10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2016

10 Key Trends 2016 Report Cover

Which are the real GROWTH trends in food and health?

The ones that will still matter 5 years from now?

Our annual trend survey, now in its 20th year, gives you the answers.

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Recent Case Studies Flawed sat-fat study signals time for industry to stand firm For 30 years consumer beliefs, new product development efforts and food industry strategy have lived under a scientific orthodoxy which held that saturated fats in foods increased the risk of death from heart disease. read more Let’s be clear about this Transparency and simplicity in ingredients, recipes and labels have become the reigning concerns of western consumers – and especially Millennials. read more Dairy must act to avoid a “too late” moment “Error,” says a Chinese proverb, “will travel over half the globe, while truth is pulling on her boots.” The dairy industry is witnessing that now. read more Key Trends drive biggest successes in US market The fragmentation of markets is one of the most important trends of our time. More and more, brands are serving ever-smaller segments of the market, meaning that fewer and fewer are achieving the first-year sales targets set by marketers and senior management. Welcome to the new normal – a world of smaller brands with less growth potential. But it’s a world in which, despite the emerging plant-based trend, meat and dairy still reign supreme. read more Fresh and healthy makeover brings Millennials to c-stores Long lampooned as purveyors of unhealthy, over-processed, bad-tasting food, convenience stores are subtly making themselves over with fresher offerings – and attracting new customers, especially Millennials, in the process. read more Taking paleo eating to the mall Delicate produce, proteins that aren’t chemically or artificially preserved, a massive amount of ingredients all needing storage – it doesn’t sound like a great recipe for a foodservice idea. But Josh Sparks has fitted all this into a pioneering chain of mall-based restaurants that deliver paleo eating on the go. read more Adding more to free-from A year after its acquisition by Mondelez International, Enjoy Life Foods is launching a new-product offensive that is adding nutrients such as protein and probiotics to its original positioning as a “free-from” leader for allergy-conscious consumers, and is grabbing distribution in new outlets and new retail formats. read more Strategy pivot for chips built on beans Beanitos, the snack chip brand based on the protein, fibre and taste of beans, has doubled its US retail footprint in just a couple of years by emphasising the appeal of the nutrition it does provide, instead of relying mainly on what the bean-based snack chips don’t contain. read more Sprouting into the snacking mainstream Way Better Snacks is trying to extend its command of the sprouted-grain platform in the US salty-snack market while also leveraging new mainstream flavours and textures, and all-new packaging, to broaden its reach to mainstream consumers who haven’t experienced the brand’s nutrient-dense yet tasty offerings. read more
Some inconvenient truths

Some inconvenient truths

Here they are:

  • Most people still prefer animal products over plant products.
  • People don’t always want clean label.

And those two statements are proven by sales figures that anyone can find in the IRI New Product Pacesetters Report.

Published every year for the last 18 years, it provides a very clear snapshot, based on hard facts, about the changing state of innovation in the American grocery market.

IRI is a Chicago-based organisation which is perhaps best-known as a provider of supermarket scanning data – data which is by far the most reliable way to understand the size of any market.

IRI’s newly-published report identifies the ten most successful new product launches of 2015. These 10 top-selling brands had combined sales of $923.9 million (€807 million).

Here are some salient facts revealed by the report:

Most people are perfectly happy with animal-based products. Despite the growing attacks on animal-based foods, mainstream America is still very happy with animal-based foods, which account for six of the 10 most-successful new products of 2015, totaling $563 million (€492 million) of the value of all sales of Top-10 products, equivalent to 61% of the total.

In fact, people want meat more than plants. While plant-based foods is a trend, it still seems to be one for the lifestyle consumer and has less impact on the mass market than is claimed. Two meat-based brands – Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Bold luncheon meats and Chili’s At Home frozen meals, based on chicken – made it into the Top-10 new launches, with combined retail sales of $225.1 million (€197 million), accounting for 24% of total Top-10 new product sales.

The four plant-based foods that made it into the top-10 are a standard white bread, a processed breakfast cereal, a juice and coffee – all pretty traditional and established types and a far remove from the cool image of plant-based foods found in health food stores.

With the exception of the coffee, these plant-based products are outsold by the animal-based products.

Dairy is still bigger than non-dairy. Remarkably, Greek yoghurt-inspired products continue to do well, with just two Greek brands accounting for 20% of the total sales of Top-10 products. In fact, dairy products appear to be holding their own in the mass market at least, with four dairy brands in the Top-10, accounting for $345 million (€301 million) in sales, equivalent to 37% of the sales of all Top-10 brands.

If it tastes good, it’s convenient and the price is fair, most people will look past the ingredient list. It’s become an unchallengeable truth in the minds of some brand mangers that people demand clean label and launching a product that doesn’t meet that expectation is a sure road to failure.

Except that isn’t always true. Breyers’s Gelato Indulgences, for example, which was the 8th most-successful new product launch of 2015, earning over $66 million (€57 million) in first year sales, has between 19 and 23 ingredients (depending on the flavour). Some of these are ingredients that consultants and the media assure us consumers reject.

In fact 6 of the 10 top-sellers have more than 15 ingredients – and one has over 30.

So don’t lose sleep over whether you are keeping up with the trends. In food and beverage trends emerge slowly. Many take a long time to make it to the mass market, some never do.

For most people great taste, convenience and price are still at the top of their list.

Read more on the blog

Julian Mellentin

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