While the definition of fine food in grocery stores may vary depending on the interlocutor, words like premium, quality, and uniqueness are safe, along with the mention of a higher price.
Speaking to Retail World, Fred Harrison, Ritchies CEO, says his company views fine groceries as more of a specialty product.
“We would have called them 'gourmet lines' in the past. Today, in the age of premiumization, we tend to call them high-quality premium products, ”he says.
“To our definition we would add that these are not lines that can be found in too many large supermarket chains. In many examples they are produced locally, made in Australia or a delicatessen line that is imported from overseas. "
At Romeo, says owner and director Joseph Romeo, fine dining means "first and foremost harder to finer products, products that are unique and products with the greatest attention to detail".
"That doesn't necessarily mean that all deli products have to be expensive," he told Retail World. "Maybe just a hard-to-find product that has been developed with the utmost attention to taste and experience for the consumer."
When asked if certain segments are doing particularly well in delicatessen, Harrison says that his customers “in general” are looking for entertainment products.
“We are seeing growth in cheese, pies, dips, biscuits, potato chips, etc. It is in high demand in our delicatessen ranges and even bakeries are now looking for better quality breads instead of the basic range from Tip Top or Goodman Fielder. It's the Noisette breads or the Laurent breads that help customers consume more quality bread, ”he says.
“Delicatessen products can be found in practically all consumer goods categories. We see it in confectionery, with better quality chocolate. We even see it in ice creams where customers are looking for a higher quality ice cream offering. The same applies to sauces, marinades and so on.
“They are certainly products that are either served for entertainment, as an addition to meals or as a side dish and desserts. It's a vast field that is fabulous.
“We are seeing that more and more providers are moving in the direction of premiumization – also in the standard range. This takes the emphasis away from cheap and cheerful when trying to develop basic generic drugs. There will always be a place for these products. However, we see that the market in our branches is shrinking, with more emphasis now being placed on high-quality food that is better for me. "
Similarly, Romeo says that consumers always enjoy pampering their guests or showing off a little at home when family or friends are over.
"(This is) significantly (the case) for entertainment products for the home, such as premium blenders, bottled water, pastries, confectionery, tea, dry-aged cuts of beef, and of course cheeses that are almost indistinguishable," he says, adding, that "the trend towards premiumization has also spread to non-food categories, such as (such as) detergents, hand detergents, candles, etc."
Read more about what's going on in the fine food sector in the September issue of Retail World.