MarketLooks: Food Gifting in the U.S.
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Title: Food Gifting in the U.S.
Published: June 2007
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The following is the abstract from the full report:
Today’s food gifting market is no longer the domain of men buying boxed chocolates for their sweetheart and companies giving specialty food gifts to clients and colleagues. Consumer interest in food gifts is booming, with sales up 56% from 2004 to 2006, spurred by frustration with traditional gifting and the desire to give a gift that is unique, personal, indulgent, convenient, fun to share and sure to please. Corporate spending on food gifts also grew by 14% during that period. In short, food gifts are a no-brainer for many shoppers. A rising interest in gourmet, natural/organic and other specialty foods is also fueling demand. While boxed chocolate for Valentine’s Day is still the single most popular item, one out of three consumers purchased a specialty food gift during the winter holiday season, with assortments, nuts and salty snacks the topping the list.
What makes the food-gifting boom more remarkable is that it comes at a time when Americans are tightening their belts on gift-giving overall. The consumer gift market shrank 8% from 2004 to 2006, despite a 13% increase in total retail/e-commerce sales. Self-gifting is on the rise, as consumers are daunted by the challenge of “What to buy?” and the frustration of gift misfires. The most popular holiday gift—clothing—is also the most likely item to be returned. Growth in food gifting is expected to continue with the entry of online retail giants such as 1-800-FLOWERS and Amazon.com, and the popularity of grocery stores and big-box discounters as a source for last-minute food gifts. Although future growth isn’t expected to keep up with the spectacular 47% increase of 2004-2006, Packaged Facts forecasts healthy growth over the next several years, pushing sales over $23 billion by 2010.
Food Gifting in the U.S. focuses on the U.S. market for consumer and corporate food gifts in the context of all gift purchases. The report analyzes the highly fragmented market by channel, including brick-and-mortar retailers (47% of food gift sales), online and direct marketers (32%), and independents, franchises and distributorships (21%). Trends in gift-giving overall and by occasion are examined, along with factors driving the food-gifting market. The report also reviews the results of an exclusive Packaged Facts online poll, along with marketing, retail and consumer trends and growth opportunities.
The information in Food Gifting in the U.S. is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved interviews with industry experts such as the co-owner of Omaha Steaks and founder of 1-800-FLOWERS. Secondary research entailed gathering data from relevant trade, business and government sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unity Marketing, the National Retail Federation, BIGresearch, IRI InfoScan, company reports, retail audits, Gift Basket Review and Entrepreneur.com. Consumer data were obtained from Simmons Market Research Bureau’s Fall 2006 National Consumer Study. In addition, Packaged Facts conducted its own online poll of 1,000 adults in March 2007 to measure the spending and attitudes of shoppers.