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Industry analyst and consultant Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics is an expert on marketing produce from farm to retail. Her travels take her to stores around the world. Every week in SPW, Anne-Marie shares one of her favorite retail displays or grower marketing success stories with a photo and her thoughts on why these are Ideas Ripe For The Picking.
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Spiralized and riced vegetables are big among carb-conscious consumers as alternatives to pasta and rice. While becoming widely available, not all shoppers will make the connection.
It was trend tracking on social media sites, such as Pinterest, Instagram and health blogs that alerted manufacturers to how consumers were finding innovative ways of using vegetables.
Addressing two mega trends, convenience and health and wellness, veggie noodles and cauliflower rice represent two fast growing innovations. Combined sales may have only totaled $47 million for the 52 weeks ending in October 2017, but growth is off the charts as shoppers look for healthier alternative to traditional pasta and rice dishes, according to Nielsen.
Representing $30 million, veggie noodles grew 409%. Cauliflower rice generated $17 million in sales and grew 113%. Further growth is likely, particularly when pointing out the “as alternative to” connection for shoppers who are not up to speed on the veggie noodle trend, but may be interested all the same.
Here we see Albert Heijn in the Netherlands making that connection very clearly, in combination with providing a health-focused recipe. With veggie noodles, the possibilities are endless. It started with zucchini/squash and it is quickly evolving into beets, carrots and sweet potato, and more innovation may lie ahead.
Anne-Marie Roerink specializes in quantitative and qualitative market research. Prior to launching 210 Analytics, she served as the Director of Research for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).