These foods disappeared from grocery stores last year. Now they’re back

All are examples of foods that consumer goods manufacturers stopped making in 2020. So unless there is an old jar or can left, these and other items are gone from the store. And while it’s usually less popular dishes that have evaporated, depending on how much of a fan you are, you might have been very disappointed to walk away empty-handed.
The good news is that many items that are gone are making a comeback. The average number of different products sold in grocery stores followed by Nielsen increased 2.5% to 19,285 articles in the 13 weeks ending July 31 compared to the same period last year. During that period in 2020, the average number of items in stores declined 4.5% from 2019, according to Nielsen.
At the height of the pandemic last year, with restaurant closures and soaring demand for groceries, consumer goods manufacturers simplified their supply chains by reducing product offerings and speeding up lines. production of their most popular items. This improved the ability of businesses to meet demand for key products, but meant consumers had less choice on the shelves when rushing to shop.

Today, companies have started to expand their variety again to drive sales. “The death of the variety that everyone predicted didn’t happen. It came back in full force,” said Krishnakumar Davey, chair of IRI’s strategic analysis practice. “People are fed up with seeing the same products.”

Hot sauce and sardines: new and strong returns

In order to meet the increase in demand last year, spice maker McCormick “has temporarily suspended production of many secondary products to ensure availability of top-selling products. [items]a spokesperson for the company said in an email.

McCormick (MKC) has since reinstated all of the items he opted out of, though he did not specify which ones, and added new lines of Frank Hot Sauces, Cholula Wing Sauces and Grill Mates Seasoning Blends .
Jm smucker (SJM) last year, “temporarily cut back on production” on peanut butter varieties, such as Simply Jif, Reduced Fat and Omega 3. It also cut the flavors of Smucker Uncrustables – a line of frozen sandwiches and pouches – like hazelnut, honey, peanut butter and reduced sugar flavors. The company has also suspended planned product launches.

But Smucker resumed normal production levels and added these products back. It’s now focusing again on product launches, such as the recent introductions of Jif Natural Squeeze peanut butter and Smucker’s Uncrustables kids’ snacks.

At the start of the pandemic, General Mills (GIS) chose to prioritize “producing and maintaining an inventory of our most popular flavors while removing elements that are important to the variety but which would have added complexity in the short term,” said Kelsey Roemhildt, Porte -speak of the company. For its Progresso Soup line, for example, the company narrowed down the variety from 90 different items to 50. It has since reintroduced those items to the market, she said.

Part of this is due to an increased demand for packaged food with more people working from home rather than the office.

“It is important that we provide additional solutions for snacks at lunchtime and outside the home,” she said.

Dan Hofmeister, senior vice president of brand marketing at tuna maker Bumble Bee, said in an email that his item count increased 36% to 307 different items since falling to 225 last year.

“As demand begins to normalize, we have started to gradually introduce temporarily suspended items,” said Hofmeister. Bumble Bee recently launched new lines of tuna snacks and bowls, as well as albacore in olive oil and new lines of sardines.

Grocery stores also say they are getting more options from manufacturers for stocking their shelves.

“Manufacturers are starting to turn to innovation and product assortments again,” Lauren DeVol, spokesperson for SpartanNash (SPTN), which owns Family Fare, Martin’s and other Midwestern supermarket chains, said in an email.

The company is experiencing the most varied expansion into baking, dairy, frozen meals and savory snacks and candies, DeVol said.

“The increase in home snacks is driving the need for innovation as consumers want to try new snacks and treats,” she said.

Other new features currently being deployed: PepsiCo (DYNAMISM) recently added Mtn Dew Rise, a caffeinated energy drink that the company says is aimed at morning consumers, while General Mills introduced Trix and Cocoa Puff oatmeal cereal and Nature Valley muffins. Bumble Bee has launched 3 quick-setting tuna bowls mixing tuna, rice and veg, and spice maker McCormick has launched Frank’s frozen appetizers and garlic and sweet wing sauces. by Frank. Danone (DANOY) addition of Evian + sparkling water.

Overall, the variety of many staples in the grocery store has expanded.

The average number of salty snacks in stores rose 10.9% in the three months ending July 11 compared to the same period last year, according to the latest IRI data. The selection of energy drinks increased by 11.5%, pre-mixed cocktails by 79.2% and pastries by 14.8% during the period.

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