WRITTEN AND DEVELOPED BY THE GROCERY HEADQUARTERS EDITORIAL STAFF.
In this Presidential election year, time and again, the tele- vision is full of sound bytes from candidates, campaign managers and pundits putting a certain spin on all kinds of numbers. Here at Grocery Headquarters we let the numbers speak for themselves. Our annual State of the Industry Almanac issue, published in conjunction with Chicago-based market research firm
IRI, provides the top 10 brands and five best-selling vendors in
an array of categories. The categories range from baby food to
beer to refrigerated bacon, and yes, soup to nuts. Sales figures
are for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 24.
So which candidates, er, categories are the front-runners and
which have some work to do?
Based on sheer volume, the carbonated beverages category
still gets the nod as No.1 in the supermarket with $10.7 billion
in sales, which was essentially the same as the previous year.
However, as election rhetoric ramped up last year, perhaps consumers turned to something stronger to drown out the noise.
The beer/alcohol/cider category eclipsed the $10 billion mark,
up 5. 3 percent for the year and passing milk for the No. 2 spot
on the list. Wine and spirits/liquor sales also fared well. Wine
dollar sales were up 7. 4 percent while unit sales increased 4. 7
percent. Spirits/liquor sales were up 6. 5 percent in dollars and
6.1 percent in units.
“To some degree, it is the passing of the baton to other types
of beverages,” says a beverage buyer for a Texas-based retailer.
“Consumers have so many other choices in the beverage catego-
ries—alcoholic and non-alcoholic—that it is inevitable that car-
bonated beverage sales will no longer increase. The pressure is
on us to accommodate all of these products in a finite amount of
space—and that is pretty hard.”
In an election there are candidates that perform as expected,
those that do unexpectedly well and those that fail to live up
to expectations. Similar can be said about the categories in the
supermarket. For example, the salty snacks category is a solid
performer, ranked fourth in dollars with sales of $9.1 billion,
The Grocery Headquarters annual STATE OF THE INDUSTRY ALMANAC
takes a comprehensive look at dozens of supermarket categories
THE INDUS TRY