- Specialty grocer The Fresh Market has predicted key trends for 2020 as it stocks its shelves for the new year, according to a press release emailed to Grocery Dive.
- Among its predictions are foods with less sugar, seed-based products, plant-based foods "2.0," functional and nonalcoholic beverages and foods with better transparency and traceability.
- The Fresh Market is working with venture studio 25madison to identify future trends in 2021. The firm works to identify early-stage consumer companies that may be poised to disrupt or create market trends.
To keep The Fresh Market on trend with new products beyond 2020, the grocer has turned to 25madison, a venture firm that helps builds companies and invests in early stage innovators. The move to partner with an early-stage incubator may help the grocer align some of the biggest trends of the last year.
Citing products like Beyond Burger and Caulipower pizza, The Fresh Market's director of store merchandising Dwight Richard said in a statement that these were the standard of foods the grocer was looking for when introducing new products to its shelves.
For 2020, the company said its curators are interested in seed-based products like Three Trees Black Sesame and Nut and Seed Milk; RightRice, a plant-based blend of lentils, peas, chickpeas and rice; and H2Hops, a sparkling water brewed like craft beer.
Its collaboration with 25madison will likely translate into helping consumers discover even more new brands and trendy products. Some of 25madison's food-focused investments include plant-based companies and what it describes as the first mushroom chai maker. Food-focused startups in its portfolio include SuperBox, a plant-based superfood pudding; Parmela Creamery, a plant-based cashew cheese company and The Great American Turkey Co., which produces non-GMO, humanely raised turkey products.
Coming off a 2018 turnaround plan, The Fresh Market has focused on improving assortment and strengthening its executive team in 2019. In October, the grocer hired a new chief merchandising officer, Dan Portnoy, with 35 years of experience in food retail and merchandising. It also expanded offerings and revamped packaging for some of its private label products.
Other retailers eager for trend-spotting assistance include Kroger, which recently launched a platform called PearlRock Partners to identify and invest in promising new consumer products. The endeavor is in partnership with private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg.