US consumer buying predictions for 2013 released

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th December 2012

Global market research company, Innova Market Insights, has identified its top ten key emerging trends likely to impact the food and drinks market through 2013.

The market research company say that previous successful predictions have included the emergence of interest in naturalness and sustainability as long ago as 2008 and the return to softer claims for 2011.

Innova Market Insights have predicted the following ten trends for food and beverage markets in 2013:

  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 personalised nutrition products.
  3. Grey 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