Ripe with opportunity: The grocery categories boosting sales

Mar 8, 2022

Natural health has gone mainstream and for savvy grocery retailers this presents a significant opportunity.

As consumers zero in on products that support their health goals retailers will capitalise on it by catering to the shift in consumer preferences.

Unique Health Products National Grocery Manager Jay Rogers says new product innovations are helping reinvigorate sales in grocery categories.

“Those once niche categories like gluten free, low carb/keto and vegan convenience are now critical for every retailer wanting to meet the needs of the modern consumer. They’re ripe for innovation and expansion, and offer opportunities to grow sales, maintain existing customer loyalty and attract new segments,” he says.

Unique Health Products is Australia’s leading distributor of natural, organic, eco-friendly, fair trade, vegan and free-from products. For 25 years they’ve played a role as trusted advisors to grocery managers across the country, helping them stay at the forefront of consumer demand.

“We’re here to help grocery buyers curate fresh and exciting shelves based on our understanding of what today’s consumers are looking for. We have insights into what’s selling across the country and abroad as well as how to tailor that to their local stores. Our job is to help grow their business and make doing business easy,” Mr Rogers says.

“We’re always trying to innovate in those foundational categories with products that sell through week after week. Today consumers’ needs are complex. They expect to find a wide range of gluten-free, low carb and vegan grab-n-go type of products for themselves and their families where they shop regularly so if you’re not ranging them, unfortunately you’re losing regular sales to another store.”

How can you take advantage of these growth opportunities?

Growth category 1: Vegan convenience

Australians are hungry for plant-based food. According to data and modelling by Deloitte Access Economics, retail sales jumped 46% year-on-year, driven primarily by consumer demand for healthier meat alternatives. Coupled with the drive for convenient grab and go snacks and easy, timesaving do-it-yourself options and you have another category where consumers are seeking more variety.

For wholesome plant-based snacking you can’t go past CLIF Bar. The number one selling plant-based protein bar in the US**, the range is available in nine delicious and top-selling flavours. With 20 grams of protein, CLIF Builders Bars are made with organic ingredients and free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, flavours, and preservatives.

For a full umami savoury option try adding Gimme seaweed snacks; Vego vegan chocolate for something sweet; and Noble Jerky for a flavoursome and nutritious jerky alternative. Bragg Nutritional Yeast is a vegan pantry staple for its nutritional value and cheesy flavour.

A hot new product in this category is the Pimp My Salad Vegan Mayo from Extraordinary Foods. It’s creamy, delicious and completely plant-based.

Growth category 2: Low carb and keto

High fat, low carb keto diets have grown in popularity during the last few years, with the global market expected to be worth AUD $20.09 billion by 2027*. Demand for keto and low carb friendly foods has skyrocketed, paving the way for new, innovative and convenient on-the-go products.

For keto snacking, Keto Naturals offers both sweet and savoury options, many of them also plant-based. The Keto Bread in a Mug range from Get Ya Yum On has also proved popular as a convenient and tasty treat.

Low Carb Life is a great option for shoppers looking for DIY bread and bake mixes and Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener is a keto-friendly alternative to sugar

For high protein keto-friendly options, PBCo. offers bread, cake, pancake and pizza bake mixes along with other pantry staples. Vitawerx has also created a high-protein, keto-friendly chocolate plus a selection of keto mayo.

Growth category 3: Gluten free

Australia is the largest gluten free market in the Asian Pacific region. And the growth we’ve seen in recent years is showing no sign of slowing down. Mordor Intelligence predicts 7.8 percent compound annual growth from 2020 to 2025.

For gluten free plant-based “fast food” Plantasy Foods Mac ‘n Cheez is an absolute favourite. Focusing on the most innovative, nutrient-dense ingredients, Plantasy Foods offer a wide range of high-quality, minimally-processed alternatives that make healthy, vegan, gluten-free cuisine accessible to everyone.

Bragg Coconut Liquid Aminos is a gluten and wheat free alternative to tamari and soy sauce that’s made from non-GMO coconut tree nectar and distilled water.
For gluten free baking products, you can’t look past The Gluten Free Food Co.el

Grow with the trends

With these trends are on the rise, now is the time to capitalise and give your shelves a healthy boost.

For help improving your grocery sales contact Unique Health Products National Grocery Manager Jay Rogers on 0421 086 687.


About the writer:
Lisa Crawford Jones is a journalist, business consultant and strategic communications specialist working in the Australian market for healthy packaged goods.

*The Insight Partners, 2020.
**IRI Total US MULO 52 Weeks ending 7/12/20

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