Consumers to shape food trends: report

Comments Off November 7, 2012 at 10:33 am by Food in Canada magazine staff

Duiven, The Netherlands – When it comes to major food trends, the next big one could have far more to do with consumers.

Innova Market Insights released its ongoing analysis of trends and developments in new food product activity. The market research firm identified 10 top trends.

The first trend is called the Aware Shopper. Innova says as shoppers are more informed and knowledgeable about value and health, they will influence the food market. And they’ll be supported by mounting pressure from lobby groups, NGOs and celebrities who are calling more and more for transparency, credibility and accountability for the industry.

Innova points to the coming vote in California on the mandatory labelling of GMO ingredients as one example.
Not to mention social media-driven campaigns, which are also making companies more susceptible to negative publicity.

The other trends include:

2. Health Traffic Jam. A lack of innovation in functional foods has resulted from the December 2012 deadline for the removal of EU non-approved claims from packaging labels. Companies are focusing on switching marketing messages behind approved claims, with a greater emphasis on the inherent benefits of certain foods and ingredients and a longer term investment in future personalized nutrition products.

3. Gray but Healthy will be a focus for an aging population, driven by rising consumer understanding of the role of a healthy diet in extending the active years. This will be reflected in greater interest in cleverly marketed anti-aging products, including the move of well established medical brands into mainstream aisles and the increasing promotion of inherent nutrients on an aging well platform.

4. Just Say “No.” Free-from claims are becoming increasingly prevalent. Gluten-free is now relatively mainstream, with lactose-free set to follow suit as awareness of problems associated with nutrient intolerance rises and technological advances improve the quality and availability of a whole range of products. “No” products also encompass meat-free lines, with technology allowing the development of innovative vegetarian foods, as well as fat-, sugar- and salt-free alternatives.

5. “Natural” Cracks Emerge after years of solid growth for products marketed on a natural platform. Lawsuits and regulatory pressure are rising over concerns about the definition of “natural” and whether highly processed foods should be using that description. As a result, some companies are switching to “additive-/preservative-free” positionings, while the use of GM-free claims is also growing in popularity.

The other five trends Innova Market Insights identified include:

6. Protein Overdrive
7. Beating the Sugar Demon
8. Sensory Experience
9. More with Less
10. Interest at the Extremes