Aware shopper

Top Trends for 2013: ‘Aware Shopper’ forces manufacturer accountability

The first 2013 food trends report has been released from the Innova stable. As the US food industry awaits a vote from California on the mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients and several manufacturers face regulatory challenges over “natural” product claims, two of the key trends for 2013 are ‘The Aware Shopper’ and ‘Natural” Cracks Emerge’.

Innova Market Insights’ ongoing analysis of key trends and developments in new product activity has resulted in its identification of 10 key emerging trends likely to impact the food and drinks market through 2013 and beyond.

Successful previous predictions from Innova Market Insights in its annual Top Trends series have included the emergence of interest in naturalness and sustainability as long ago as 2008 and the return to softer claims for 2011.

1. The Aware Shopper, who is more informed and knowledgeable about value and health, is increasingly influencing the market, supported by mounting pressure from lobby groups, NGOs and celebrities, calling for transparency, credibility and accountability for the industry. Meanwhile, social-media-driven campaigns are also make companies more susceptible to negative publicity.

2. Health Traffic Jam. A lack of innovation in functional foods has resulted from the December 2012 deadline for the removal of EU non-approved claims from packaging labels. Companies are focusing on switching marketing messages behind approved claims, with a greater emphasis on the inherent benefits of certain foods and ingredients and a longer term investment in future personalized nutrition products.

3. Gray but Healthy will be a focus for an aging population, driven by rising consumer understanding of the role of a healthy diet in extending the active years. This will be reflected in greater interest in cleverly-marketed anti-aging products, including the move of well established medical brands into mainstream aisles and the increasing promotion of inherent nutrients on an aging well platform.

4. Just Say “No.” Free-from claims are becoming increasingly prevalent. Gluten-free is now relatively mainstream, with lactose-free set to follow suit as awareness of problems associated with nutrient intolerance rises and technological advances improve the quality and availability of a whole range of products. “No” products also encompass meat-free lines, with technology allowing the development of innovative vegetarian foods, as well as fat-, sugar- and salt-free alternatives.

5. “Natural” Cracks Emerge after years of solid growth for products marketed on a natural platform. Lawsuits and regulatory pressure are rising over concerns about the definition of “natural” and whether highly processed foods should be using that description. As a result, some companies are switching to “additive-/preservative-free” positionings, while the use of GM-free claims is also growing in popularity.

The other five trends identified by Innova Market Insights include:

6. Protein Overdrive

7. Beating the Sugar Demon

8. Sensory Experience

9. More with Less

10. Interest at the Extremes

Innova-TopTrends-2013 Graph

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Top Trends 2013 Webinar

Innova Market Insights will present a special webinar to provide a 20 minute sneak peak of next year’s trends on Thursday, November 8 at 4:00pm (Central European Time), 10:00am (Eastern Standard Time). You can join the Top Ten Trends webinar by registering here.