David Lockwood is the director of Mintel Consulting, and has been a pioneer in the field of research for over 30 years. During his Fancy Food Show presentation, The Food Market of Tomorrow: Trends and Forecasts to Prepare for Today, Lockwood will talk about the largest and fastest-growing specialty food segments.

What kind of research are you currently working on at Mintel?

Specialty foods is an industry that we work on all year at Mintel. We also work with dozens of multinational and small companies to develop new products and innovation platforms throughout the CPG world. We leverage the knowledge in Mintel's databases and hundreds of specialists around the world to show the difference between what consumers say vs. what they do, and how this can help clients move their business forward.

What do you find most interesting about the analytics of the specialty food industry?

Everything, but starting with the creative and passionate people that make specialty foods.

Which specialty food categories do you think have seen the most growth in the past five years, and why do you think that is?

To name just a few, all of which have been growing well above 10 percent CAGR and will continue to do so:    

Water - This has been a star segment, with sparkling water coming into its own, led by both established brands and newer brands.

Frozen desserts - This category has been infused with growth from a number of specialty trends, including indulgence (gelatos), dairy-free, sustainable, all-natural, and social responsibility.

Juices and Functional Beverages - As in water, strong performance is coming from well-known brands (e.g., Naked Juice and Odwalla) and newer brands (e.g., GT Kombucha, Kevita, WTRMLN WTR) as the category grows with probiotics, fermentation, efforts to reduce food waste, shots, and evolving supplementation.

Wellness Bars and Gels - A long-time growth category continues with the likes of Clif Bar and Larabar, it is expanding its repertoire with savory bars, refrigerated, free-from, and paleo to-go with the still-growing areas in weight management, functional, and "everyday health.”

What will you be talking about during your presentation at the Summer Fancy Food Show?

Having made five-year segment forecasts for all 51 Specialty Food segments, I will talk about 13 of the largest and fastest-growing segments. This group explains exactly how specialty food is growing and what its challenges will be during 2017-21.

What do you hope attendees will gain from your presentation?

An understanding of why specialty foods are growing and how fast, and which segments are doing the best/least good, and why.

What are your three favorite specialty foods?

Cheese, bread/baked goods, and anything in bar form! 

Hear more from David Lockwood who will present alongside Shelley Balanko, senior vice president at The Hartman Group, as part of the LevelUP programming on June 25 at the Summer Fancy Food Show.