Consumers Crave Specialty Foods

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Aug 23, 2002
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A new report says consumers are increasingly happy to pay extra for “gourmet” products such as ostrich meat as an alternative to “bland” mass-produced food and drink, according to a report on U.K.-based Ananova.com. Although affluent professionals more easily afford specialty fare, the report suggests that these products will become more widely available as supermarkets join the trend realized by small butchers and bakers.

The U.K. market for specialty food and drink was £3.3 billion (equivalent to approximately five billion U.S. dollars today) in 2001, according to market analyst Datamonitor, which predicts sales will grow by 5.5 percent during the next five years.

Another indication of the popularity of specialty food and drink is a growth in recent years in the number of farmers markets. The National Association of Farmers Markets says there are 456 markets now operating in the U.K. – 231 of which are members – from just one in 1997.

Moderator Comment: Is there a similar trend taking
place in America with consumers trading up to gourmet foods despite the added
cost?

We understand that the shopping habits of New Yorkers
are often different from consumers in other parts of the country. Still, pass
by Zabar’s, Dean & Deluca and other gourmet stores any day of the week at
just about any time and you will find them packed with shoppers. Home made taste
used to be the buzz term used to describe superior product. Today the term used
more often is restaurant quality. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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