Progressive Grocer

MAR 2017

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52 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | March 2017 Refrigerated Foods Dressings & Dips T ake one look at salad dressings and dips, and, as with so many other categories today, it's not hard to see the potential for fresh, clean offerings. Chicago-based market researcher Mintel shows in its May 2016 "Sweet & Savoury Spreads" Category Insight that 30 percent of Amer- icans who buy chips or dips agree that "no artificial ingredients" is an important nutritional attribute. Additionally, in its September 2016 "Table Sauces and Seasonings" Category Insight, Mintel notes that refrigerated options are likely to drive growth in condiments — including salad dressings — due to consumers' increased interest in chilled foods for fresher, more healthful options. Data from Schaumburg, Ill.-based market re- search firm Nielsen correspond with this finding, at least on the salad dressing side. While shelf- stable dressings saw flat to declining dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending Jan. 14 — creamy down 3.9 percent, liquid flat, and reduced- or low-calorie down 7 percent — refrigerated offer- ings enjoyed 1.9 percent sales growth. Dips, however, saw flat sales in the shelf-sta- ble sector and a 2.1 percent decline in refriger- ated — the sector more likely to have fresher, cleaner options. While consumers could be dip- ping less, their continued penchant for snacking could also suggest that they're trading over to other products — such as refrigerated dressings — for their dipping needs. So Fresh, So Clean Natural, healthful, exotic offerings rule in refrigerated dressings and dips. By Randy Hofbauer Naturally Cool Still, opportunities definitely exist in both dress- ings and dips on the refrigerated side. Camille Balfanz, brand manager with Litehouse Inc., a Sandpoint, Idaho-based manufacturer of re- frigerated dressings, dips and more, notes that the overall trend of shopping the perimeter and opting for fresh food over shelf-stable brands has spilled into these areas, creating growing interest. Moreover, shoppers are continuing to read and analyze nutrition panels before making purchas- es, searching for cleaner and better ingredients. Campbell Fresh is one such brand owner working to include better ingredients in its dress- ings and dips, according to Todd Putman, general manager, CPG at the division of the Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. For instance, in February, Campbell Fresh introduced a line of or- ganic refrigerated Bolthouse Farms dressings that are lower in calories and fat while maintaining a rich, creamy flavor. Artificial anything also counts, as food retailers

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