Growth in online grocery sales is forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 21.1% between 2013 and 2018, reaching nearly $18 billion, according to Business Insider Intelligence. Consumer demand for flexible shopping options and personalization are major drivers of the trend, according to Unata CEO Chris Bryson. "The shopping experience of the future is allowing shoppers to shop any way they want," he said.
Ice cream parlors are experimenting with flavors ranging from blueberry basil bourbon to foie gras. Unusual flavors cater to consumers with adventurous palates and generate buzz for ice cream shops, said Scott Moloney, owner of Treat Dreams in Ferndale, Mich. "When people come in they will take a picture of it, they'll post it on Instagram," he said.
Almost every American household purchases produce, FMI reported, and the category reached $42.1 billion in sales during the year ending May 30, according to the Nielsen Perishables Group. However, further growth in the category could be a challenge unless retailers put forth efforts such as rethinking their marketing strategy to target men and lower-income households and offering specialty items, recipes and serving suggestions, according to 210 Analytics Principal Anne-Marie Roerink, author of FMI's inaugural Power of Produce report.
Amazon is reportedly planning to launch a drive-thru grocery concept in California, where customers would be able to place orders online and pick them up at the facility at a chosen time. Sources said an Amazon subsidiary has already acquired a Sunnyvale, Calif., site that would include a 11,600-square-foot warehouse and eight car stalls. "We are seeing the emergence of the next generation of the food distribution system," Brick Meets Click Chief Architect Bill Bishop said.
The FDA on Friday issued a proposed rule that would require food and beverage companies to list amounts of added sugar and recommended consumption levels on the nutrition labels of packaged food and drinks. The proposed rule sets the recommended intake of added sugar at no more than 200 calories a day, equal to about 13 teaspoons and 10% of the standard 2,000-calorie diet used for nutrition guidance.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday it has changed a nutrition label information proposal to require food and beverage companies to list amounts of added sugar contained in packaged foods. The FDA also wants the percentage of daily value of sugars, similar to how other components are listed on nutrition labels of packaged food and drinks.
Information from three large diet databases show calorie consumption by Americans has started to decline since peaking in 2003, and when combined with a flattening of the U.S. obesity rate, it has given public health experts hope that the changes will be meaningful. Eating changes have been seen in all demographic groups, but the biggest shifts are among households with children.
Nestle is planning to refresh its frozen brands by focusing on simpler ingredients and global flavors, according to prepared foods division president Jeff Hamilton. In addition to its ongoing efforts to remove artificial flavors and colors from many of its products, the company has added a Fit Kitchen line of healthy entrees geared toward men, a Marketplace line featuring Asian and Mexican flavors and repositioned its Lean Cuisine brand to highlight "new health" rather than weight loss.
Some school districts nationwide are partnering with retail corporations -- allowing them to sponsor back-to-school lists and advertise on school websites -- to raise funds. The programs can be effective, but districts must maintain control, says Mickey Freeman, president and CEO of Education Funding Partners.
Ruby Tuesday will test tabletop tablets in its restaurants beginning this fall. The tablets will allow customers to order and pay at the table, which can speed the dining process, and have games for customers to play while they wait. The move targets families with kids in an effort to recapture some of the market Ruby Tuesday lost when it repositioned itself as more upscale, president and CEO James Buettgen said.