Shelf-stable foods have proven a boon for consumers this year as olive oils, salts, cocktail mixers, dips and more as it has the opportunity for repeat sales and customer loyalty, industry insiders said.
Shelf-stable foods have the ability to pair with several housewares lines, making it an add-on opportunity for sales from barware to cookware and in-between. This accounts for the industry increase to $5.1 million from $4.8 million in 2016, as well as the change in rank in contribution to gross sales. Of the gourmet insiders who completed the State Of The Industry survey in 2017, 19% of them ranked shelf-stable foods as second on contribution to gross sales while in 2016 the category was ranked the highest in the seventh position at 18%.
While coffee and tea are still the main categories pushing the shelf-stable segment, olive oils are not far behind. The amount of gourmet insiders putting olive oil and balsamic vinegar refill stations in at the store is growing, as it gives customers a reason to come back.
Gourmet style salts are making a splash in the shelf-stable industry as well. Manufacturers are touting everything from smoked salts to wine-infused salts as a way to up the ante on meals prepared at home.
Local foods are also sought-after, according to industry experts. Gourmet insiders note the interest of Millennials in buying local as a reason for their increased sales.