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Will Big Food Get Ahead Of The Niche Curve At Natural Expo?

March 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Vexed by consumer preferences evolving toward more-healthful, less-refined foods, and other threats, big manufacturers, retailers and investors have flocked to the Natural Products Expo West – a gathering place for natural, organic, and niche food and ingredient purveyors – to gather hints of what might be the next game-changing food trends. It’s bad enough that Big Food has to deal with rising retailer fees and trucking costs, competition from deep discount food retailers and now even Amazon. There’s also the fact that sales of food made with less-processed ingredients have risen 15 percent since 2014. The top 25 food and beverage companies in the U.S. collectively lost $5 billion in market share to smaller brands from 2012 to 2016. “It’s not a niche thing anymore. It’s mainstream,” said a Kroger exec. “That’s where the customer is going.”. [ Image credit: © Natural Products Expo West ]
Heather Haddon et al., "At Food Expo, Companies Jockey for the Next Big Thing", The Wall Street Journal, March 03, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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