Comprising 46 percent of the retail share, traditional supermarkets remain the largest channel in the retail food industry; however, Jon Hauptman, senior director of retail at Long Grove, Ill.-based Willard Bishop Co., an Inmar analytics company, notes that dollar sales in the channel have been flat as more consumers shop at supercenters, fresh-format stores, dollar stores and online. Yet, sales of alcohol and non-alcohol beverages have contributed to a more than 6 percent increase in the channel versus a year ago, Hauptman adds.
“In 2015, the supermarket channel grew 1.2 percent, and we can expect growth in 2016 to be even lower, i.e., at best flat due to price deflation,” Hauptman says. “Carbonated beverages are the foundation stone of the beverage business, comprising approximately half of center-store beverages. However, the bottled water and functional beverage categories are quite large and growing rapidly.