The buzz over specialty foods has reached a fever pitch in recent years. In fact the specialty food movement goes beyond the buzz and represents a sustained shift in consumer food preferences with significant long-term ramifications. Organic foods topped $39 billion in sales in 2014. Despite the movement, Big Food has struggled to keep up.

To better understand this sea change at a deeper level, L.E.K. conducted a consumer study to identify what motivates their food purchases, how committed they are to buying specialty foods, and to what extent they are willing to pay a premium for these products. More than half of those surveyed said they are committed or casual buyers of specialty foods. This leaves some opportunities for Big Food, but also could be a detriment if they don’t get it right.

In this Executive Insights, L.E.K. outlines the implications for Big Food and agribusiness resulting from the tectonic shift that consumer behavior has taken, and how they can meet the soaring demand for more specialty food options.

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