Top Trends for 20143 Dec 2013
As 2013 draws to a close, thoughts turn to what 2014 might hold. Market research companies look into their crystal balls to make predictions for the coming year. Within the Strategic Insight team here at Leatherhead Food Research, we have also been wondering what 2014 has in store for the food and drink industry. Here […]
As 2013 draws to a close, thoughts turn to what 2014 might hold. Market research companies look into their crystal balls to make predictions for the coming year. Within the Strategic Insight team here at Leatherhead Food Research, we have also been wondering what 2014 has in store for the food and drink industry. Here are some of the issues which we expect to be preoccupying the time and energies of our members and clients next year.
- The sceptical consumer
2013 has seen consumer trust in the food and drink industry take rather a battering with scandals such as “Horsegate”. What consumers hated most was not so much the fact that they were eating horse per se, but more the fact that they perceived companies had tried to pull the wool over their eyes. While sales of beef may have returned to pre-Horsegate levels, consumer trust has undoubtedly been dented. We now see a more sceptical and wary consumer emerging. Companies will have to battle hard to restore trust in 2014.
- Claims that count
One way companies can rebuild consumer trust is by looking at their products holistically and carefully considering the claims they are making about those products. With hyper-sensitive consumers who are concerned about the number of processes which they believe their food is subjected to, and with a hungry press who are waiting for the next big food scandal, claims need to be spot on and actually deliver on their promises. Consumers are getting wise to ubiquitous claims like ‘natural’ which promise a lot without clearly saying what the product is actually delivering. It seems regulatory and marketing teams might need to get a whole lot closer in 2014 and onwards.
- The growing focus on the supply chain
The traceability and sustainability criteria of the ingredients which go into companies’ products are becoming ever more important; companies are conscious of the need to understand the operations of their entire supply chain in order to mitigate any risks before they occur and to give them evidence for the good news stories about their products.
The case for supply chain ethics is becoming clearer too. Trade is changing. Food companies can no longer assume they can pay the right price and get the commodity they want. With fears around the supply of key commodities like cocoa, not only is the reality beginning to sink in that there might not be an endless supply of commodities, but the growth of food companies in the southern hemisphere means there are a greater number of companies demanding scarcer commodities. Small scale producers are finding they now have options and companies could find themselves being cut out of deals. Companies are beginning to see real benefits in nurturing and protecting their supply chains. It seems there may be an alignment between business and sustainability objectives after all.
- Health and wellness rather than ‘diet’
With consumers’ personal memories of failed weight loss attempts and with the media delving into the science behind weight loss, ‘diet’ is becoming a dirty word. Rather than compartmentalising ‘healthy eating’ to a particular part of their lives, consumers are looking for more balanced approaches to weight loss and weight management. Companies are responding by moving from diet products which sit in a single aisle in the supermarket to more mainstream ‘healthy products’ which can become a more integral part of people’s lives. They are seeking to reposition ‘healthy’ in a more positive framework, as something to be enjoyed rather than dreaded.
- Natural sugar alternatives
The pressures for the industry to address growing obesity levels means sweeteners remain a key area for innovation. Plant-derived sweeteners, such as stevia, that can be marketed on a more natural platform are expected to provide the main impetus for growth in the sweetener market in the coming years. As manufacturers work to create the right taste profile for stevia and wait for other plant- derived sweeteners, such as monk fruit, to attain regulatory clearance, the artificial sweetener market still offers growth opportunities, however – in particular, the sucralose and acesulfame-K markets.
Additives in US food products up 10% since 2001
18 Jul 2023
New research revealed that 60% of foods purchased by Americans contained technical food additives as of 2019, which was a 10% increase since 2001.Read more
Industry first: The Netherlands approves cultivated meat and seafood tastings
17 Jul 2023
The Netherlands has become the first country in Europe to approve tastings of cultivated meat and seafood in controlled environments, yet there is still a long way to go before widescale commercialisation is achieved.Read more
One-fifth of Brazilian whey protein products mislabelled
12 Jul 2023
One fifth of whey protein products sold in Brazil are mislabelled, according to one small survey, as the Latin American trade association ALANUR calls on authorities to act against brands that inappropriately advertise the nutritional attributes of the...Read more
New Nordic nutrition guidelines emphasise plant-based eating
11 Jul 2023
Nordic scientists and experts are now recommending that people should consume less meat and more plants for both their health and the health of the planet.Read more
Manufacturers await groundbreaking aspartame safety review
10 Jul 2023
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is preparing to release its findings on whether the sweetener aspartame is a possible carcinogen.Read more
Food sector pushes unhealthy choices on consumers, new report shows
7 Jul 2023
Regulators and retailers must take action to prevent European consumers from being led to make unhealthy food choices, experts say.Read more
How to revive stagnating plant-based meat sales
6 Jul 2023
Sales of plant-based meat are stagnating, products are being withdrawn, and brands are declaring bankruptcy – but Rabobank’s RaboResearch has identified five strategies that could help revive the category, and precision fermentation could be an NPD gam...Read more
UK consumer trust in supermarkets falls to nine-year-low
5 Jul 2023
Research by UK consumer review organisation, Which?, reports decreasing levels of trust in the food industry, with two-thirds of shoppers feeling ripped off.Read more
UK retailers flout unhealthy product regulation
4 Jul 2023
UK retailers are continuing to promote unhealthy products that are high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) despite recent regulation that bans such practices.Read more
Are Dutch supermarkets committed to human rights?
3 Jul 2023
Dutch supermarkets lack widespread measures to respect human rights in supply chains, research project Superlist Social's inaugural report finds.Read more