Informed consumers to shape food, beverage trends

by Staff
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DUIVEN, THE NETHERLANDS — The influence of more knowledgeable and informed shoppers is one of 10 trends Innova Market Insights has identified that will impact the food and beverage market in 2013 and beyond.

Innova said shoppers will become increasingly informed and knowledgeable about value and health, and they are being supported by pressure from lobby groups, non-governmental organizations and celebrities calling for transparency, credibility and accountability for the industry. Innova also reported a recent surge in products marketed on an ethical platform, with products using this type of positioning accounting for more than 14% of global launches tracked in each half-year since the second half of 2010.

Other trends Innova identified include:
• Health traffic jam. There has been a greater emphasis on the inherent benefits of certain foods and ingredients as opposed to other functional claims.
• Gray but healthy. There is a focus on the aging population driven by rising consumer understanding of the role of a healthy diet in extending the active years. There will be more anti-aging products as well as the move of well-established medical brands into the mainstream aisles.
• Just say no. Free-from claims are becoming more prevalent with gluten-free and lactose-free claims on the rise. Fat-free, sugar-free, and meat-free are other popular “free-from” claims.
• “Natural” cracks emerge. Lawsuits and regulatory pressure are rising over concerns about the definition of natural and whether highly processed foods should be using that description. Some companies are switching to “additive/preservative-free” positioning, and the use of bioengineered-free claims is increasing.

Other trends Innova identified include protein overdrive, beating the sugar demon, sensory experience, more with less and interest and the extremes.

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