Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 13

Premium
products
Shoppers are
buying more
fresh herbs as they
experiment in the
kitchen while
cooking at home.

Healthfulness and at-home cooking
drive success in the category
BY EMILY PARK

E

ven as the United States faces the worst financial crisis since
the 2008 recession and record unemployment as a result
of COVID-19, consumers are still finding plenty of value in
premium and specialty products across the fresh perimeter.
A report released by Nielsen in April 2020 identified that consumers
are willing to pay more for premium products that are high-quality/
safety standards (49%), have superior function or performance (46%),
include organic/all-natural ingredients (41%), are made with sustainable
materials (38%), offer something no other product on the market does
(37%), have social responsibility claims (30%) and originate from a
specific region or country (21%).
These factors have increasingly come into play amid the pandemic as
consumers seek sustainable, healthful products that cater to increased
at-home eating. Premium products have experienced heightened
demand amid the pandemic.
" Every category in the store is seeing examples of people going for a
little splurge, " said Anne-Marie Roerink, president of San Antonio, Texasbased 210 Analytics. " Importantly, there is another driver of premium
food sales as well and that is experimentation. We see this in specialty
produce, fresh herbs, asparagus, etc., that are used to create fresh and
upscale meals. We're seeing it in meat, with the above-average growth

of lamb, bison and high-end beef cuts. And we're seeing it in dairy
where specialty cheese have grown as fast as packaged cheeses. "

Shoppers want better ingredients for cooking at home
Since the start of the pandemic, Wendy Robinson, grocery manager and
senior buyer of Oakland, Calif.-based Market Hall Foods has seen a drop
in customers but not in sales at her specialty supermarket. It seems that
as restaurant operations remain limited and people continue to cook
more at home, they're becoming more likely to spend a little extra on
high-quality, premium ingredients that will make their food pop.
" We don't have the capability of eating at restaurants and having that
same dining experience where a chef is showcasing products for you, "
Robinson said. " So consumers are spending that extra dollar or two
to get that artisanal quality product that so much love has gone into
because the flavor and taste is there. "
When selecting premium products, Robinson looks for two main
things: the product has to taste good, and it needs to be made with
clean ingredients. People are willing to spend an extra dollar when the
quality is being shown, she noted. And in pandemic times surrounded
by economic uncertainty, shoppers are being extra choosy and buying
products they know they will enjoy.

Factors driving consumers to buy premium products:
45%
has superior
function or
performance

41%
includes organic/
all-natural
ingredients

38%
made with
sustainable
materials

37%
offers something
no other
product on the
market does

supermarketperimeter.com

30%
has social
responsibility
claims

21%
originates from
a specific region
or country
Source: Nielsen

DECEMBER 2020 - 13


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Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020

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Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 1
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