The influence of “naturality” over food and beverage product development will continue to grow in the coming year, according to the latest edition of New Nutrition Business’s trend-spotting report, 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2013.
According to the report, naturality has become “the direction people want to go in” and will shape and drive the market in the coming year as companies across all categories seek to ride the naturality wave.
The new report highlights consumer research conducted by Kampffmeyer Food Innovation, a Germany-based supplier of grain ingredients. The research findings show that 74% of people surveyed thought that ‘natural’ meant ‘healthier’, illustrating clearly just how strongly the idea of naturalness is connected to healthier products in the minds of consumers.
Meanwhile, several product categories go from strength to strength off the back of the naturality platform, including:
· Coconut water– Sales are rocketing, powered by coconut water’s advantage – that it delivers ‘all-natural’ benefits. Germany-based Green Coco, Europe’s largest coconut water brand, experienced 60% sales growth in 2012 “without any marketing investment, no advertising”. In the US sales of coconut water jumped by more than 100% to at least $200 million (€155m) in the year to September 2012.
· Snacking nuts– The Wonderful Pistachios brand has become one of the most successful healthy snack launches of the last decade. Retail sales grew from zero to more than $400 million (€308m) from 2008 to 2012.
· Greek yogurt– The explosive growth of Greek yogurt in the US has been powered by the Chobani brand, with annual sales of over $1 billion (€770m) only four years after launch. Chobani’s success comes from many factors – one being its natural message. Advertising for Chobani carries the tagline: “Nothing but good.”
“Naturality was the top trend in 2012 and will remain so in 2013. Quite simply, it’s the direction people want to go in,” said Julian Mellentin, author of the report. “Naturality resonates positively with consumers in multiple ways and it provides food and beverage companies with opportunities to market products that command a premium. Although its exact definition can be debated, naturality does not fall foul of health claims legislation – but still manages to convey wellbeing-related messages. ‘Natural’ is something defined in the mind of the consumer, not by technical or regulatory definitions – and natural for many people also means healthy.
“Naturality has, in effect, also become a ‘super-trend’ because its influence can be seen not just in its own right but across a whole host of food and beverage categories,” he continued. “It now affects the direction of several other key trends we have identified in our new report, including energy, dairy and digestive health.”
The 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2013 report identified and analysed the ten major forces that will define the food and beverage industry in the coming year. In full the key trends were:
· Fruits & vegetables
· Healthy snacking
· Packaging and premiumisation
· Digestive health
· Weight management
“Several of the trends in this year’s report appeared in our top 10 last year, and we make no apology for that,” said Mr. Mellentin. “Some trend lists change significantly from year to year, with new subjects appearing one year and disappearing the next. This is not the case with our list. We focus only on those trends that are underlying key drivers for our industry – not fads with no long-term meaning. This enables companies to formulate their innovation strategy around our trends analysis – as many companies tell us they do.”
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