Food Business News - April 7, 2015 - (Page 10)

Health concerns, competitive headwinds slow U.S. chocolate sales growth CHICAGO - Sales of chocolate confectionery in the United States surged 24% between 2009 and 2014 to an estimated $21 billion and are expected to reach $25 billion in 2019, but the pace of growth slowed in the past year, according to research from Mintel. With 85% of consumers purchasing chocolate and 53% eating it weekly, the United States leads the global chocolate market. However, 2014 sales rose only 3% over 2013, as the market faced such challenges as intensifying health concerns, competition from chocolate-flavored food and beverage offerings, and higher costs. The price of sugar grown domestically was 50% to 100% higher than in global markets last year, resulting in price increases on chocolate confectionery products that didn't go unnoticed. Seventy-one per cent of consumers were aware of the increased pricing, but only 3% stopped buying because of it, Mintel said. "The challenges facing the global market in 2014 have been related in part to supply, as the price of cocoa increased 9% in the first 10 months of the year, driven up by a number of factors, including increased demand, climate change and crop disease," said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight, Mintel Food and Drink. "Looking toward 2015 and beyond, Asia will lead the way in market growth, while established markets such as North America and Europe will grow at lower rates. Consumers in these markets tend to prefer 'favorite' products and are not willing to experiment with innovative or novel - and typically more expensive - products." Chocolate confectionery sales in 2014 grew 19% in South Korea, 18% in India, 16% in China and 12% in Vietnam. Among American chocolate buyers, 72% eat it as a treat, and 32% purchase more of it during holidays, such as Easter, Mintel said. Seventyone per cent of consumers who purchase chocolate prefer options with mix-ins over plain or unflavored varieties. Innovation benefited the global chocolate market in the past year, with new product launches growing 18% between 2013 and 2014. Europe led the way with 51% of all launches in 2014, followed by Asia Pacific with 21%, North America with 12%, Latin America with 9% and Middle East and Asia with 6%. Chocolate innovation in the United States takes a seasonal focus, with 42% of last year's introductions featuring festive shapes, flavors or packaging. Products with nuts and nut flavors are rising in U.S. launches, while plain and unflavored varieties have seen steep declines. "The global chocolate market has seen considerable innovation in flavor and texture, including flavors such as beer and yogurt capturing consumer attention," Ms. Mogelonsky said. "In addition to enhancing the flavor of chocolate confectionery with added ingredients, there has also been newfound focus on chocolate itself, with both white and dark chocolate gaining in popularity. "New product development continues to be imaginative, with more exploration of flavors and textures outside the sweet flavor tradition. However, efforts to innovate will continue to run up against a consumer base that tends to be more conservative in product choice." FBN Innovation brewing at McCormick SPARKS, MD. - What goes better with a burger than beer? Ahead of grilling season, new launches from McCormick & Co. include a seasoning blend inspired by Blue Moon Belgian-style ale. The item, created to leverage the popularity of craft beer, is among a pipeline of products developed to regain share in the spices and seasonings category. "In the U.S. we continue to 10 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® gain share of recipe mixes, while in spices and seasonings we still see robust category growth, but we still have some work to do in this market," said Alan Wilson, chairman and chief executive officer, during a March 24 earnings call with financial analysts. "Our key initiatives in North America are innovation, building brand equity and category leadership at retail." For the first quarter ended Feb. 28, McCormick's net income slipped 15% to $70.5 million, equal to 55c per share on the common stock, from $82.5 million, or 62c per share, in the prior-year period. Excluding special charges, adjusted earnings per share increased 13% to 70c from 62c in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Net sales increased 1.7% to $1,010.4 million from $993.4 million in the comparable quarter. Excluding the impact April 7, 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - April 7, 2015

Food Business News - April 7, 2015
Challenges ahead for ConAgra Foods
Shifting from weight management to wellness
Beverage Business News - Beyond milk: Dairy ingredient trends
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - India may soon rival China in growth
Health concerns, competitive headwinds slow U.S. chocolate sales growth
Innovation brewing at McCormick
Tyson Foods leveraging Hillshire innovation
Heinz, Kraft merger offers ample international opportunities
Kroger on the cutting edge
Packaged meats sales lift Smithfield earnings
Market Insight - Farmers’ planting intentions vary from expectations
Washington - Feinstein, Leahy introduce B.P.A. labeling bill
Company Profile - Panera 2.0: In pursuit of excellence
Ingredient Innovations - Anticipating egg alternative needs
Dairy solids assist with flavor development
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A. March 1 soybean, corn and wheat stocks up from year ago
Ingredient Markets
Highlights from Research Chefs Association’s Culinary Expo in New Orleans
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - April 7, 2015