A look at the leading trends for next year

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 18th November 2009

The breakthrough trends for 2010 in the consumer packaged goods industry are likely to be twists on something recognisable to consumers, according to predictions from market research firm Mintel.

“Post-recession, we don’t expect manufacturers to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we predict 2010’s new products will give shoppers something familiar paired with something new to better satisfy their needs,” Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel’s leading new products expert, advised. “On retail store shelves, we expect today’s familiar megatrends – health and wellness, convenience, sustainability – to get a fresh, new makeover for 2010.”

Supermarket aisle - shopping trolley

Next year, Mintel predicts seven core trends will impact global new product development as manufacturers try to pique interest in new launches while keeping shoppers comfortable.

Symbol overload

Consumers are looking for more nutrition advice, with a recent American survey showing half of adults believe that calorie information on the front of packages would help them reduce their intake. However, people feel confused and skeptical about different companies’ nutrition symbols. In response, more manufacturers will opt for clean, clear facts on front-of-pack statements in 2010.

Sodium reduction

Poised as the next major health movement, sodium reduction is finally ready to take hold. The key difference, says Lynn Dornblaser, is that “sodium reduction is being pushed by food companies and health organisations, not by consumers.” This could mean slow adoption of the “less salt” mantra by shoppers, even as the food industry moves ahead, according to the research firm.

Local gets stretched

Consumers are wanting products with recognisable origins and those that haven’t been shipped too far. In the UK, for example, nearly half of shoppers buy British-made products when they can. Similar findings have been seen in Australia, although consumers appear unwilling to pay more for this desire. For 2010, the definition of “local” will expand, becoming more practical for major companies to use and for mainstream shoppers to purchase.

Simple made special

In 2010, chic packaging and premium positioning will make today’s grudge purchases more enjoyable. The recent trend towards boutique-inspired packaging highlights how manufacturers will make the mundane a little more special next year.

Color coding for convenience

Cluttered retail store shelves are becoming less of a problem as manufacturers and retailers find ways to tackle the issue. To help shoppers make faster choices, more manufacturers will color-code their products in 2010. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say they want color-coded packaging and 45% of Brits claim to compare products by their labels. Color coding also helps brands stand out on the shelf. Indeed, some retailers have already tried to colour code in a bid to make the shopping experience that little bit easier.

Iconic budget brands

Private label products are starting to look a lot more like brands. As consumers cut spending because of the recession, smart marketers ramped up promotions for their private label lines. Many shoppers now equate private labels with national brands and value them as such. In 2010, low cost, high quality private labels will thrive, according to Mintel.

Gen Y cleans up

Generation Y is calling out for grown-up cleaning products of their own. Gen Y constitutes one-fifth (21%) of the global population. While there aren’t a wealth of Gen Y-focused cleaners on the market now, expect that to change in 2010. New products will highlight simplicity of use and quick, easy results to appeal to Gen Y shoppers.