What’s the Next Big Food Thing?

Discussion
Apr 12, 2013

Everyone has their own perspective. When it comes to food trends, predictions are wide-ranging.

For The Hartman Group, it’s all about health.Transparency and ethics from producers and retailers are recurring themes. Consumers are increasingly linking added sugar to a range of ailments and illnesses. Health demands are also behind the increased interest in gluten-free products and cultured foods and beverages, perceived to support digestive health, provide enhanced immunity and reduce "chronic inflammation." Whole grains, Omega-3s, probiotics and botanicals are believed to achieve "proactive wellness."

Hartman even predicts growth in "culinary botanicals" (hemp and cannabis) for pain management and as ingredients for sweet snacks and carbonated soft drinks (CSDs).

In retailing, Hartman reckons premium private label will be much in demand, but with "inspirational" rather than "transactional" packaging. Marketing will address variations in families, including stay-at-home fathers and LGBT parents.

"Fresh" will expand everywhere with snacks displacing traditional mealtimes (not breakfast) while "New Guard" candy is ditching high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, trans fats, artificial colors and ingredients.

Edible casings from companies like WikiCell will mimic fruit’s natural skins to support the trend toward sustainable and reduced packaging.

"Supermarket Guru" Phil Lempert agreed with many of Hartman’s results, especially increased awareness of wasting less, and eating healthily with greater consumption of non-meat protein. Mr. Lempert expects to see growth in snacking with a correct combination of portion size and nutritional value complementing breakfast as the most important meal. While predicting more singletons and men in the kitchen, Mr. Lempert didn’t echo Hartman’s predictions regarding male roles in family situations.

Overall, transparency and traceability were an acknowledged business cost. For consumers, "bottom-line integrity" was declared the bottom line.

What do you think are going to be the biggest trends in food over the course of the next several years in the U.S.? Do the “gurus” have it right concerning the increasing consumer focus on health and wellness?

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8 Comments on "What’s the Next Big Food Thing?"


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J. Peter Deeb
Guest
9 years 1 month ago

I agree with the “gurus” but would add indulgence as a category that could make a comeback. If the economy continues to improve and people feel better about their prospects, you could see a resurgence in upscale foods. Another comeback area might be national brands spending more to stem the store brand growth of recent years and even some regaining of share in selected categories.

Ian Percy
Guest
9 years 1 month ago

I hope the Hartman Group was being prophetic when it says: “Transparency and ethics from producers and retailers are recurring themes.” I’ve got to say I have serious doubts especially as it pertains to the dominant forces like Monsanto, etc.

Yesterday I was reading about the devastating impact these companies who dominate and control agriculture with their genetically modified seeds, forced purchases, etc. are having on already impoverished countries. Indigenous crops almost wiped out, poor farmers making less money than they ever have before and so on. Honestly it almost feels like the agricultural version of the NRA. “Go along with us or we’ll ruin you!”

“Bottom line integrity?” We can only pray.

Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 1 month ago

Fresh, local and gluten-free will continue to grow. New ideas in snacking and food to go will catch consumers’ interest. This does not necessarily mean truly healthier food, but does point to the appearance of healthier eating. Healthier eating will come when there is an easy to understand national standard for rating food that all manufacturers embrace.

Zel Bianco
Guest
9 years 1 month ago

Freshness and quality will always be a trend in food. While there is more of a focus now due to America’s growing health concerns, like childhood obesity, it seems as though we are trying to find a happy medium from the days of locally grown, locally produced foods to the overly processed options, which is a great thing. With large corporations like Tyson Foods committing to improving school choices, we can hopefully see a more healthful America in the near future.

Retailers will need to take a page from companies like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and stock healthier options for shoppers.

Ben Ball
Guest
9 years 1 month ago

“Organic” labeling will become passé.

Anne Howe
Guest
9 years 1 month ago
I agree with the trend toward healthy and am a huge supporter of Hartman’s work. And those who know me know I eat mainly real and fresh food, with very little processed foods in my home, despite my job that is somewhat contradictory. However, I don’t think a universal rating system is the answer to helping consumers. One of the core issues with that idea is that publishing the brutal truth about the “not-so-good-for-you nature of so many packaged goods on store shelves today would truly change the game too radically for America’s CPG companies. It’s unlikely despite the long-term necessity to do so to make a big move toward a healthy America. I also don’t see the type of change necessary to make these foods really good-for-you happening fast, since taste and convenience are such prevailing cultural trends that will be slow to disappear. Case in point—Campbell’s added some sodium back into low-sodium soups to keep shoppers happy. Sales rebounded. I add fresh herbs to low sodium anything I buy, including V8 juice and… Read more »
Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
9 years 1 month ago

LOL!!! I am content with the current three basic food groups: Hamburger, Fries & Coke.

Stan Barrett
Guest
Stan Barrett
9 years 1 month ago

Here we go again! Not to sound too cynical, but there an element of this that is sounding a lot like the Snackwells bandwagon everyone jumped on a while back. Olestra anyone? Omega 3 fortified bun for your hamburger, sir? As a society I think we are getting better at trying to “eat healthy” and there are many more options if you are embracing that lifestyle. But just remember what your mom said—eat your fruits and veggies, turn off the TV (or tablet, or phone) and go out and play!

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