Jumping into the Canadian pet market with all four feet

Jumping into the Canadian pet market with all four feet

Canadians love their pets, and the Canadian pet market’s steady growth over the past five years is proof positive that the “pets as family” mentality has taken firm root in the Canadian mindset, as health- and wellness-related spending and premium products drive sales slowly upward with each passing year.

Pets are aging along with their care-givers, but the costs of maintaining older pets hasn’t stopped the Baby Boomer population from abandoning their furry “children.” Veterinary costs are up ...


Not all salty snackers look like Homer Simpson

Not all salty snackers look like Homer Simpson

Nearly everybody eats salty snacks at one time or another. More than 90% of households in the country report using a salty snack in the past 30 days. Potato chips are eaten by 85% of American households. Corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks rank next in popularity (72% of households), followed by popcorn products (71%) and pretzels (55%).

Although salty snacks are a ubiquitous part of American diets, some of us crave salty snacks much more than others do. There are 50 million Americans who say th...


More ebb, less flow in sales of seafood in the U.S.

More ebb, less flow in sales of seafood in the U.S.

Consumption of seafood in the United States continues to decline incrementally, according to the recently released Fisheries of the United States, 2012 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to NOAA data, Americans on average consumed 14.6 pounds of seafood in 2012, compared with 16.5 pounds in 2006 - a 14% drop. Incremental decline has been evident since the Great Recession.

The report notes that while most fish caught in the U.S. is consumed as seafood, ...


Border skirmishes in the coffee aisle

Border skirmishes in the coffee aisle

As a sign of the ever more competitive environment in the food industry, the supermarket and fast food industries are increasingly border crossing in search of sales growth.

A recent example, as reported in the Wall Street Journal (October 30, 2013): McDonald’s teaming up with Kraft to test market McCafe packaged coffee in k-cups for retail grocery sales.

This new partnership involves a “the competitor of my competitor is my friend” dynamic. A tough quickservice restaurant environment had ea...


E-shopping and lawn and garden equipment

E-shopping and lawn and garden equipment

Nearly a third (31%) of U.S. adult have gardened in the last 12 months. Gardening has fallen off slightly since 2005, with participation rates dropping by a couple of percentage points. Despite this longer-term slight decline, the percentage of people gardening held firm during the recession--as way to reduce stress, grow food, gain more sense of control over one’s life, or simply because consumers were at home more or more practical-minded in their leisure spending.

Gardeners tend to be 35 an...


The K-cups avalanche in the coffee aisle

The K-cups avalanche in the coffee aisle

After getting its foothold in the office segment of the market, single-serve beverage brewing has experienced tremendous growth with widespread and continued adoption in the retail market. Research conducted by the National Coffee Association (NCA) in 2012 found that 36% of respondents who had a single-serve brewing system obtained it within the last six months, indicating just how fast this segment of the beverage market has been growing.

As a result, the packaged coffee category at retail is...


Carrots for store credit card holders

Carrots for store credit card holders

Once home to consumers with higher risk profiles and higher chargeoff rates, store credit card volume and active accounts took a nosedive during the recession, as issuer portfolios groaned under the strain of bad debt and reduced customer engagement. But signs point to a private label turnaround. Deal-making activity suggests that private label card programs have become a more viable and stable income source for issuers; the payment card segment has been buoyed by a spate of deals that has invig...