7-Eleven, said Prime Hydration sports drink, launched by YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI, who have millions of followers, does well at 7-Eleven stores.

“Prime is one of those products that has a connection point that we didn’t know existed or how well it existed,” he said. “Now there are influencers that can make and sell a product and it’s all about which brands can attach themselves to the right influencer.”

Panelist Melinda Villalba of ADW Acosta, a sales and marketing organization that has served Costco since 1983, and assists “Costco buyers with finding trends,” said that at Costco “functional beverages are huge. It’s crazy how many they have and they’re trying things like prebiotic sodas, and this Prime drink, which my kids can’t stop talking about.”

Authentic, international products and items in the ready-to-eat entrée category are also doing well now that post-pandemic consumers aren’t as interested in scratch cooking. “We’re also going through a hot honey phase. We have hot honey pizza, meatballs, charcuterie kits and it isn’t going away,” she said.

Related: Crunchy Snacks, Soups, Breakfast with Benefits Top Summer Fancy Food Show Trends on the Radar; 67th Summer Fancy Food Show Gets Underway.