For every trend, there’s a counter trend. Often they are two heads of the same coin — seeming opposites that go hand-in-hand under the mega-trend of healthy living. Think paleo and vegan that co-exist today. Perhaps the biggest countertrend is “added sugar.” That’s right. It’s “sugar revenge,” as Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director for GlobalData, put it.
“I’m kind of bored to death with clean label, ancient grains have been done to death, and gluten-free has no news value whatsoever today,” he said. “Hostess Cotton Candy-flavored Twinkies flies in the face of current worries. This could be a trend because it seems the cereal-makers are going the same route — throwing caution to the wind.”
Just look at the continued popularity of donuts and, as Mr. Vierhile noted, the success that Hostess Brands has experienced over the past few years. The Kansas City-based company continues to reinvent itself beyond the snack aisle with deep-fried Twinkies and Molten Lava Ding Dongs in the freezer case and the 17-oz big Twinkie as it channel-surfs into the in-store bakery arena. But here, too, there’s that counterbalancing trend — one that’s not friendly to the baking and snack industries — that flips the coin back to carb bashing.
“The bigger trend is that sugar has been the villain for a while — sort of like the clown in the recent horror movie ‘It,’” Mr. Vierhile said. “I think carbohydrates are emerging as the next villain. It’s not a good development for the bread industry, but if you look at overall food trends, a lot of them are headed away from carbohydrates.”That’s a scary thought, indeed.