E-Commerce exploded during the pandemic, accelerating the expansion of e-tailers by a decade and reaching levels not expected until 2030. A significant part of that was specialty foods and natural and organic products. With plant-based products growing at twice the rate of other food and beverages, the future of specialty foods is wide open for exports. While specialty foods do have pricing concerns, especially meat substitutes, the target market looks more to a lifestyle-centered curated experience when shopping for food instead of savings.
Just how big is the e-commerce explosion? The Amazon Prime Days summer sale brings in more money than either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We won’t have exact figures for 2021 until next month, but analysts expect consumers to spend $11 billion over the 48 hour period. Typically, Black Friday brings in around $7.4 billion and Cyber Monday at $10.8 billion, neither of which are considered poor performance compared to any other sales, save Prime Days.
The natural foods and organic market is responsible for $300 billion in sales each year and steadily growing, thanks in large part to e-commerce making sales and shipping easier than ever before. Consumers are tightly weaving a connection between food, climate, lifestyle, and diet/health following a “food as medicine” mantra. Supported by e-commerce, consumers can find their specialty foods online even if they don’t live near a local source.
Not only are the organic and specialty markets growing, but the plant-based protein and meat substitutes are also poised to be one of the top export markets for e-commerce and food sales. While the current prices of plant-based meat aren’t attractive enough for some to consider switching, the connection to environmental sustainability, health, and the brand-as-lifestyle culture is slowly increasing in demand, which should help bring prices down. The more options that become widely available, the lower landed costs associated with shipping become.
If you’re attached to the specialty market and want to investigate how exports will help you reach more customers, CFI is ready to discuss our solutions with you. We’re connected worldwide to ensure your customers can take advantage of your goods no matter where they’re located. With CFI, you’ll have the power of a large forwarder combined with a family of expert professionals using cutting-edge technology to ensure the freshness and safety of your specialty food cargo. Contact us today and find out how to go global with your business.