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The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has released its annual State of the Specialty Food Industry 2021-2022 edition, according to a press release.

The research published in the report shows that total specialty food sales hit $170.4 billion in 2020, and that specialty food brick-and-mortar sales hit $83.4 billion between 2018-2020, driven by 19.4% sales growth in 2020 alone. For comparison, all food grew 17% at retail in 2020, compared to 3% growth from 2017-2019.

That growth, of course, was due to COVID-19 surge buying and at-home eating. Specialty categories related to at-home eating—including baking mixes, pasta and sauces, frozen entrees, and frozen and refrigerated meat, poultry, and seafood—soared. Online shopping was up 80% from 2019 to 2020, and 170% from 2018 to 2020.

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That growth, though, is not sustainable, according to the report’s market forecast. The press release states that brick-and-mortar sales are on-track for above-normal growth through the end of 2021, but will then return to pre-pandemic levels of 4.4% CAGR between 2022 and 2025.

The research is based on sales data tracked across 63 categories by SPINS/IRI, plus estimates for ecommerce and foodservice sales. The report includes analysis of market size and sales; retail dollar and unit sales growth; specialty food category penetration; and 10-year tracking and forecasting in key categories. The full report can be purchased here.

Original post at wholefoodsmagazine.com