Rise of Specialty Foods market

The recipe for success in the food and beverage industry has always been pretty straightforward: give consumers convenient access to great-tasting food at an affordable price. But over the last five years or so, the demand for specialty foods such as: allergen-free, gluten-free, organic and natural foods has seen a sharp increase, forcing food and beverage producers to make dramatic changes to manufacturing processes and product ingredients.

What’s behind the rise in demand for Specialty Foods?

Millennials are particularly inclined to seek out Specialty Foods options, but want these options to fit into their “on-the-go” lifestyle. They also want to feel good about the foods they are consuming, demanding transparency about where their food comes from and what it contains.

What you’ve seen is, in 2012-2016, averaged compound annual growth rate of 9%, and going forward for 2017-2021, we have it at 7.9%, only dropping off one percentage point. For a market this big, above $100 billion, that’s a really high growth rate.


At least one-third of consumers are working to avoid eating foods with genetically modified ingredients, or ‘GMOs.’ The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has consistently declared that bioengineered foods are safe. The Environmental Protection Agency has also considered the environmental aspects, and believes that with certain caveats and precautions that are in place through regulation, there should be no issue relative to environmental health.

Regardless, he consumer has the right to make their own decisions about what they want to eat, and food and beverage producers must be transparent about what’s contained in their food and beverage products. Consumers are demanding to know more about food nutrition, pesticide use, animal care and welfare, and the overall environmental impact of the foods they eat.

Food Allergies

While opinions vary greatly on the dangers of GMOs, there is little dispute over the danger of allergy-inducing ingredients in foods. The simple fact is, more and more Americans are being diagnosed with food allergies, creating a ravenous demand for allergen-free food and beverage products.

And while the FDA has designated eight of the most common food allergens in the U.S.—eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish—other countries have designated even more. In all likelihood, the list of allergens affecting Americans will continue to grow as well.

The challenge for food and beverage producers, he says, is removing these allergens from foods, while maintaining quality and taste.

Religion Restrictions

This is nothing new in general, but it is new on a large scale. Depending on your religious doctrine, you might have to avoid certain food products. Others might require the food and livestock to be handled in very specific ways to be in adherence.

Fortress Nutrition LLC

We’re pioneers in food trends, and we’re ready for any changes that come our way. Fortress Nutrition LLC has a solid history of meeting strict specifications for our customers based on consumer preference, restrictive diets and much more. 

Rest assured that you’re in good hands with Fortress Nutrition. To learn more about how we tailor our blending, ingredient sourcing, logistics, consumer packaging, and other services to meet customer needs, and to find out how we can partner with you to ensure compliance with new GMO laws, contact us today.