Top Trends for 2016:
1. Organic Growth for Clear Label: ‘Clear label’ established itself as a key trend in 2015, with greater transparency and the focus on simpler products with fewer artificial additives taking the concept to the next level – there is a greater desire for pure foods and less gross chemicals!
2. Free-From For All: Many consumers do not need products that are free-from, ie from gluten, wheat and dairy, but are demanding them anyway, as they believe them to be healthier.
Industry has little choice but to respond and the recent surge in mainstream gluten-free products has been incredible. Other ‘free-from’ platforms are also gathering pace.
3. The ‘Flexitarian’ Effect: The rise of part-time vegetarians, who have reduced their meat consumption because of health, sustainability and animal welfare concerns, is having a major impact on new product activity.
This includes the technological development and promotion of better-tasting products more reminiscent of meat, as well as the use of alternative protein sources and more animal-friendly processes.
4. Processing the Natural Way: Established food processing practices that have been around for centuries are in the spotlight. They bring with them a natural and authentic image to counteract some of the negative perceptions of heavily processed foods.
The health benefits of fermented foods are seeing increasing awareness among western consumers. Newer technologies such as HPP may also succeed if they are seen as a fresh alternative to the use of preservatives.
5. Green Light for Vegetables: Consumers know that they need to eat more greens, but shy away because of taste expectations. Children can be encouraged to eat more through hidden vegetable products, while the rise of fusion smoothies and high vegetable pastas, indicates that adults can also be encouraged to increase their intake.