Global food and beverage trends 2012-2013

News in the industry - Monday, October 15, 2012

Scanning your food in a new way Health & wellness, economy and sustainability issues continue to dominate growth strategies within the global food and beverage sector. The ingredients of products are closely scanned by enlightened consumers, yet a number of emerging trends, including an aging population and the "location" trend, are making a significant impact on communications.

1. Health claims

People are more concerned about the contents of products and are careful what they give to their children and eat themselves. Demand for products with reduced sugar, fat, salt and other non-healthy ingredients is growing. Powerfruit, added vitamins and other healthy ingredients are popular.

2. "Free from" foods

Food savvy consumers and consumers with allergies and on diets demand more products that are free from gluten, nuts or dairy products.

3. "No junk" ingredients:

"Pure" products are being produced and marketed and are now replacing worn-out, classic "natural" products.

4. Flavour Solutions

Compensating for lower levels of salt, fat and/or sugar will continue to increase the need for more flavourful solutions. Combinations of herbs, spices and other strong flavours will provide a flavourful backdrop to many products. Think of ingredient combinations such as lemongrass, garlic and ginger or the use of seaweed as a salt enhancer. Also look for more adventurous "premium" flavour combinations like lavender in dark chocolate.

5. Sustainability

Consumers have come to expect sustainable packaging, reduced packaging and more ethically-sourced ingredients.

6. No time

People want to be healthy, but they still don't really want to cook. Look for ready-to-go meals including "meal kits" and other convenience food.

7. Location, location, location:

There has never been greater interest among consumers in where their food comes from. This is driven by an interest in supporting local suppliers, a desire for ethnic-style lines or concern over the quality and safety of imported products. Also, more exotic ingredients such as Madagascan vanilla will benefit from informing consumers of the origin of the product and thereby giving a distinct impression of quality.

8. Budget-Conscious

People want affordable luxuries, "value for money" credentials and cost-effective solutions.

9. Seniors draw attention

Companies are starting to address the needs of an aging population, both in terms of packaging functionality and general and specific health concerns. Source: Leatherhead Food research - Leatherhead Food International Limited. Randalls Way, off Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7RY, England

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