Slideshow: Product developers go Paleo

by Monica Watrous
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DUIVEN, THE NETHERLANDS — Caveman-style eating is gaining mammoth attention in new packaged cereals, snacks and soft drinks. The popular Paleo lifestyle has sparked a surge in product development designed to meet the diet’s strict standards, according to new research from Innova Market Insights.

The number of global product launches featuring the word “Paleo” has soared from single figures in 2010 to more than 300 in the year ended September 2015. Though still tiny in terms of total launch activity, Paleo product introductions nearly tripled in the past year, Innova said. The United States leads Paleo product development with approximately two-thirds of launches, but that number has fallen from more than 80% in the same period of the previous year as the trend gains traction abroad.

Devotees of the diet ditch dairy products, grains, legumes and refined sugar in favor of lean meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables.

“Natural ingredients are increasingly in demand, and this has resulted in the arrival of new options in some instances and the revival and updating of some established products in others,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Interest in naturally nutritious ingredients and a return to basics has led to increasing consumption of ingredients such as ancient grains and green foods. It has also led to a surge in interest in alternative diets and eating habits, bringing awareness of the Paleo diet to a much wider range of consumers.”

Behind cereals, bakery products and snacks, which combined account for more than half of Paleo launches, products include sports nutrition products, dairy products and soft drinks, Innova said. The trend has even spilled over into the personal care and pet food categories.

Click for a slideshow of Paleo product introductions.

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