Fine food products are popular across many grocery categories as shoppers indulge in a kind of luxury that offers more than just indulgence.
“Retailers are increasingly recognising that to generate customer loyalty and footfall they need to go beyond simply offering low prices, and that their customers’ perception of value is in reality a combination of, yes, price, but also range, quality, innovation and excitement,” says Di Jones, Australian Sales and Marketing Director at Somerdale International.
So, what exactly is classified as fine food? Is it simply anything promoted as ‘gourmet’ or ‘premium’?
“I think [fine food] is being redefined by millennials as products that meet their values and needs – that meet attributes such as delicious taste, functionality, provenance and sustainability, and that are ethically sourced and produced,” says Tucker’s Natural Managing Director Sam Tucker.
Yes, please to speciality cheese
Sales in the entertaining cheese sector have been “relatively stable” in volume terms (up 0.5 per cent) and up in value by 6.5 per cent (IRI Scan data YTD to 28/6/20, supplied by Somerdale International).
“Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted sales, particularly in April and over the important Easter period, where all segments declined versus last year,” says Ms Jones.
She adds that the easing of lockdowns in most of Australia has brought an encouragingly positive uplift in consumption, with sales in both volume and value terms bouncing back strongly.
Premiumising the snacking occasion
Snack food, according to Mr Tucker, has emerged as an alternative to full-fledged meals with the paradigm shift in consumer behaviour patterns.
“Taste, nutrition and convenience are three important factors in choosing a snack,” he says.
“With this in mind, we’re seeing an industry-wide conscious effort to reduce sugar content; an increase in functional ingredients such as turmeric, hemp and ginger; lower carbohydrate options; plant-based mini meals, protein-packed snacks and items designed to support a healthy gut.”
Read more about the finest cheese and snacks in the September issue of Retail World.