Ideas in Food 2013

Ideas in Food 2013 – A Cultural Perspective

Influential US market analysts, the Hartman Group, releases an annual trends report. A free one, too. What you won’t find within the pages of its Ideas in Food – A Cultural Perspective is a rehashing of tired old culinary trends. Rather it explores the themes shaping evolving food culture, including the future of traceability and if sugar will be the taboo ingredient of the new year. [This is really excellent trends stuff! Ed]

As experts in consumer culture and food culture, this Hartman Group report shares the consumer perspective on what matters most and topics to be aware of that are coming up around the bend. Food doesn’t just enable culture, it is culture. Ideas in Food offers an insightful perspective by examining the underlying force behind how consumers eat, shop and live.

Top Ten Ideas to Watch

1. Consumers continue to struggle with at home fresh meal preparation, creating considerable opportunities for retailers, food service, and CPG manufacturers to meet the growing demand for fresher and less-processed foods and beverages.

2. Weight management, energy and satiety are closely aligned with protein. As the first meal of the day becomes more than quick carbs, consumers look to dairy, free-range eggs and global preparations in convenient formats at breakfast occasions.

3. Ethics and transparency in food production are beginning to reflect mainstream food industry values. To consumers, it’s less about corporate sustainability and more about the cost of doing business. Not to discuss transparency in the long term may be seen as a liability.

4. As inflammation is poised to be the next business opportunity, sugar, and more specifically fructose, is questioned as the culprit. How will this impact your brand in the coming year?

5. The traditional foods revival focuses on the digestive health benefits and DIY ethic of cultured foods. Look for expanded global offerings to appease the American palate obsessed with novelty.

6. A growing number of consumers are seeking health and taste benefits from herbs and spices in lieu of OTCs. Expect the beverage and confectionary categories to leverage this burgeoning trend.

7. Watch for Mass Drug to continue upgrading fresh and convenience, while C-stores play catch-up in attracting female shoppers.

8. An overall casualization of cuisine is allowing for globally-inspired poultry to gain new-found respect. Breed-specific, local and varied cuts using the whole bird will reflect the movement toward Real, Fresh and Less Processed.

9. New guard candy is perceived as having a higher-quality halo through absence of negatives, such as HFCS. Expect the candy category to reinvent itself over the next few years with fairtrade principles and better-for-you ingredients.

10. There is opportunity for the food and beverage industry to tap into the demand to cut waste with edible packaging based on principles developed within Molecular Gastronomy. Are edible straws in the mainstream future?