Leatherhead Food Research, a UK-based independent research organisation, has identified the key global issues and food trends that are likely to have an impact on the food and drink industry in 2013.
1. Mixed global economic outlook
Emerging markets will continue to attract the most interest as the growth in population, life expectancy, urbanisation, economic output and consumer spending will continue to significantly outpace that of developed economies.
Sustainability is embedded in the strategies of the world’s leading FMCG companies, and includes energy use, raw material sourcing, the environment, human and animal welfare, waste, water usage, and so on. Top of the agenda in 2013 – and beyond – will be charting the progress made by industry, as a whole, and individual businesses.
3. Governance and regulation
Greater emphasis will be directed at creating a legislative framework that works in the interest of consumers and encourages positive dietary changes, particularly in regions of the world where governments prioritise public health issues, such as rising obesity levels. Expect continued scrutiny of the use of salt, fat and sugar, as well as how ‘healthy’ foods are marketed.
4. Innovation and consumers
The business environment looks pretty tough but there’s also plenty of opportunity for companies that are prepared to innovate. One of the biggest innovation areas to (continue to) focus on in 2013 will be health and wellness. The stand-out health and wellness trends of 2013 are as follows:
5. Natural trend beds in
The march to all things natural is likely to as consumers increasingly buy into the perceived healthiness of the additive-free/natural proposition. Leatherhead believes that manufacturers will continue to adopt a natural/clean label policy wherever beneficial.
6. The future of functional foods
There is considerable interest in how the European functional food market performs in the wake of the enforcement of EFSA’s article 13.1 general health claims. Leatherhead feels that the legal enforcement of health claims will have little impact and that the market will continue to grow. However, consumers want to see proof, verified by independent science, that the product lives up to its promise.
7. Free From’ to build on success
‘Free From’ was the success story of 2012, and we expect the unbounded growth of ‘Free From’ foods to continue into 2013. Expect more activity from big brands wanting a piece of the action and moving products off the ‘Free From’ aisle and putting them next to category competitors.
8. Salt, fat and sugar
Interest will not wane in the effort to reduce salt, fat and sugar. Incremental reduction will continue and compliment breakthrough technologies and processes to achieve step-change reductions.
9. Ageing population opportunities build
Manufacturers are looking for ways to satisfy the specific needs and wants of ‘older consumers’. One of the key opportunity areas is to develop products that help to ameliorate escalating health concerns. But health is not the only focus, so too is packaging adaptation and segmented communications that appeal but don’t patronise.
10. Ingredients take centre stage
Additives and ingredients now have considerable recognition and importance to consumers. The presence of certain ingredients can transform the value proposition of the product, if the consumer perceives it, to deliver tangible benefits. Leatherhead believes that how consumers perceive certain ingredients will have even greater influence on overall liking of the product than ever before and ingredients will take more of a centre stage.
For a more information on Leatherhead Food Research’s Global Industry Outlook 2013 report, visit www.leatherheadfood.com/global-industry-outlook-2013 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org