The Hottest Items in the Online Food Market
Sep 10, 2019 11:34 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter
Gift-givers know the joy, and sometimes the frustration, of shopping online for specialty food items. If your loved one is a fan of gourmet chocolate or specialty coffee, there are so many options that choosing just one item from the thousands available can be a dizzying task. But it's still fun to peruse the goods and buy some tasty items for yourself every once in a while. The online food business is booming, and growing every minute.
As the uniqueness of online purchasing decreases with each passing day, people are constantly discovering new things, and reasons, to buy food from faraway sellers. Who are the champions in this massive market niche? If you guessed "sweets," you'd be very close to hitting a home run. But there's more to the multi-billion-dollar online food market than sugary treats. Here are the top scorers in the race to dominate the cyber-based culinary market:
The reigning champion of online food products, chocolate comes in infinite varieties and at every conceivable price level. Hand-made dark chocolate truffles, your own face sculpted onto the front of a gourmet chocolate bar, 10-pound boxes of high-end bon-bons covered with buttery milk chocolate, and giant, pizza-shaped chocolate gift items that range from 1 to 20 pounds are just a few of the oddball offerings in the vast universe of online chocolate products. If you can imagine it, someone sells it as a chocolate treat.
The king of the non-sweet part of this niche is dominated by all things cheese. From gourmet slabs of exotic South African cheeses to more common European and American versions, whatever form, shape, flavor or size of cheese product you have in mind, you can find within minutes. Millions of cheese enthusiasts order Miyoko's online cheeses when they want the non-dairy or vegan versions. Others opt for dairy-based products straight from farms in Wisconsin and other cheese capitals of the world.
The homemade cookie market is crowded with do-it-yourself bakers who tend to specialize in just one or two different products. The larger, commercial sellers move millions of pounds of cookies every day of the week via online sales. If you don't mind spending a few extra dollars for high-quality items and shipping, ordering cookies online can be a smart way to find the ideal gift for someone with a sweet tooth.
One of the stalwarts of the old mail-order food niche, the fruit basket business made a very successful transition to the online marketplace. Often in direct competition with a non-edible product, flowers, fruit baskets are making headway into the "nutritional gift" sub-market, a billion-dollar industry unto itself. Markups are huge in the fruit basket business but the offerings are beautiful, delicious and sometimes quite exotic. It's fun to create your own basket in an online store when there are so many different varieties of fruit to choose from.
Coffee has grown in popularity, year after year, since the mid-1970s. The many global chain stores that focus on the dark beverage are a testament to the drink's amazing popularity. When it comes to online sales of foods and beverages, coffee is one of the fastest-growing segments of a very competitive niche.
Campbell Soup has announced it will sell its Danish baked snacks manufacturer Kelsen Group to CTH Invest, a Belgian holding company affiliated with the Nutella maker Ferrero, for $300 million. The transaction is subject to customary purchase price adjustments, and it is expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.
The newly appointed editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine, Michael Sebastian, recently told the press that he wants to get away from the idea that the magazine's reader is "a middle-aged white guy who likes brown liquor and brown leather"). Which should send chills down the ad dept's spine working on those Scotch and bourbon accounts!
Adding a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of salt to a lager or pilsner has long been Mexican tradition, and in the 1980s, this practice evolved into the refreshing beer cocktail known as a michelada. The popularity of the drink grew across Mexico and, thanks to the influx of immigrants, it translated well to restaurants and bars across the U.S.
Rosé wine is made in almost every region in the world, from many different grape varieties. And rose-colored wine is produced in a sweet, dry, sparkling, and even fortified style. Yet the classic style of dry rosé wine from Provence sets the trend that many other wine-producing regions around the world want to emulate.
Dominique Ansel moved from Paris to New York City to work at Daniel Boulud's French flagship Daniel as the executive pastry chef, a position he held for 6 years. Fast forward 15 years later, and Ansel has become a household name after the invention of a certain croissant-donut hybrid, and his namesake bakery has expanded beyond SoHo to include branches around the world.
As if you ever really need an excuse to order a piña colada, today is National Piña Colada Day, so go ahead and order that creamy, sweet, cocktail-meets-dessert libation that is best served on a sunny, tropical beach somewhere exotic.