us foodservice market booming

New report claims gourmet/premium foods and drinks industry should rise to $96 billion by 2012.

“Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods and Beverages in the U.S” reports that connoisseurs craving gourmet, specialty and premium foods and drinks, consumed mass quantities in 2007 valued at $59 billion, a growth of 10.9% over 2006, according to a study released by Report Buyer is a UK-based think tank.

The report shows that as a growing population of gourmands seeks high quality and natural ingredients, a proliferating number of new gourmet/premium products are reaching the marketplace. This surge in products coupled with increased availability within supermarkets and convenience stores have contributed to the hearty growth in the gourmet/premium foods and drinks markets. By October of 2007, 15% of all new food & drinks introduced to the market fell into the gourmet category.

A synergy occurring between the gourmet and natural foods industries is helping to nourish consumers’ desire for healthier food choices. Gourmet foods and beverages tagged as natural rose from 174 in 2006 to 259 in 2007. Simultaneously, national and independent supermarkets are quickly reinventing themselves with “fresh formats,” carrying greater numbers of gourmet and specialty products to attract more customers.

Authors of the report note that mainstream supermarkets and grocery stores lead the market for gourmet/specialty foods and drinks, accounting for 52% of the total retail dollar sales in 2007. They anticipate this broadening of the gourmet/premium market well into the next decade as growing numbers of marketers and retail channels offer an ever-increasing number of products to attract more customers.

To learn more about the report, visit


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