Last December saw Chicago retail data tracker IRI release its “November 2022 Retail Food and Beverage Price Check” report. Published on December 8, it noted that food inflation finally moderated after August and hit its slowest rate last October, at +0.3%.
According to Innova’s 2022 Flavor Survey, 39% of Americans said they are most likely to experiment with flavors through sauces, seasonings, and toppings. These categories rank ahead of others such as bakery, soup, desserts and ice cream, cheese, savory snacks, and more.
Last year saw The NPD Group, Chicago, share two consumer insight studies with implications for prepared meals and entrees. In its June “Future of Dinner” report, NPD said at-home dinner consumption still remains higher than pre-pandemic levels.
IRI, 210 Analytics and Marriner Marketing joined forces to study meat department sales and trends. In an end-of-year review, 210 Analytics President Anne-Marie Roerink noted that department sales have increased more than $9 billion between 2018 and 2022. Moreover, sales reached a record high of $87.1 billion, up 5.8% from 2021 levels.
The NPD Group suggests reports that consumers still eat most meals at home. Meanwhile, they’re continuing to try plant-based or vegetable-forward options for reasons of health or interest in sustainability. Others follow specialty diets and welcome quick, easy options. Everyday eaters also crave more international tastes.
Per the Innova Database of new products, snack bar new product introductions (cereal and energy bars) grew more than 6% while cold cereal launches expanded by more than 2% during the first 11 months of 2022 versus the same period in 2021. Hot cereal launches declined by around 10% during the same period.
While 85% of consumers say rising inflation has had an impact on the way they shop overall, there are areas in which they are not willing to compromise. Today’s brands are being pushed to be different, accessible, and to seem premium and/or customized—all while driving cost savings for their own operations.
Bread and bread products posted the biggest decline with launches down nearly 11% during the first 11 months of 2022. Crackers launches dipped just more than 2%. Innovation trends around specific health claims softened in 2022.
It’s always good to start a dairy report with a tall glass of milk. While it’s safe to say reports of dairy milk’s demise in the face of the plant-based boom are premature, unit sales slipped again in 2022 by 3.3%. Luckily for the industry, dollar sales increased by more than twice that percentage (7%) due to price-per-unit increases of 11 cents.