Leatherhead Food Research (Surrey, UK) released a trend report for the upcoming year, authored by Laura Freeman, senior market analyst in the market intelligence department. The report covers 10 trends for 2011 that will affect the food and drink industry—and consequently, the flavor industry—as consumers and businesses adjust to the new normal that the economic unevenness of the past few years has established.
Among the trends are “Reformulations and stealthy reductions,” following the drive of natural, clean labeling and lower salt/fat/sugar content in products; and sustainability and green issues will continue to be popular, including in areas of food waste and recyclable packaging, as well as sustainability in supply chains and water and energy use. Health and wellness also still maintains a strong impact and “Riding out the recession” will be an economic-driven trend still seen, while trends such as the worldly “Ever-expanding tastes” and local “Provenance” are directed straight at the food and beverage market. Another trend of “Small indulgences” will affect the industry as more consumers forgo extravagant expensiveness for smaller treats, matching a bit with the “Less is more” theme, as consumers focus more and more on simpler solutions, such as meal delivery and meal kits. The trend of frozen food is seeing changes as consumers become aware that freezing can lock in a food’s freshness and quality, and the trend “Obesity gets bigger!” sees the trend toward products supporting weight managements, allowing companies to, for example, explore the addition of fiber and proteins for their effects on satiety.