Yogurt, energy bars and nut-based butters

Demand for yogurt, energy bars, nut and seed butters and coffee drinks helped fuel a 6.9 percent increase in retail and foodservice sales of specialty foods and beverages last year, according to a survey of retailers conducted by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), reports Supermarket News.


Functional beverages are the fastest growing segment, followed by yogurt and kefir. Cheese, with $3.4 billion in retail sales, accounted for the most revenue of all specialties, followed by meats, poultry and seafood; chips, pretzels and snacks; coffee, coffee substitutes and cocoa; and bread and baked goods.


Other findings include: Specialty foods represent 13.7 percent of all food sales at retail; Kosher is the leading claim for new specialty foods, followed by all natural; Local is the most influential product claim today, according to 75 percent of retailers surveyed; and Latin is the fastest emerging cuisine.