Packaged Facts' holiday guide to the food gifting demographic

This blog is based on Food Gifting in the U.S., 4th Edition. For more insights from the report click here.

Nov. 17 -Behold the food gift, that wonderfully trendy present that combines two things people love: yummy morsels that tantalize the taste buds and the thrill of being the recipient of someone else’s thoughtfulness. On the strength of gift-giving centric occasions such as birthdays, Valentine’s Day and winter holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa), U.S. food gifting sales reached an estimated $21 billion in 2014, up 5%, according to Packaged Facts in the report Food Gifting in the U.S., 4th Edition. Resurgence by the American middle class after a period of post-recession adjustment also played a role in the market’s growth, and sales are projected to increase an additional 5% by the end of this year and again by 5% in 2016.

Undoubtedly, the recession had a very significant impact on historical sales trends, as the highly discretionary nature of food gifting became significantly affected by disposable income trends. But as consumers have fought their way out the recession, so, too has the food gifting industry. Of particular importance, are signs of growing food gifting strength among middle-income consumers, which bodes well for a market that has relied heavily on higher-income consumers to tow it through and out of the recession. If Middle America is ready to spend more on food gifts, the industry will see brighter days ahead.

Ancient grains – Not all about quinoa

Don’t miss out on this exclusive discount. Purchase Food Formulation Trends:  Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients before January 15, 2016 and save 5% using promo code PFGRAINS15.

Nov. 13 - Two ingredients no trendy restaurant would dare leave off the menu these days are kale and quinoa.  Although some recent media reports suggest that quinoa fatigue has started to set in and another ancient grain is about to steal the show, quinoa fans need not despair.  The sustained appeal of quinoa, and ancient grains generally, can, in part, be attributed to the growing number of products containing them that flag the lack of genetic modification or gluten, or both.  Their ability to add visual, flavor and textural appeal must also not be overlooked.  Clearly, the stories behind ancient grains resonate so strongly with consumers and the nutritional and health benefits are so compelling that there is plenty of room for quinoa to share the stage with less widely known ancient grains. 

This is particularly true for Millennials and consumers age 39 and younger.  Findings from the April 2015 Packaged Facts consumer survey reported in Food Formulation Trends:  Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients indicate that while nearly 30% of all U.S. adults purchased ancient grains either in restaurants, as prepared foods or as packaged foods or beverages or bulk bin items at food retailers in the past 30 days, almost half (46%) of those age 18 to 39 purchased them.  These younger consumers consistently purchased ancient grains as packaged or bulk product at retail in the past 30 days at much higher rates than consumers age 40 to 49, who consistently demonstrated higher purchase rates compared with consumers age 50 and above.  

What’s next for co-branded and affinity credit cards?

For more insights from Co-branded and Affinity Credit Cards in the U.S. visit the report product page here.

Nov. 2 - With credit cards offering ever richer rewards tier architectures (is 3-2-1 already passé?), many wonder whether the card industry is trading rewards for lower profit margins. So far, we think this concern is overblown: rewards costs are indeed rising; but as they move toward lower-cost digital channels, card member acquisition and communication expenses are falling.

But acquisition means little when card members find that the rewards they were promised are lost in translation when it comes time to redeem them. As word to the wise, according to data found in our Co-branded and Affinity Credit Cards in the U.S. report, some 55% of co-branded cardholders citing a card rewards program as a co-branded card sign-up influencer say that would be strongly motivated to do so if the program had fair and simple methods to use rewards points.

What We’re Reading: China UnionPay becomes payment-card market leader

China Daily USA published this article based on insights featured in Packaged Facts' brand-new report, Commercial Payment Cards: U.S. and Global Market Trends, 9th Edition.

Oct. 30 - China UnionPay's (CUP) ambitious approach to building partnerships has helped it become the largest payment-card network in the world, according to the author of a recent market report.

“CUP has aggressively forged partnerships with bank card issuers and processors across the globe, and buoyed by network reciprocity agreements, its cards are accepted at more than 37 million merchants, putting its brand acceptance on par with Visa and MasterCard,” David Morris, a consultant who wrote the report for Packaged Facts, told China Daily.

China UnionPay Co has passed competitors such as Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc and American Express Co, the report said.

Read the full article at:

Nothing scary about the bright future of the U.S. chocolate candy market

In time for Halloween, Packaged Facts is offering a sweet discount on Chocolate Candy in the U.S., 10th Edition. Purchase the report by Dec. 31 and receive 5% off with promo code PFHALCHOC.

Oct. 26 — Americans love their chocolate. And while seasonal events such as a Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween seemingly offer unabashed opportunity to gorge on these sweet treats in all their various incarnations, truth is the majority of consumers find reasons to indulge their chocolate cravings year-round

In the report Chocolate Candy in the U.S., 10th Edition, Packaged Facts estimates that some 81% of American consumers eat chocolate and the future outlook for the U.S. chocolate candy market is appropriately bullish.  By 2018, sales of chocolate candy in the U.S. are forecast to exceed $26 billion for the first time, up from roughly $22 billion in sales estimated by the end of 2015.  Most important, the category is quite dynamic: with a strong pace of innovation, an influx of creative new players and a steady flow of new products that engage consumers. 

Lawn & garden supplies market dominated by Scotts, challenged by weather and economy

This blog is based on Packaged Facts’ Lawn and Garden Supplies in the U.S. 10th Edition. Purchase the report by Dec. 15 and receive 5% off with promo code PFLAWNSUP

Oct. 19 - Americans love their lawns and gardens and use Scotts Miracle-Gro products more than others to care for them. Scotts is the market leader by a wide margin, controlling an estimated 60% of total sales in the U.S. The company is the leader in all four categories of L&G supplies: fertilizers, growth media, grass seed and pesticides.  The balance of overall sales comes primarily from a handful of marketers and the exclusive/private label brands sold by retailers Walmart (Expert Gardener), Home Depot (Vigoro), and Lowe’s (Sta-Green).  These three retailers dominate distribution of L&G supplies.  Evidence of their power is the fact that Scotts generated nearly 70% of its Global Consumer segment sales in fiscal 2014 from the three chains.   These so-called “big box” stores along with other mass retailers like Costco account for three quarters of L&G supply sales with the balance mainly coming from hardware stores (True Value, Ace, Menards) and garden centers/nurseries.  Challenged by the discount prices of mass retailers, hardware stores and garden centers/nurseries tend to focus on service, expertise, convenience of being local, and brands that are exclusive to the channel.

The economy and weather haven’t been very cooperative for marketers of L&G supplies.  Lawn and Garden Supplies in the U.S. 10th Edition details how L&G supplies is a mature market with sales highly dependent on the economy, housing, household formation, regulations, weather, and seasonality.  Continued economic challenges have made market recovery uneven and weather has also created fluctuations in sales year-to-year.  Sales peaked at the height of the housing boom in 2005, and have been declining and trying to recover ever since.   The market has stabilized somewhat with sales basically flat between 2010 and 2014.  Packaged Facts estimates total retail sales at $5.7 billion in 2014.  Growth media accounted for an estimated 35% of the total, pesticides 32%, fertilizers 24% and grass seed 9% of total sales.

A moment to reflect on world hunger

Oct. 16 – We are one planet and one people. Oceans may separate us physically, cultural and language differences may influence our perspectives, but today on World Food Day we are reminded that the needs of the few cannot be ignored by the many.  

Few needs are as universally pervasive as having enough food on a daily basis. Yet world hunger remains an international blight afflicting people in both developed and developing countries alike.  An estimated 1 out of 9 (or 805 million of the 7.3 billion) people in the world suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

On World Food Day and everyday, Packaged Facts salutes those dedicated to eradicating world hunger. Together we can change the world.


The card fades into the background

This blog is based on Private Label Credit Cards in the U.S., 9th Edition. Purchase a copy by Dec. 1 and receive 5% off with promo code PFPLCC1015.

Oct. 13 - The movement to virtual private label cards housed within retailer mobile apps foretells the eventual demise of the physical card:

  • Already, more than 30% of private label card issuer and program manager Alliance Data Systems’ private label card purchase value is made via card-not-present transactions.

More broadly, retailer loyalty programs are not only increasingly digital in nature but also increasingly take any kind of payment—not just private label card payments. In Private Label Credit Cards in the U.S., 9th Edition, Packaged Facts reveals expectations that the multi-tender loyalty program trend will continue in force, with strong continued uptake over the next two to three years.

Consumers finding more reasons to trade frozen pizza for restaurant pizza

October is National Pizza Month, and Packaged Facts is offering 20% off Pizza Market in the U.S.: Foodservice and Retail, 2nd Edition until November 1. Use promo code PFNPM2015 at checkout.

Oct. 7 -  Americans love pizza as evidenced by its position as the second most popular cuisine at quick-service restaurants—regardless of whether the location is simply a mainstream chain or one that specializes in pizza—and and its top position at full-service pizza restaurants, according to research in the report Pizza Market in the U.S.: Foodservice and Retail, 2nd Edition. Sales at U.S. pizza restaurants reached $41 billion in 2014, up 3% from 2013. Packaged Facts forecasts the restaurant pizza segment will have sales approaching $43 billion by the end of 2015.

The pizza industry is being buoyed by an improving economy that gives consumers more reason to dine out—and to trade out of frozen pizza and into restaurant pizza. Pizza restaurants, especially the major chains, are also capitalizing on digital ordering, creating a simple and convenient sales path allowing consumers to order anytime/anywhere. Roughly 50% of Domino’s and Papa John’s sales come from the online/mobile channel, and half of Pizza Hut’s online ordering is performed via mobile. And in the face of broader fast casual restaurant competition, many pizza restaurant players are ratcheting up the quality of their offerings. Over the past several years, Domino’s has moved aggressively to improve its food quality, and Pizza Hut has undergone a brand overhaul that delivers more-trend forward variety and better quality.

Save 15% on “Proteins - Classic, Alternative and Exotic Sources: Culinary Trend Tracking Series” for World Vegetarian Day

Oct. 1 - Data from Packaged Facts April-May 2014 consumer survey reveal that almost 30% of U.S. adult consumers seek out vegetarian sources of protein. These sources span a healthy range of products from beans & legumes to “fake meat", according to Proteins - Classic, Alternative and Exotic Sources: Culinary Trend Tracking Series.

In honor of World Vegetarian Day 2015, Packaged Facts is offering 15% off Proteins - Classic, Alternative and Exotic Sources: Culinary Trend Tracking Series if purchased by November 1. Use promo code PFWVD.


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