Author: Grace Garwood

Q&A: Plant-Based Menu Innovations Gen Z Students Love

Colleges and universities are on the frontline of plant-based foodservice innovation as they cater to the Gen Z students who will help shape the future of menus. For additional insights, The Food Institute spoke with …

IRI: Global Snacking Trends to Watch

A recent webinar from market research firm IRI unpacked various snacking opportunities around the globe that are enticing shoppers amid current economic challenges and new patterns of consumption. Here are a few key takeaways: The …

Key Takeaways from New Report on Veganism

Judging by online searches, veganism is not as hot as it used to be. The global popularity of vegan-related search terms appears to be slowing down, according to a recent analysis of Google AdWords data …

Fresh Berry Category Ripe for Summertime Success

Berries were a powerhouse throughout the pandemic and the category continues to thrive as convenience and nutritional appeal keep consumers coming back for more. According to an April report by IRI, fresh berries are the …

Bacon Battles Soaring Inflation with Innovation

As record high prices put a damper on bacon sales, retailers and producers are leveraging innovation to help drive consumer engagement. Per IRI data, dollar sales for bacon totaled $6.4 billion in the week ending …

3 Strategies for CPG Success During a Recession

During the Great Recession, consumers spent less, traded down, and cut back on many CPG purchases. A recent report from the IRI Recession-Proof Your Business series explored these behaviors to glean strategies for success in …

Demand Growing for Clean Label Meat Alternatives

As a broader variety of plant-based protein alternatives enter the market, health-conscious flexitarians are turning a more critical eye towards ingredients and production methods. In 2021, consumer interest in clean label grew by 86% within …

Is Easter the MVP of Holiday Candy Sales?

In the seasonal candy playing field, Easter has been knocking it out of the park. Per IRI data, combined sales for chocolate and non-chocolate seasonal candy totaled $1.3 billion in the 7-week period ending April …

Plant-Based Snacks Enjoying Steady Growth

As consumers continue to blur the line between snacks and meals, the plant-based category is playing an active role in the space between. Seventy-eight percent of global consumers say their definition of snacks has evolved …

Deli Prepared Foods Thriving Despite Inflationary Squeeze

As rampant inflation tightens its grip across the food industry, many consumers are cutting back on grocery staples and trading down to cheaper items. All the while, higher-ticket prepared food sales are soaring. Comparative unit …

No Cap in Sight for Booming Mushroom Market

Retailers are digging up new ways to boost fresh mushrooms sales in the produce department and beyond, as consumer interest in fungi functionality continues to thrive. The global mushroom market size is expected to reach …

7 Ways CPG Companies Accelerated Growth in 2021

In a recent IRI webinar on consumer packaged goods (CPG) company performance in 2021, senior leaders from three of the category’s top performing companies — Michael Del Pozzo from PepsiCo, Gary Osifchin from Reckitt, and …

Can Indulgent Treats Improve Health and Wellness?

The pandemic era strengthened food and beverage trends like health, wellness and nostalgic indulgence. While contradictory at first glance, these behaviors are finding alignment as consumers redefine what constitutes “healthy” behavior. Health and wellness are …

Can Plant-Based Innovation Boost Store Brand Sales?

On the heels of a stagnant sales year for store brands, Amazon and Kroger are bulking up their private label portfolios with plant-based products. Is category innovation on the horizon? The Food Institute Podcast · …

Is Plant-Based Meat at a Retail Crossroads?

Alternative meat sales continue to plateau at retail following strong performance in recent years. Has plant-based meat reached its peak, or is this just a lengthy chapter in the emerging category’s evolutionary process? According to …

CPG Companies Eye Plant-Based Market with Different Goals

More major CPG companies are playing in plant-based, flagging the alt-protein category as a potential catalyst for growth. But industrywide, the depth of that value is not easily measured in broad strokes. “When you factor …

Why Are Private Label Products Not Thriving Amidst Inflation?

Shoppers have historically gravitated to store brands when economic times get tough. But despite record-high prices, private label food and beverage sales continue to dip below their national counterparts at retail. Overall, store brand dollar …

Growth Prospects Strong for Plant-Based Cheese

Cheese is pegged as the next growth category for plant-based dairy at retail, as quality innovations flourish and big players start to make inroads. Globally, the vegan cheese market is expected to expand at a …

Is Plant-Based Bacon Poised for a Breakout?

Replicating bacon has been no small task for alternative protein producers, but new innovations in flavor and texture are bringing plant-based options ever closer to home. “Plant-based bacon is going to have its moment in …

Study Reveals Trendsetting CPG Companies

The 10th annual Growth Leaders study from IRI and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) explores the top performing consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies of 2021 and strategies that enabled their growth. The total U.S. CPG industry …

IRI Report: Versatility Key to Winning Breakfast Category

Breakfast occasions were big business for retailers in 2021, with at home consumption remaining above pre-pandemic levels. However, many traditional breakfast categories saw mixed sales results. In a new report, Winning Breakfast, Generation by Generation, …

Plant-Based Chocolate Emerging as Consumer Sweet Spot

Consumers’ perception of chocolate as a functional indulgence has made it a growing target for plant-based exploration. The global vegan chocolate confectionery market is expected to reach $1.41 billion by 2028, registering a compound annual …

Assessing the Plant-Based Landscape for 2022

Pandemic challenges in 2021 impacted the plant-based industry in divergent ways, as more consumers experimented at home and operators across restaurants and retail prioritized inventory over innovation. “At retail, we are seeing the biggest [plant-based] …

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2021 Food Labeling Summit

Coffee Chains Expected to Continue Thriving in 2022

Demand for coffee outside the home increased substantially in 2021, while traction at the grocery store remained strong – further solidifying the category’s overall appeal and adaptability to shifting consumer behaviors. According to a recent …

Fresh Bakery Positioned for Growth Through Differentiation

The bakery department bounced back in 2021, with the fresh perimeter making a full recovery and overtaking aisle bakery as the sales growth leader. Furthermore, perimeters that faired best were those that didn’t just try …

U.S.-Backed Study Draws Renewed Focus on Precision Nutrition

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is awarding $170 million to clinics and educational centers over a five-year period to conduct research for one of the largest, most diverse precision nutrition efforts in the country. …

Deli Department Slices Way Toward Growth in 2022

The deli department was a grocery hotspot in 2021 and retailers are anticipating continued popularity in the year ahead. According to IRI data, deli department sales totaled $40.8 billion in the 52-week period ending December …

What is the Net Value of Restaurant Subscription Services?

More quick service restaurants (QSRs) are rolling out subscription services in the new year to leverage the pandemic pivot towards mobile ordering and remain top of mind with consumers. Throughout the month of January, Sweetgreen …

Convenience Store Growth Poised to Continue Amid Pandemic

Convenience stores have been reaping the benefits of pandemic-induced shifts in consumer behavior and many chains across the U.S. are targeting expansion, according to a Retail Tenant Expansion Report by real estate firm Stan Johnson …

Plant-Based Alternatives Push Further into Fast-Food

Plant-based offerings continue to expand across restaurant menus, as major players like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat broaden their partnerships with fast-food chains. McDonald’s recently announced plans for a major U.S. expansion of its plant-based …

Consumers Continue to Spend Despite Drop in Economic Optimism

Consumers are making purchases at a record clip, but economic sentiment continues to wane. Spending across Bank of America’s network of debit and credit cards has surged — mainly in entertainment, travel, and restaurants — …

IRI: Snacking at Home Trend Destined to Continue

Snacking behavior continues to evolve as more consumers return to work and resume activities outside the home. In the months ahead, companies should anticipate demand for on-the-go items —including snack bars and single-serve packaging — …

Restaurants Slim Down Menus and Target Innovation Ahead of 2022

As another challenging year for the restaurant industry winds down, operators continue to push back on the permeating impacts of COVID-19. All the while, innovative prospects glimmer on the horizon. Reduced Menus Increased food costs …