Companies in this industry sell products such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, candy, and gourmet foods from physical retail locations, often specializing in a single product category. No major companies dominate the industry.
Consumer spending and tastes drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising and the ability to generate store traffic. Large companies can offer a wide selection of products and have advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering locally sourced and specialty products, providing superior service, or serving a local market. The US industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for less than 20% of sales.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products sold by specialty food stores include meat, fish, and poultry (about 40% of sales); produce (about 15%); and baked goods and candy (about 10% each). Other products include dry grocery products, cheeses and other dairy products, prepared foods, and kitchenware. Companies may place special orders for customers looking for unique items.