KeHE, a leading distributor of natural and organic, specialty and gourmet, international and multicultural and fresh products, earlier this week hosted a supplier carousel event focused on both “authentic” and “mainstream” Asian foods, which together constitute the second largest segment within the ethnic food market.
The Asian foods category has had a strong performance over the past few years with a 10.2 percent dollar sales increase from 2010-2012, and a one percentage point market share increase. This is driven, in part, by the growing Asian population in the U.S., which represents 4.8 percent of the total U.S. population and grew 43.3 percent in the last census. The Asian population in the U.S. is projected to double by 2060. Additionally, purchase data and consumer insight research shows there is a desire for multicultural tastes among the general population.
The invitation-only, two-day event took place in Los Angeles on Monday and Tuesday and brought best-in-class brands and retailers together for assortment, merchandising and promotional planning related to Asian Foods.
Leading the event was KeHE’s Jim Stange, category director, who oversees the ethnic food category.
“We and our retail partners see continuing significant growth potential within the Asian food category; our goal for this event (was) to equip our partners with the market intelligence they need to make on trend easy,” said Stange.
The event featured a consumer insights briefing for all attendees, an immersion tour where retailers visited Asian markets around Los Angeles as well as one-on-one meetings between retailers and suppliers. The upcoming Chinese New Year also was a focus; the KeHE team shared ways for retailers to attract and connect with Asian consumers during this important cultural holiday.
Given the growing appeal of global cuisine in the U.S., KeHE said to look for it to continue its focus on identifying top trends and must-have products for retailers interested in addressing the evolving needs of consumers.
KeHE Distributors is based in Romeoville, Ill., and serves more than 35,000 retail outlets throughout North America.