Monday, October 3, 2011

RFF Retailer: That's Greek To Me

That's Greek To Me
by Rich Mitchell
June 1, 2011

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For many shoppers, Mediterranean eating is healthy eating.

And that is having a powerful halo effect on the refrigerated spreads and dips sector.

Refrigerated spreads revenues were up 22.2 percent and unit sales grew 24.6 percent for the 52 weeks ending March 20, 2011 compared to the year-earlier period, reports SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm. The sales breakdown reveals that Mediterranean-oriented products are key category drivers.

The leading refrigerated spreads supplier, Sabra Dipping Co. LLC, White Plains, N.Y., had revenues of $183.1 million, up 43.1 percent for the year ending March 20.

Revenues for spreads from Taunton, Mass.-based Tribe Mediterranean Foods Inc. totaled $44.8 million, up 9.4 percent. “The Mediterranean diet is considered a healthier diet,” says Marcia Schurer, president of Culinary Connections, a Chicago-based food market research and consulting firm. “And foods from regions that border the Mediterranean Sea usually have a great taste profile that appeals to most consumers.”

Hummus is perhaps the most popular Mediterranean dip and spread. It typically is made with such ingredients as mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

Schurer notes that increasing demand for hummus is resulting in larger arrays of flavors, and suppliers also are starting to produce additional types of dips and spreads, including tzatziki and baba ghanouj... Read More

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