Top 10 CPG Growth Categories: Coffee Heads the List

October 5, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | CPG & FMCG | Data-driven | Food & Restaurants | Radio | Retail & E-Commerce

Coffee tops the the list of the 10 fastest-growing consumer goods categories in 2012, according to Retailing Today’s annual analysis of the top 100 retailers and categories, using Nielsen data. Coffee sales jumped 19.4% during the 52-week period ended August 4 2012, with other notables from the top 10 list including yogurt (#5; +9.5%); women’s fragrances (#7; +8.6%); vitamins (#8; up 8.5%); and liquor (#9; up 8.4%).

Pet care took the tenth spot, up 8.1%. Pet care is a fairly recession-proof industry, reported Packaged Facts in April 2012, with ownership of dogs and cats up 28% between 2006 and 2011 in minority households alone. Higher-income households ($70k+ per year) account for over half of pet industry spending, including food and non-food, as well as veterinary services.

Top 10 By Sales: Fresh/Frozen Friction

Fresh produce topped the Retail Insights report’s list of top 100 product categories by sales, at $21.9 billion, ahead of carbonated beverages ($21.5 billion), snacks, paper products, and bread and baked goods (each at roughly $20.9 billion). Each of the top 5 product categories saw growth in sales over the 52-week period, with snacks leading the way with a 7.3% increase in sales. Frozen prepared foods took the 9th spot, with $14 billion in sales (up 1.5%), followed by pet food, with sales increasing 2.8% to $13.6 billion.

While the Nielsen data shows frozen food sales as being up 1.5% for that 52-week period ending in August, Packaged Facts describes those sales (and for roughly the same period) as flat and declining. Packaged Facts’ own August 2012 survey found that consumers prefer fresh foods, citing that as the most significant reason for not buying frozen (57%), followed by a preference for home-cooked foods (35%). Other reasons, each cited by under 20%, were disliking the taste, lacking freezer space, and being unsure of frozen foods’ nutritional value or quality.

Top 10 Retailers Indicate Value-Seeking Consumers

The top 10 retailers by 2011 revenue, particularly the top 3, indicate consumers’ eagerness to find value. Topping the list is Walmart, at $444 billion, far ahead of the rest of the pack. Second-placed Kroger, the nation’s largest operator of conventional grocery stores, reached $90.4 billion, about $1 for every $5 Walmart took in. Warehouse club Costco was in third place with $87 billion, followed by drugstore chain Walgreens ($72 billion), The Home Depot ($70 billion), Target Corp. ($69.9 billion), CVS Caremark ($59.6 billion), Best Buy ($50.7 billion), Lowe’s ($50.2 billion), ($48.1 billion) and Safeway ($43.6 billion).

SymphonyIRI in a just-released executive briefing on food and beverage sales found that shoppers see value largely as a function of price. For example, 78% of shoppers surveyed said they will continue to seek deals in the future, even if the economy improves, and 56% are choosing stores based on lower pricing. While grocery and drug channels suffered reduced trips per buyer (0.2% and 0.6% respectively), mass merchandisers (excluding Walmart) saw 4.4% growth in trips per buyer and dollar stores 7.2% growth. That same briefing shows that Walmart trips per buyer grew by 3.2% this year over 2011.

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