“A lot of people are looking for alternatives to [traditional] protein, and nut and seed butters, almond butters, peanut butter and things like that are really on a growth spike,” said Ron Tanner, VP of philanthropy, and government and industry relations for the Specialty Food Association.
Tanner attributes sluggish growth in the bread and baked goods segment to a rise in celiac diagnoses and consumers avoiding gluten.
The largest specialty category continues to be cheese with nearly $4 billion in sales in 2013.
Retailers predict that non-GMO labels will interest consumers more than organic labels, which also ensure a product is GMO-free, in the next three years.
Importers are bringing foods from Latin America, the Mediterranean and India to the U.S.
Specialty food manufacturers will roll out more gluten-free, convenient and indulgent fare.