Food & Beverages Section
The Food and Beverages Phenomenon Continues

Attendees walking the North, South, and Sky Halls can taste, touch, and experience the latest trends and store brand innovations in the industry. Nearly every food and beverage category is on display for the thousands of visitors. With more than $133 billion in sales in the U.S. in 2023 and up 6.2% over the previous year, it’s no surprise food and beverages are among the major highlights of the event and the fastest growing phenomenon in store brands.

BeveragesSome key categories and trends include:

Beverages  From fermented dairy beverages and energy boosters to RTD coffee and infused waters, retailers will find all types of drinkables. A featured category, Wines and Spirits – including alcohol-free – is growing in popularity among adult consumers and increasingly in demand not only at traditional retail outlets but also club and warehouse stores, discounters and convenience stores. 

Healthy Food and Snacks is becoming a mainstay in the American diet as nibbling is rapidly replacing the traditional three meals a day routine. Whether it’s protein-packed, low-sugar, plant-based, free-from or minimally processed, the overall healthy snack category is expected to reach more than $152 billion by 2030.  Within this overall category, Children’s Food and Snacks has exploded with health and socially conscious parents seeking nutritious yet kid-pleasing snacks and meals. Store brand snacks including chips made with organic seaweed, brain-boosting veggies molded into toddler-sized puffs, organic snack bars, and clean-label drinks bursting with tropical flavors are just a few of the popular products trending not only with parents but with kids, too.

Food ServiceFoodservice and Restaurant quality meals continue to be a growing category as consumers look for convenience with fast, fresh prepared, deli and upscale meal options. A fluctuating economy has consumers forgoing their local drive-thru and satisfying their on-the-go needs at their local supermarket and convenience stores without the high price tag. Habits developed as a necessity during the pandemic have remained as shoppers continue to focus on meal planning, shopping and cooking rather than dining out.

Specialty and Ethnic Foods continue to expand on retail shelves as buyers keep in step with the globalization of American tastes and changing demographics. Products with international flavors and ingredients like Korean style barbecue snack mix, Thai red curry sauce, plant-based pastas, and organic frozen entrees, as well as specialty items including mushroom and truffle flavored pesto and specialty desserts are just some of the wide assortment of products offered to meet diverse shoppers’ wants and needs.

Pet Food and Treats have unleashed significant growth and innovation over the past several years. The category has introduced such things as fresh and refrigerated meals, hip and joint treats for aging pets, pet-friendly bone broth, eco-conscious chews, supplements with wellness attributes as well as plant-based, cultured and organic treats for dogs, cats and other creatures big and small.