TABS Analytics Blog

2018 Food and Beverage Industry Trends: Focus on Consumables

In August 2018, TABS Analytics rounded up comprehensive data to delve into specific food and beverage industry trends as they relate to consumables.

This information outlines shopping patterns and trends, including online grocery trends, snack food trends, organic food trends and other highly detailed statistics specific to the food and beverage industry.     

The Experts in Consumer Analytics®

Since 1998, marketers in the food and beverage industry have relied on the detailed analytics of TABS research, founded by Dr. Kurt Jetta in 1998, to track consumer shopping habits and trends.

Our technology-enabled analytics firm aims to simplify and improve the way analytics for consumer products are conducted through innovation to provide our clients with a strong, competitive advantage.

And our techniques get results — TABS is a leading outsourced sales and marketing analytics firm in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry.

As we do each year, we recently took our innovative analytics techniques and applied them to our survey on 2018 food and beverage industry trends, including:

  • Food & Beverage category purchase frequency
  • General Food & Beverage category trends
  • Demographic profiles and deal preferences
  • Outlet shopping patterns, with a focus on emerging channels and eCommerce
  • Consumer attitudes towards “on-trend” concepts
  • Additional content on candy trends

For a brief overview of the state of the food and beverage industry trends for 2018, however, just read on.

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Online Shopping in U.S. & U.K.| Food & Beverage Study | TABS Analytics

Even though eCommerce still only accounts for a small portion of sales in the food and beverage market, the ability for consumers to purchase items on the web and then pick them up at a local retailer has been driving online shopping growth in the U.S. during the past year. While U.S. online sales increased by 13 percent since 2016, this channel is still just a drop in the bucket compared to the predominance of brick-and-mortar retailers. And it has a long way to go before it can be considered a success – like eCommerce is in the U.K. – based on established retail loyalty norms.

That’s just one of the findings that TABS CEO Dr. Kurt Jetta shared last month when releasing the results of the TABS Analytics 5th Annual Food and Beverage Consumables Study, which for the first time expanded to include analysis of the U.S. and U.K markets.  The study looked at similarities and differences that exist between the two countries, and if any U.K. trends could potentially foreshadow things to come in the U.S.  

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2016 Online Shopping Report - Us Vs. Uk | Research | TABS Analytics

Discount grocery stores, led by Aldi, have largest gain in share of trips, while traditional grocers, Target and CVS lose share in food and beverage categories

Shelton, CT – September 25, 2017 – Online grocery shopping’s share of trips in the U.S. has grown 13 percent over 2016, according to TABS Analytics’ Fifth Annual Food and Beverage Consumables Study. Although regular online shopping has increased, it is still eclipsed by the 98 percent of consumers who reported shopping in brick and mortar grocery outlets for foods and beverages (also known as consumables). For the first time, the annual TABS study analyzed the U.K. food and beverage market and found that online grocery shopping accounts for 8 percent of all shopping trips, which is more than double the U.S. number of 3.6 percent.

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TABS 2017 Food & Beverage Trendspotter | TABS Analytics

TABS Analytics 2017 Food and Beverage Trendspotter


  • A Surge in Snacking
  • A bit more O in your H2O
  • Putting More Protein in Your Breakfast Bowl
  • Regular or Diet?
  • Clean Eating for your Sweet Tooth


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Kurt Jetta on CBS Sunday Morning - Online Grocery Trends | TABS Analytics

Online grocery is growing 15% annually and is expected to top an estimated $12 billion in sales this year, but is this merely a drop in the bucket when compared to the $800 billion consumer packaged goods industry? Some argue that it's not and point to the growth of companies like Amazon, Safeway and Whole Foods, who are offering online grocery delivery. Proponents further point to meal kit delivery companies like Blue Apron, who is selling over 8 million meals a month to subscribers.
TABS Analytics' CEO Dr. Kurt Jetta begs to differ.
In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Dr. Jetta spoke with CBS News correspondent Anna Werner and provided his thoughts on online grocery and the issues it faces in gaining wider consumer acceptance.  
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The 2 Clear Signs That Show Online Grocery Is Failing | TABS Analytics

Dr. Kurt Jetta, TABS Analytics' CEO, was recently interviewed by Tim Simmons of PLMA Live to discuss the TABS 2016 Food and Beverage Study findings on online grocery.

While there is no disagreement between the TABS study and industry estimates pointing to online grocery's current share of 1.5 to 2.0 percent, the contention lies with the future growth of the industry. Dr. Jetta does not expect the exponential growth that others in the industry are predicting for the coming years. He goes one step further and declares that online grocery is failing, as things stand currently.

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Back To The Future: Online Grocery 5 Years Later | TABS Analytics

So it appears that TABS is five years late in noting that online grocery is failing.

About a month ago, we made that declaration during our Food and Beverage Study webinar. That statement has been met with much resistance throughout the industry.

But it’s something that’s been said since at least 2011, when Forbes/Investopedia ran this article citing 10 reasons why online grocery is failing.

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TABS 2016 Food & Beverage Trendspotter | TABS Analytics

2016 Edition Special Points of Interest


  • Snacking On The Rise
  • Healthy Snacking Trends
  • Insights On Millennials
  • Consumer Trends 
  • Probiotics Becoming Mainstream
  • Ingredients Innovation




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Consumer Deals Still Drive Food And Beverage Sales | TABS Analytics


In our second infographic from the 2016 TABS Analytics Food & Beverage Study, we wanted to call out some "old-school" ways that still deliver results for food and beverage consumables categories. Key findings are highlighted below, including:

  • Grocery has the highest share of consumers purchasing regularly (and the highest overall penetration)
  • As we've highlighted previously, online grocery continues to struggle to break the 2 percent share mark
  • Consumers purchasing food and beverage consumables respond well to retailer promotions
  • Trendy, often-touted concepts like organic food and beverage products and online show rooming are yet to be mainstream

 Some things indeed are "old" because they stand the test of time and still work.

Click here to view as a PDF.


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TABS CEO Questions The Long-Term Viability Of Online Grocery | TABS Analytics

Yesterday, noted CPG Industry blogger, Kevin Coupe of Morning News Beat picked up the TABS Analytics Food and Beverage Study webinar and provided some commentary. We’re grateful for Mr. Coupe’s contributions to CPG, and are happy that he was willing to engage with the TABS Analytics findings.


Mr. Coupe disagreed with the TABS analysis, presented by TABS CEO and founder Dr. Kurt Jetta, that online grocery is underperforming. “I think it is absurd to suggest that there is no path to success for e-grocery and that it is a failing concept,” Mr. Coupe said.

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