Nielsen list reveals center store woes

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Nielsen list reveals center store woes

By Mike Troy - 12/21/2017

For the second year in a row, the liquid tea category stands out on a Nielsen list of the top 10 fastest growing categories that also serves to highlight challenges facing the center store.

To compile the list of 10 fastest center store growers, Nielsen looked at total U.S. all outlet sales for the 52 week period ended Nov. 25, 2017. Only center store categories with annual sales of $500 million or more are represented so smaller niche or emerging categories enjoying faster rates of growth off a smaller sales base are excluded.

Topping the list for the second consecutive year is the liquid tea category with dollar sales growth of 18.9% and volume growth of 25.2%. The second ranked vinegar and cooking wine category and third ranked liquid coffee category also enjoyed respectable rates of growth. Beyond that, other categories rounding out the top 10 list saw a fairly steep drop off in dollar sales and unit volume growth.

For example, only two of the top 10 categories had double digit dollar growth and six of the top 10 categories had volume growth of less than 1%. The figures highlight the challenge retailers face with center store categories which are often forecast to face intensifying growth headwinds in coming years as sales migrate online at an accelerating pace.

Perhaps the most troubling statistic on the top 10 list is that the 10th ranked category of cookies made the lists of “fastest growers” despite logging just a 0.7% dollar increase and a 0.2% volume decline.

Check out the full list below.