Ice cream: The ultimate year-round indulgence

Beat the heat this summer with great deals on select Packaged Facts reports, including 5% off Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition. Use promo code PF0722IC by October 15.

July 22 - Is there ever a bad time to consume ice cream? While the summer months might offer more ideal occasions to cool off with one’s favorite frozen dessert, the reality is that the majority of Americans eat ice cream year-round without regard to the outside temperatures. Packaged Facts research reveals that this year-round love affair with ice cream as the ultimate indulgent treat holds true across the full spectrum of demographic segments that comprise the U.S. population.

Data published in Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition (April 2014) shows that the proportion of American households and individuals who consume frozen dessert is so high that there is little “spiking” of consumption, either above or below the norm, among any segments by age, ethnicity, income, education, region, etc. In fact, based on Packaged Facts January/February 2014 online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, frozen dessert consumption is so common that about 86% of the population reports eating ice cream all year round to some extent.

Merrick pet care’s humanization touch draws Purina’s eye

For more analysis of pet industry trends, see information on our recent U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2015-2106 report.

July 22 - In pet food as in human food, the robust growth rates of specialty channel natural products are commanding the attention of giant companies in the mass market, where sales are all-too-often flat, especially in center-store categories such as pet care.  The big three mass marketers of pet food—Nestlé Purina, Mars and Big Heart Pet Brands—are therefore all investing heavily in the natural segment through brand reformulations, new product introductions, and acquisitions.

In December 2013, for example, mass market kingpin Nestlé Purina acquired Zuke’s, a specialty channel-focused natural pet treat company.  In July 2014, working within its mass-market home court, Nestlé Purina revamped its Purina One Beyond line as Purina Beyond, renamed to distinguish itself as a natural pet food brand.  Most recently, in July 2015, came the announcement of Nestlé Purina’s acquisition of Merrick Pet Care, a fast-growing natural and organic dog and cat food marketer whose products are distributed through the specialty pet channel, natural food supermarkets, and online.

On National Junk Food Day and beyond, the popularity of salty snacks licks the competition 24/7/365

There are 50 million consumers who often snack between meals and agree that “salted snacks are my favorite snack.” Packaged Facts reveals who they are and how to market to them in our report Salty Snacks in the U.S.

July 21 - It’s National Junk Food Day, and with Americans nationwide indulging in junk foods ranging from the traditional to the weird and wacky, it’s a perfect time to pay homage to the granddaddy of all junk foods—the salty snack.  

Whether it be the crunchy potato chip, the versatile corn/tortilla chip, savory cheese snacks, the twisty pretzel, or airy popcorn (aka the healthy man’s salty snack), these products occupy a ubiquitous presence in the average American diet.  Indeed, more than 90% of households in the country report using a salty snack in the past 30 days, according to the Packaged Facts report Salty Snacks in the U.S.

Canada’s pet market walks on the wild side

Stay ahead of the competitive curve with Packaged Facts’ Canadian Pet Market Outlook, 2nd Edition. Purchase a copy by October 1, 2015 and receive a 5% discount using promo code PFCPMO715.

July 14 - Paws down, 2014 was a good year for the Canadian pet market, with strong pet food sales leading the charge. In fact, the Canadian pet food market seems to be doing so well it is literally bursting at the seams, with Canadian pet food manufacturers Elmira Pet Products and Open Farms expanding into the U.S. in 2014 and 2015.

What was different in 2014? Certainly a stronger Canadian economy played its part, providing more disposable income for those pet owners keen on treating Fido and Fluffy. The sheer breadth of premium and superpremium products now available to choose from also helped, enticing pet owners to purchase new and varied foods, treats and supplies even as the higher prices and margins for such premium products expanded the value of those sales. Canadians pets are now part of the family, and who doesn’t want to buy the best for a loved family member?

Research director D. Sprinkle to present July 10 on consumer trends, health & wellness food drivers

Interested in learning more about health and wellness food drivers, including consumer demand for grains? Be sure to purchase your copy of the upcoming Packaged Facts report, Food Formulation Trends: Ancient Grains and Sprouted Grains (August 2015).

July  7 – Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle will be among the expert presenters at the “Innovation with Healthier Oils & Grains: Solutions to Meet Changing Policies and Demands” course hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) on July 10.

Mr. Sprinkle’s presentation will discuss consumer trends related to the course’s overall theme. Highlights from his presentation will cover:

  • Areas of increasing consumer awareness;
  • Retail trends featuring essential findings from Packaged Facts Shopper Insights Survey and Simmons National Consumer Survey; and
  • Food industry drivers for health & wellness.

For more information on the course or to register visit:

Weather and economy challenge lawn & garden equipment marketers

Just in time for summer, Packaged Facts provides industry-leading market research on home-related consumer goods products in the report Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition.

July 1 - Americans love to care for their lawns and gardens.  But the economy and weather haven’t been very cooperative for marketers.  Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition details how L&G equipment sales peaked at the height of the housing boom in 2005, and have been declining and trying to recover since.   The mature market is highly dependent on the economy, housing, household formation, weather, and seasonality.  Continued economic challenges have made market recovery uneven and weather has also created fluctuations in sales year-to-year.  The market stabilized somewhat between 2010 and 2014 with sales declining by a CAGR of 0.2%. This is an improvement over 2008 to 2012, when sales declined by a CAGR of more than 1%. 

Packaged Facts estimates total retail sales of the L&G equipment market, consisting of outdoor power equipment (OPE), tools and implements (T/I), and watering/spraying equipment (W/S), at $10.2 billion in 2014.  Overall growth has been driven by segments of OPE, which accounted for 68% or $7 billion of total sales.    Riding/tractor lawn mowers and zero-turn models in particular have become increasingly popular with consumers.  So have electric products, particularly lithium ion battery-powered models that have been expanding from hand-held tools like trimmers and leaf blowers to bigger machines such as lawn mowers and snow throwers.  The battery-powered segment is expected to continue growing as battery technology is improving rapidly to deliver power and performance equal to gas-powered products.  Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition discusses why some consumers love these products and the new technologies and marketers that are challenging leading players in this arena.  

Hispanic influence growing in the dairy and dairy alternative beverages market

This blog is based on the Packaged Facts reports Dairy and Dairy Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., 3rd Edition and Hispanic Food Shoppers in the U.S. Purchase your copies for more insights.

June 23 - Over the last couple of years the big story in the dairy milk vs. plant milk competition is the extraordinary growth of almond milk. Dollar, volume, and unit sales of almond milk have all increased at double-digit rates the expense of dairy milk as well as by taking sales away from soy milk, which no so long ago was the leading plant-based alternative to dairy milk. And looking a short way down the road it is possible that almond milk, for all of its remarkable success, may find itself soon overtaken by cashew milk which is getting the same kind of “tastes great and good for you” promotion that almond milk received.

But take a look just a bit further down the road and the bigger story may well be the influence of Hispanic culture on the combined dairy and plant-based milk markets. Hispanic culture, that is the cultures of Mexico, South America and Central America and the Caribbean have already had a tremendous impact on mainstream culture (which probably needs redefining as “mainstream” continues to lose meaning as various ethnic and health streams appear to be the ones with rising tides). As Packaged Facts has previously noted, “Tortillas and taco kits outsell hamburgers and hot dog buns. Salsa boasts almost twice the dollar sales of ketchup.”

More specifically, spending by Hispanic consumers for food at grocery and other food stores grew more than 80% over the 2004-2013 period to $67 billion, more than twice the growth rate registered by consumers on average. Packaged Facts expects that expenditures by Hispanic food shoppers will reach $86 billion in 2018. This represents 2013-2018 cumulative growth of 28.2% and a compound annual growth rate of 5.1%.


NY Yankee Teixeira goes gluten- and dairy-free, reclaims place among baseball’s elite. Coincidence?

June 19 — This past February, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira announced intentions to hit 30 home runs and collect 100 RBIs during the then-upcoming Major League Baseball season. Prior to 2012, these numbers would have been lofty yet attainable goals for a superstar of Teixeira’s stature. But in recent years the two time all-star first baseman appeared snakebitten having missed extensive time due to injuries that tarnished his reputation as one of baseball’s most feared sluggers.

Fast forward four months since his bold declaration, and Teixeira has proven himself to be a pinstriped prophet on pace to obliterate the goals he set with more than half the MLB season left to play. Based on interviews with various major sports media outlets, the secret to Teixeira’s bounce back season may well lie not only in his renewed weightlifting program, but also in significant changes to his diet. Namely, his decision to adopt a gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free lifestyle. The combination of weightlifting and his new “free from” diet have put Teixeira in what many have said is the best shape of his career. He’s packed on more than ten pounds of muscle while shedding body fat.

As great as the results have been for Teixeira, he isn’t the only one discovering the benefits of embracing “free from” foods and beverages. Many other celebrities—including Zooey Deschanel, Drew Brees, Jennifer Lawrence, and perhaps most famously Gwyneth Paltrow, among others—along with non-celebrity consumers are often voluntarily cutting out specific ingredients for the sake of their health. This includes eliminating not only gluten, dairy, and sugar, but also fat, GMOs, sodium, and food processing additives, according to Packaged Facts reports Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid and Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition.

“Food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of American consumers of all ages. For consumers with allergies and intolerances, avoiding certain food and ingredients is a matter of life and death. But for other consumers avoiding various foods is a matter of choice based on a desire to lose weight or to have an overall healthier life. Hence for the latter group, it’s not about dealing with specific allergies but rather a matter of optimizing health and also about seeking to create a quality of life based on eliminating negatives,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

National Coffee Association and Packaged Facts unite for June 23 webinar

June 18 – Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle will present a webinar entitled “The Shifting Landscape for Office Coffee Service” in conjunction with the National Coffee Association (NCA) on June 23, 2015 from 1:00-2:00 pm EST.

The webinar, which draws on Packaged Facts' report Office Coffee Service in the U.S.: Market Trends and Opportunities (March 2015), lays out the opportunities, challenges and trends shaping the office coffee service market.

To register for the webinar or for more information please visit:

To purchase a copy of Office Coffee Service in the U.S.: Market Trends and Opportunities please visit:

More than 7 million households in Canada own pets

June 16 - In the just-released Canadian Pet Market Outlook, 2nd Edition (May 2015), Packaged Facts reports that 7.3 million Canadian households have pets.  Featuring dozens of expert insights into the Canadian pet market, including recommendations regarding the future of the industry, drivers, sales figures, and more, the report is a must own addition to any research library.

Purchase a copy before October 1 and receive a 5% discount using promo code PFCPMO2015.


Subscribe to Packaged Facts Home RSS