- Shelf-stable convenient breakfasts and fresh meat grinds from exotic meats, such as boar, bison, and venison had a successful 2015. The two categories achieved respective sales growth of 40.5% year to date through Nov. 21 and 37.6% year to date through Oct. 31, according to recent Nielsen data.
- While center store categories have struggled, segments like salty snacks, new age beverages, and candy saw noteworthy sales growth in 2015.
- Nielsen also found that consumers spent more money on eating away from home rather than buying groceries.
"It (2015) ushered in changing meal time occasions, welcomed on-the-go consumption and rolled out the red carpet for the all-day breakfast movement," Nielsen said in its report. "Health and wellness was top of mind for consumers, which evoked a new thirst for teas and juicing, along with a hunger for avant-garde offerings like avocado toast, ancient grains, traditional protein and protein alternatives."
Nielsen noted that retailers and food companies began offering more options for prepared foods to lure consumers back to the grocery store with easy, convenient meals rather than those consumers going out to eat. Nielsen called the trend "the rise of the 'grocerant.'" Prepared foods were also popular for this past holiday season.
This trend toward both convenience and on-the-go consumption has aided the growth of the snack industry, as snacking has become more common and is even used as a meal replacement by consumers. As a result, more manufacturers are making their products more snacking-friendly, such as meat snacks from Hormel (Spam Snack, Jennie-O All Natural Turkey Breast Sticks) and To Go Breakfast Mix from Kellogg, which is one of the company's strategies to revive its cereal sales.
Other top categories for sales growth in 2015 include frozen egg substitutes (25%) and eggs (22.4%), despite the skyrocketing prices caused by the bird flu, followed by liquid tea (17.3%) and liquid coffee (16.6%).