New Alliance Adds Weight to Specialty Food Sector

With the specialty food space growing at a faster pace than the broader food industry, a new partnership between the Specialty Food Association and the Food Marketing Institute could help both groups leverage that growth.

The Specialty Food Association represents a major niche of the food industry. And a new alliance could help maximize the value of that niche in a big way.

This week, SFA announced a strategic partnership with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) that is designed to bring together members of both groups to help boost business development and a broader understanding of the industry, which represented a robust $127 billion in sales last year.

The industry sector is growing at a faster pace than the food industry as a whole—it reported 15 percent growth in 2014, according to The Gourmet Retailer, compared with 2.3 percent growth overall.

“Specialty foods outpace their non-specialty counterparts in nearly every category, presenting a unique opportunity for a wide variety of retailers and foodservice operators to increase sales,” SFA President Phil Kafarakis said in a news release.

Kafarakis added that he believed the partnership would have “a positive impact throughout the industry.”

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin agreed with Kafarakis’ comments.

“Consumer trends point to continued specialty and organic growth, so it’s imperative that the food retail industry meet this consumer need, while making the necessary investment to secure the food supply by building trusting relationships with specialty product trading partners,” Sarasin said.

The groups will formally launch their partnership at SFA’s Summer Fancy Food Show, taking place June 25-27 in New York City.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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