The latest trends impacting the food industry include moves to reduce the huge amount of food waste, as consumers simultaneously adapt their habits in times of continuing austerity. These trends come as the industry focuses on regaining consumer trust, following a year of negative headlines.
“Traceability is high on the agenda and manufacturers are actively marketing this to consumers. For example, global product launch activity featuring the word ‘origin’ for claims purposes increased by 45% for the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012, with further growth anticipated,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Among the leading market sub-categories responsible for this growth are cheese, chocolate and coffee,” she added.
Innova Market Insights’ Top 10 Trends list is the culmination of ongoing analysis of trends and developments in new product launch activity worldwide. The market researcher continues to be successful with its annual trend predictions. For example, “Sustainability Replaces Organic” (2007), “Go Natural” (2008) and “Boom for Protein” (2012), all still have a significant bearing on the global industry today.
Highlights from the 2014 top 10 food and beverage trends list are:
1. Waste Not Want Not. For some time now manufacturers’ sustainability efforts have been zeroed in on, with a more recent shift in focus being to reduce food loss or waste, wherever possible. Food loss during production and food waste at the retailer and consumer end of the food-supply chain will be heavily scrutinized. Ingredients derived from the waste stream will also hold enormous potential.
2. You Can Trust Us. Recent food safety scares and scandals have crippled consumer confidence. Companies have their work cut out in order to regain consumer trust. Ingredient origin will be used as a marketing tool. The consumer should ultimately benefit from higher quality foods that are clearly traceable.
3. Simpler Pleasures. Consumers are reassessing their needs and going back to basics, by finding more pleasure in simpler food. There has been a shift towards home cooking, with food bringing family and friends together. Where consumers shop has also been affected, with the so-called “hourglass model,” still in effect. This relates to growth on the budget and premium sides, but the center ground being squeezed. Value packaging and “good value” claims on the products themselves and in-store value promotions are prospering.
4. Look Out for the Small Guy. Small innovators are rising to the challenge with the development of high quality and distinct products that have small-scale appeal, but big trend potential. Social media platforms have provided more opportunities for small companies to develop a market by directly targeting niches across their home market and abroad.
5. Health is More Holistic. Nutrition is getting closer to being truly recognized as the answer to healthcare budget crises around the globe. Some big food manufacturers are looking to all areas of health for a more holistic approach in providing nutritious food and beverage solutions to consumers. Clinical nutrition is being eyed as a highly profitable platform along with health alternatives, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The other 5 five trends identified are: “New” Superfoods, Rise of the Hybrid, The Protein Horizon, New Stealth Strategies and Alternative Alternatives.