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New Mintel/NASFT Findings Cite Increased Distribution and Evolving Culture as Key Factors in Category ExplosionChicago (May 24, 2006)- Specialty food continues to show strong mainstream movement, heightened recently by Wal-Mart’s journey into the arena. Mintel once again partnered with the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT) to unveil new findings on the $34.7 billion industry. Specialty foods are high quality products manufactured in limited quantities with higher price points.“American consumers are continuing to take advantage of the country’s diverse cultures and offerings,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst for Mintel. “Fresh and authentic ingredients are in demand, and this is driving opportunity within this market. Wal-Mart and other companies have identified the specialty foods industry as a viable market to enter, and it will be interesting to see how their presence affects the industry in the upcoming years.”