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Category Best Practices

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

December 2016

smoothie2Frozen Fruit


Frozen fruit has rocketed into a $1 billion-plus category, and its trajectory is still rising. But to sell more product, more profitably, you need to understand the category’s shoppers and the specific merchandising that resonates with them. Continue reading.

soupFresh Soup

Blount Fine Foods

Literally and figuratively, few CPG categories are hotter right now than fresh soup. During the 12 weeks ended Oct. 2, dollar sales jumped 16.1% to more than $50.91 million across channels, reports Chicago-based market research firm IRI. But manufacturers say retailers that manage the category properly have an opportunity to grow sales even higher. And it all starts with education. Continue reading.


Fountain of Health

Hummus is one of the few categories in dairy/deli that is still growing in dollars, units and volume. There are good reasons for that, and plenty more good reasons why you should be able to grow the category further if you promote and merchandise it well. Continue reading.


chicken-and-eggSpecialty Eggs

Phil’s Fresh Eggs

Fresh eggs have always been perceived as a commodity, but growing interest in specialty eggs has retailers looking at the segment in a new way. Organic and nutrient-enhanced varieties have been around for a while, but today, claims around animal welfare are are driving sales — and category profitability. Continue reading.

italian-girlItalian Foods

Michael Angelo’s

The news is even better on the branded side, which turned in a dollar gain of 3.2% and a unit gain of 1.3%. Private label frozen Italian entrees stumbled, with dollars down by 6.0% and units off by 9.3%. That’s at least the fourth consecutive year of declines by dollars and units for store brands in the category. Continue reading.

ice-creamIce Cream & Novelties

Ice Cream Specialties

Commodity ice cream and novelties are ceding space to premium items, as shoppers seek out quality and show a willingness to pay for it. But there’s another sweet spot — in the mid-range between the low-end and superpremiums. Continue reading.




Although Nielsen reports frozen pizza dollar sales edged up 0.8% during the 52 weeks ended Sept. 10, core consumers — households with children and Millennials — are slowly walking away from the category. Between 2013 and 2016, penetration fell 4.5% in households with kids 6 to 12 years old and 4.8% among shoppers under age 35. The problem stems from retailers’ failure to meet growing demand for better-quality, higher-priced options. Continue reading.