On the fast track
In this year’s Category Guide, SN charted the ups and downs of categories across the perimeter, center store and nonfoods. The following slides show the subcategories that grew the most, with more than 5% increase in dollar sales in the past year, according to IRI. Dollar amounts represent total subcategory sales in supermarkets for the 52 weeks ending Jun 14.
Single cup coffee — $1.7 billion
While Americans spend more money on coffee than ever before, they’re actually consuming less of it as single cup brewers replace coffee makers that once brewed full pots, according to reports.
Read more about the coffee category
Ready-to-eat popcorn/caramel corn — $434.5 million
The snack’s popularity may be due, in part, to its health benefits. Popcorn is a whole grain source that has antioxidants and fiber. And its neutral base makes it ideal for experimental flavors and other innovations.
Read more about the salty snacks category
Almond milk — $638.2 million
Although still a small percentage of category sales, some milk alternatives continue to make strong gains. Almond milk is still on a meteoric rise, with sales up 19.4%, while coconut milk sales jumped 7.8%. Yet, as those beverages gain popularity, soy milk may be falling out of favor with consumers. Soy milk sales were down 10.7%.
Read more about the milk category
RFG weight control/nutritional liquid/powder — $52.3 million
Hand sanitizers — $38.4 million
While sales of bar soaps slip away, they are being replaced by liquid hand soaps and liquid body washes, along with hand sanitizers.
Read more about the soap category
Internal analgesic liquids — $91.1 million
Sparkling/mineral water — $784.9 million
Natural cheese slices — $1.3 billion
Some of the largest cheese subcategories also saw some of the biggest sales gains in the past year, according to IRI. Sales of natural shredded cheese rose 7.4%, natural chunks grew 5.9% and natural slices were up 12.8%.
Read more about the cheese category
Spray disinfectant — $71.6 million
Consumer concerns about health and the overall hygiene of their environment is helping drive sales of household cleaning products, according to a January report from research firm TechNavio. This trend might be reflected in sales of spray disinfectants, which saw the most growth of any subcategory in supermarkets.
Read more about the household cleaners category
Dry broth/stock — $47.2 million
As consumers opt for healthier, more authentic products, supermarket sales of dry broth and stock rose 11.1%, wet broth and stock increased 2.7%, and bouillon was up 0.2%.
Read more about the soup category
Liquid vitamins/minerals — $117.3 million
Chocolate candy box/bag/bar > 3.5 oz — $1.9 billion
Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel food and drink, said more than half of U.S. consumers eat chocolate at least once a week, with 72% considering it as a treat.
Read more about the chocolate candy category