Top 10 food and beverage trends for 2015, Innova Market Insights with other comments
Concerns about labelling and a desire for convenience are trends that are set to continue into 2015, according to global market research organisation Innova Market Insights.
Innova Market Insights has released its overview of the Top Ten Trends for 2015 for global food, beverage and nutrition, with clarity in labelling and convenience coming in the top two spots.
The top ten trends in foods and beverages in 2015, according to Innova Market Insights are:
- From clean to clear label
Clean label claims were tracked in the Innova Database on nearly a quarter of all food and beverage launches in 2014, with manufacturers increasingly highlighting the naturalness and origin of their products.
With growing concerns over the lack of a definition of “natural,” however, there is a need for more clarity and specific details, according to Innova Market Research. Consumers, retailers, industry and regulators are all driving more transparency in labelling.
In Australia also, FoodLegal expert Joe Lederman noted that Australia’s consumer protection regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has initiated numerous legal actions in relation to eggs being labelled ‘free range’. In 2014, the ACCC has instigated separate legal actions for misleading labelling against Darling Downs Fresh Eggs, Derodi and Holland Farms, and Pirovic.
- Convenience for foodies
Continued interest in home cooking has been driven by cooking shows on TV and by blogging foodies, according to Innova Market Insights.
It is seen as fashionable, fun and social, as well as healthy and cost-effective. It has driven demand for a greater choice of fresh foods, ingredients for cooking from scratch and a wider use of recipe suggestions by manufacturers and retailers.
Australian Food News notes there has also been an emerging trend towards the promotion of fresh foods that might not be so aesthetically pleasing, with various retailers launching ranges of fruit and vegetables that are less expensive and that might not be as ‘pretty’ as the produce usually found in the fresh aisles. Retailers in Australia that have launched such ranges include green grocer Harris Farm, wholesale food business Spade & Barrow, and supermarket giant Woolworths.
- Marketing to Millenials
The so-called Millennial generation, generally aged between 15 and 35, now accounts for about one-third of the global population and is tech savvy and socially engaged, according to Innova Market Insights.
They are well informed, want to try something different and are generally less brand loyal than older consumers. They want to connect with products and brands and know the story behind them.
In Australia, FoodLegal’s Joe Lederman says that the ACCC had focus in 2014 on prosecuting misleading ‘credence claims’ where food providence was misrepresented by food marketers. Companies that felt the pressure over credence claims from the ACCC in 2014 included supermarket giant Coles, celebrity cook Maggie Beer and, separately, her daughter Saskia Beer’s food production company. The ACCC also took action against Basfoods for its “Victoria Honey” product, as well as Carlton United Breweries (CUB) for its Byron Bay Pale Lager.
In 2014 in Australia, Australian Food News reported new tech savvy marketing in the rise of food-related mobile phone apps, such as Meat & Livestock Australia’s ‘Meat Cuts’ app, Westfield Sydney’s ‘Eat On Time’ app, takeaway food app ‘EatNow’, and takeaway coffee app ‘Beat the Q’. In September 2014, Australian Food News reported that online shopping was also increasingly a focus of food and beverage businesses, with the online grocery sector evolving rapidly.
- Snacks rise to the occasion
Formal mealtimes are continuing to decline in popularity and growing numbers of foods and drinks are now considered to be snacks, according to Innova Market Insights.
Quick healthy foods are tending to replace traditional meal occasions and more snacks are targeted at specific moments of consumption, with different demand influences at different times of day.
As an illustration, Australian Food News in November 2014 reported that market research organisation Nielsen had found that healthy snacking habits prevailed by a slim margin in Australia, with 64 per cent of respondents saying they had consumed fresh fruit as a snack in the past 30 days – the most popular choice overall. However chocolate is a very close second with 62 per cent opting for a sweet treat, followed by cheese by just over half (54 per cent) of the Australians surveyed.
- Good fats, good carbs
With concerns over obesity there is a growing emphasis on unsaturated and natural fats and oils that has seen rising interest in omega 3 fatty acid content as well as the return of butter to favour as a natural, tasty alternative to artificial margarines that may be high in trans fats.
Australian Food News also notes that in Australia the introduction of a Government-endorsed ‘Australian Health Star Rating’ on food labels may accelerate this trend.
Also, according to Innova Market Insights, naturally-occurring sugar interesting is coming back into favour as a substitute for added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
- More in store for protein
Ingredient suppliers, food producers and consumers are on the lookout for the next protein source, according to Innova Market Insights.
Soy protein is regarded as cheap and mainstream but losing popularity among New Product Launches tracked by Innova Market Insights.
Whey protein has been popular for some years and is still growing, while pulse protein is rapidly emerging. More algae protein applications are expected in the future. There has also been speculation that insect protein may possibly catch on in the long term in a number of food categories.
Australian Food News reported in November 2014 that protein was seen by consumers to have a ‘health halo’. This perception of protein may be due to its association with health benefits, including its possible role in reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
- New routes for fruit
More product launches are being tracked with real fruit and vegetables, as they can function as colouring foodstuffs and in that role meet the increased demand for natural colours and flavours, according to Innova Market Insights. Australian Food News reported in 2013 that this trend towards ‘natural’ had seen natural colours and flavours overtake the artificial food colour additives in popularity for the first time in new products.
Fruit and vegetable inclusions can add to the “permissible indulgence” character of a product. Consumers perceive a product to be healthier when it contains a real fruit or vegetable ingredient, according to Innova Market Insights.
- A fresh look at frozen
In order to compete with the healthy appeal of fresh aisles and the convenience of canned foods, Innova Market Insights said established frozen foods (vegetables and seafood) are focusing on freshness in their marketing, stressing the superior nutritional content in frozen food. Brand extensions include larger varieties in vegetables and fruits.
At the same time the frozen segment is witnessing new product launch activity in new categories (e.g. soups, fruit, drinks , finger foods, sauces, pastries, herbs).
- Private label powers on
Even though the worst of the economic recession in America and Europe may have passed, private label is still gaining market share in terms of new product launches in Europe, North America and Australasia.
Store brands are here to stay, according to Innova Market Insights, and are found in all product segments. Discounters Aldi and Lidl are no longer seen by consumers as budget stores, but are accepted by the general public and considered to have good quality products.
Australian Food News notes that Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has had particular success in 2014 with its private label drinking milk, Farmers’ Own, which first launched in New South Wales, and has since expanded to Western Australia and Victoria.
- Rich, chewy and crunchy
Texture is becoming an important driver for taste perception of food and beverages and focus of many of today’s food innovations, according to Innova Market Insights.
Brands are creatively combining textures with for example crispy inclusions, soft centres and extra crunchy toppings. Texture claims are shown more prominently on front-of-pack.
Innova Market Insights said brands were also becoming creative in describing texture or including a texture claim in a product name.