Specialty foods, whether gourmet, organic or all natural are the rage these days.
Formerly available only through farmers’ markets or specialty foods stores, premium fares have gained far-reaching acceptance. Consumers only have to go to the local chain grocery and drug store to find their daily fix. The market for gourmet foods and beverages is currently valued at over $42 billion and is expected to exceed $62 billion by 2009. Americans might not need premium treats, but we surely want them and want them daily.
Recent research has revealed the potential health benefits of chocolate to the public. More and more people are embracing chocolates, some are even incorporating higher-quality treats into their daily routines. As a result, the premium chocolate market grew at an annual rate of 10.5% during the period between 2001 and 2005 compared to a paltry 1.8% of the overall chocolate candy sales.2 Premium chocolate is far and away the most exciting category in the confectionery segment.
Source: Nguyen, Son and Coker, Nickie. "Gourmet Chocolate." SBDC Net.