Innova reports top food and beverage trends of 2014
Trust, traceability could be keys to boosting consumer confidence
Innova Market Insights, the Netherlands, released its Top 10 list analyzing the latest trends impacting the food and beverage industries. Some of the top trends include moves to reduce the 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, the market research firm says.
“Traceability is high on the agenda, and manufacturers are actively marketing this to consumers,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova, in a statement. “For example, global product launch activity featuring the word ‘origin’ for claims purposes increased by 45 percent for the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012, with further growth anticipated. Among the leading market sub-categories responsible for this growth are cheese, chocolate and coffee.”
Innova Market Insights’ Top 10 trends list is the culmination of ongoing analysis of trends and developments in new product launch activity worldwide. Highlights from the 2014 Top 10 food and beverage trends include the following:
1. Waste Not, Want Not. For some time now, the industry has focused on manufacturers’ sustainability efforts and more recently has concentrated those efforts on reducing 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 in the next year. Ingredients derived from the waste stream also will hold enormous potential.
2. You Can Trust Us. Recent food safety scares and scandals have reduced consumer confidence. To regain consumer trust, some companies will use ingredient origin 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 toward home cooking, with food bringing family and friends together. Where consumers shop also has 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 products and in-store value promotions are prospering.
4. Look Out For The Small Guy. Small innovators are rising to the challenge by developing high-quality and distinct products that offer small-scale appeal but big trend potential. Social media platforms have provided more opportunities for small companies to develop a market by targeting niches across their home markets and abroad.
5. Health is More Holistic. Nutrition is getting closer to being 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 five trends identified by Innova Market Insights are “New” Superfoods, Rise of the Hybrid, The Protein Horizon, New Stealth Strategies, and Alternative Alternatives.