What Sold In Grocery Stores: 2021 and 2022 Sales Trends

by | Dec 13, 2021

Plant-Based Meat and Plant-Based Alternatives

In terms of dollars spent, plant-based meat hasn’t seen that much growth. Thus far, only about 10% of the consumer dollars are purchasing plant-based meat  in the grocery/retail space. That number hasn’t grown in several years. It’s important to divide the data on “plants” (fresh produce), plant-based meat, plant-based dairy alternatives, and other plant-based food products. Grocers are seeing shifts in demand as many stores are over skued in the plant-based category. There is still a lot of innovation happening in the space, especially when it comes to taste. 

Seafood and Fish 

Seafood has a health halo around it. Consumers feel it’s lean protein that helps them meet their dietary needs, but also they feel it helps support their immunity. Without being able to go to restaurants, people started to cook seafood at home. Salmon and shrimp were their entry fish. For the more experienced home chefs, lobster and crab were top choices –– sales grew upwards of 60%. 


Consumers bought produce with long shelf lives (such as potatoes). They also bought fruit with natural vitamins to help support immunity (sales of oranges went up 60%). Berries and salad kits have seen some of the biggest growth. As inflation has started to drive up prices for fresh produce, the consumer dollar is now shifting to frozen and canned. 

Convenience was the Biggest Driver of the Consumer Dollar

Convenience has been the biggest driver of sales this year. From cutting boards to bowls to salad kits, consumers wanted things that made cooking at home easier. A year and a half into the pandemic, consumers are now wanting meal kits and easy to prep offerings. 

Consumers Want to Create At-Home Food Experiences

The desire to entertain and share experiences are starting to also impact convenience as we enter 2022. Making charcuterie boards is a fast growing trend. So cheeses, aged meats, dried fruit and products that can help them create cool platters are selling.  

Consumers are also driving record sales levels of more premium items like rib eyes, crab, and artisan chocolate. Speciality foods like done-for-you simmer sauces and wild/game meat are also selling with the more experienced home chefs. In fact, Elk and Bison sales are up 600%. 

What’s Coming in 2022

In 2022, inflation is impacting how consumers are spending. Also, post-pandemic stock-up behavior is still an influence on their buying behavior.  It’s important to watch what is happening in each category. In 2022, the #1 thing stores, grocers and food establishments must focus on is delight. Creating experiences that bring out of their homes will become critical to keep sales moving. 

If you’d like to learn more, contact Anne-Marie on LinkedIn, or download the reports she’s made available to our members below!

2021 Sales Data

Show Notes

  • 0:57 – Meet Anne Marie
  • 3:16 – Trends in Meat
  • 4:30 – Trends in Plant-Based Meat and Dairy Alternatives
  • 4:45 – Consumers Are Wanting to Eat More Plants, But Not Necessarily “Plant-Based” Products
  • 5:55 – Plant-Based Food Innovation Is Related to Taste and Experience
  • 6:25 – Consumers Are Flocking to Fish and Seafood
  • 8:45 – Produce Prices and Consumption
  • 10:15 – Consumers Want Convenience
  • 11:15 – Vitamins and Supplements Are Doing Well
  • 11:30 – Consumers Are Entertaining at Home
  • 11:58 – New Sales Levels for Premium Food Items
  • 14:17 – Elk and Bison Sales Are Up 600%
  • 14:30 – Innovative Packaging Is Driving Experimentation
  • 14:47 – What to Watch in 2022
  • 16:53 – What’s Happening with Online to In-Store Behavior 
  • 18: 25 – Grocers and Retailers Must Win at First-Click
  • 18:54 – Consumer Shopping Patterns By Grocery Store Type 
  • 20:08 – Dollar Stores and Supercenters Are Growing

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