Food public relations firm Publicis Consultants USA has released its take on the coming year’s top food and nutrition trends.
According to the company, taste remains the number-1 criteria for food choice, regardless of how health- and price-conscious consumers become. At the same time, higher food costs and demand for lower-priced products will continue to drive innovation.
Here’s what else is on the radar for 2012:
• Snacking – Smaller portions and mini-bites will appear more often on grocery shelves, as consumers continue their demand for snack foods on the go.
• Global dining – Demand for inexpensive, culturally mixed cuisine will grow.
• Get connected – Shared meal experiences via social networking will increase, with more sites and apps, and more opportunities to share recipes, reviews and suggestions.
• Wine variety – Budget-conscious consumers will increasingly explore wines from less-familiar regions, varietals and blends.
• Popcorn – Healthy, cheap and convenient, popcorn is set to make a comeback.
• Nutrition matters – On-package nutritional information will become even more important for consumers in 2012.
• Do-it-yourself – Consumer love for all things local will go one step further as more people try their hand at growing and processing their own foods.
• The new comfort food – Consumers may want to dine in, but they also want the same restaurant-quality food and chef-inspired techniques, especially when it comes to comfort food.
• Sustainable seafood – With low levels of toxins and high amounts of omega-3, barramundi from Australia is the next healthy seafood set to make waves.
• Spice news – Turmeric, known for its antioxidant levels and anti-inflammatory properties, will make its way from curries to other dishes.
• A wider gender gap – While women are taking action to improve their health through diet and exercise, men continue to lag behind.
• Positive messaging – We’ll see more balanced messaging in 2012 about foods, as consumers look for tasty products that promote better health and wellness.