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Gourmet Business January '23

Gourmet Business January '23

What A Celebration

As the holidays come to a close, and a new year is dawned, I reflect back joyfully on a wonderful end of the year celebration that was truly enjoyed by all.  I noticed how the roads were flooded with cars filled with families and gear, finally able to make that trip to visit relatives, or just enjoy a relaxing vacation.  The holiday parties were back with a vengeance, and restaurants were filled to capacity with both regulars and visitors from out of town.  It seemed like the whole world was on vacation!

I, for one, was just happy to get back to long standing holiday traditions interrupted in recent years by terrible circumstances that were out of our control, and resume our family rituals once again.  Wasn’t it nice to have family over for a holiday meal once again without feeling like you were putting their lift at risk?

Now that we all have that out of our system, perhaps we can return to normal.  The critical question will be, what will that new normal be?  I expect the entertaining and family and friend reunions to continue on for quite some time, assuming of course, that you were not flying a certain airline over the holidays that may have ruined your desire to travel again anytime soon.  I think each of the holidays will be a cause for excessive celebration this year, which should bolster our entertaining and holiday themed product sales.

Looking forward to 2023 I predict that consumer spending will continue to be strong for product categories that Americans feel help themselves enjoy a “richer” life or transport them to a better place.  Sometimes you don’t realize how much you appreciate something until it is taken away or denied, and the urge to have it in your possession once again is so strong you just won’t feel good until you can make things right. Throughout COVID Americans were forced to significantly change the way that they lived.  In some cases a person may have discovered that there were some things that they really didn’t need.  And, then, there were the needs and desires that were temporarily lost, including consumer goods that were not plentiful because of the ample supply chain issues that impacted the world.  

I think our industry represents a category of products that does enhance the lives of our customers, and we will continue to see growth in demand during the coming year as we see consumers making up for lost time.  The supply chain bottleneck that was putting a chokehold on supply last year is reportedly improving significantly, which should help keep continuity in store merchandising once again.

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