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Category Best Practices

A look at ways to sell more product, more profitably, by category.

December 2017

smoothie2Frozen Fruit

Imperial Frozen Foods

After several years of double-digit growth fueled by the smoothie craze, frozen fruit sales seem to have plateaued, hampered by record low fresh fruit prices combined with a shift toward new smoothie ingredients. During the 12 weeks ended Oct. 8, reports Chicago-based market research firm IRI (iriworldwide.com), dollar sales fell 1.8% to $228.70 million across channels while units tumbled 2.2%, but volume was off only 0.3%, highlighting a shift toward better-value 2-, 3- and 4-pound packages. Continue reading.

soupFresh Soup

Blount Fine Foods

While many categories around the perimeter are enjoying strong sales, few are hotter than fresh soup. Sales shot up 17.4% during the 12 weeks ended Oct. 8 to $60.35 million across channels, reports Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Although private label (+7.9%) owns well over half of all sales, growth was driven mostly by the No. 2 and 3 brands, Panera (+24.2%) and Legal Sea Foods (+57.6%), highlighting the growing importance of strong national brands in a segment where household penetration remains fairly low. Continue reading.

hummus-pikIndian Foods

Deep Foods

Authenticity. “Americanization.” Clean-label. Street-food influences. Indian foods are evolving in many new ways, some of them contradictory. At the same time, the cuisine is increasingly popular. Everything from foodie blogs to consumer magazines such as Forbes to trade magazines serving the restaurant industry are saying that 2018 looks like a breakout year for Indian foods. Continue reading.

chicken-and-eggSpecialty Eggs

Braswell Family Farms

Fresh egg units and volume continue climbing, and there are signs that pricing may be on the rebound. Continue reading.

italian-girlItalian Foods

Michael Angelo’s

Branded frozen Italian entrees continue to drive solid category growth, especially among those offering quality, value and the all-important clean labels demanded by more and more shoppers. The segment is up by about 2% during the past year, while the frozen entrée category as a whole has been relatively flat. Continue reading.

pizzaPizza

Freiberger

The frozen pizza category is rolling in dough lately, with nine of the top 10 manufacturers registering gains during the 12 weeks ended Oct. 8. Total sales jumped 6.9% to more than $1.06 billion across channels, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI (iriworldwide.com). But the biggest push was provided by private label, up a whopping 40.9% to $163.8 million — boosting store brand share to 15.4%. Continue reading.