Waste reduction and “regaining trust” trends for global food and beverage in 2014

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th November 2013

Looking forward into 2014, the latest trends impacting the food and beverage industry will include moves to reduce food waste and a focus on “regaining consumer trust”, following a year of negative headlines, according to market research organisation Innova Market Insights.

Innova Market Insights is set to present its Top 10 Trends list for 2014 at the Food Ingredients Europe conference, held in Frankfurt from 19 November 2013 to 21 November 2013. It said its Top 10 Trends list is the culmination of ongoing analysis of trends and developments in new product launch activity worldwide.

“Traceability is high on the agenda and manufacturers are actively marketing this to consumers,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “For example, global product launch activity featuring the word ‘origin’ for claims purposes increased by 45 per cent for the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012, with further growth anticipated,” she said.

“Among the leading sub-categories responsible for this growth are cheese, chocolate and coffee,” Ms Williams said.

Highlights from the 2014 top 10 food and beverage trends list

1. Waste not want not

For some time now, food and beverage manufacturers’ sustainability efforts have been a focus, according to Innova Market Insights, with a  more recent shift in focus being to reduce food loss or waste wherever possible. Innova Market Insights predicts food loss during production and food waste at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain will be heavily scrutinised. Ingredients derived from the waste stream will also hold enormous potential.

2. “You can trust us”

Recent food safety scares and scandals have crippled consumer confidence, according to Innova Market Insights. Food and beverage manufacturers have their work cut out in order to regain consumer trust. Ingredient origin will be used as a marketing tool. Innova Market Insights said the consumer should ultimately benefit from higher quality foods that are clearly traceable.

3. Simpler pleasures.

Consumers are reassessing their needs and going back to basics by finding more pleasure in simpler food, according to Innova Market Insights.

There has been a shift towards home cooking, with food “bringing family and friends together”. Where consumers shop has also been affected, with the so-called “hourglass model,” still in effect. This relates to growth on the budget and premium sides, but the centre ground being squeezed. Value packaging and “good value” claims on the products themselves and in-store value promotions are prospering.

4. Look out for the small guy

Small innovators are rising to the challenge, with the development of high quality and distinct products that have small-scale appeal, but big trend potential, according to Innova Market Insights.

Social media platforms have provided more opportunities for small companies to develop a market by directly targeting niches across their home market and abroad.

5. Health is more wholistic

Nutrition is getting closer to being “truly recognised as the answer to health-care budget crises around the globe”, according to Innova Market Insights.

Some big food manufacturers are looking to all areas of health for a more wholistic approach in providing nutritious food and beverage solutions to consumers. Clinical nutrition is being eyed as a highly profitable platform along with health alternatives, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The other five trends identified by Innova Market Insights are: “New” Superfoods, Rise of the Hybrid, The Protein Horizon, New Stealth Strategies and Alternative Alternatives.

Origin claims increasing on food labelling