|Innova Market Insights has identified ten key trends to impact the food and beverage market through 2012 and beyond.
The top trends relate to purity, authenticity and sustainability, as consumers continue to look for products with added value, despite the ongoing economic uncertainty.
Innova will present the top trends at Food Ingredients Europe (Paris, Stand: 4D13).
A special webinar will provide a 20 minute sneak peak of next year's trends today (Wednesday) at 4pm (Central European Time), 10am (Eastern Standard Time).
1. "Pure" is the New Natural: Natural products are becoming the rule rather than the exception in most western markets, despite ongoing issues with a clear definition of what "natural" encompasses. One way around this has been marketing the "purity" of a product, with Innova Market Insights reporting a doubling in the number of products using the word "pure" between 2008 and 2009, with a further third added in 2010 and considerably more in 2011.
2. Green is a Given: Corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategies have taken on an increasingly important role. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions or packaging, or creating higher welfare or fairly traded lines. The "ingredientization" of commodities is also moving forward, with previously untapped waste materials used for their potential functional and health benefits.
3. Location, Location, Location: Interest in where their foods are coming from has never been higher among consumers. This is being driven by an interest in supporting local suppliers, a desire for ethnic-style lines, concerns over the quality and safety of imported products, or the demand for authenticity in terms of products from a particular country or region.
4. Premium Stands Out: Despite austerity measures topping the agenda yet again from mid-2011, a premium positioning provides many benefits. Consumers still have to eat and are likely to look increasingly to the extremes of discount or super-premium products, with center-ground brands squeezed. A premium treat can be justified as an affordable indulgence during difficult economic times, particularly if it can also encompass a better-for-you element.
5. Seniors Draw Attention: Companies are starting to address the needs of an aging population, both in terms of packaging functionality and of general and specific health concerns. New EU regulations on labeling should also help seniors by improving the clarity and visibility of nutritional information. Various recent moves have been made in US front-of-pack labeling.
The other five trends identified by Innova Market Insights are:
6. Forty is the New Twenty
7. Grounded in Science
8. Regulators Force a Rethink
9. Unmeasurable Niches
10. Boom for Protein