“Nature’s own functional foods: fruits, vegetables and grains are being revisited,” according to the researchers, who added more detail to the top 10 key trends list for 2014 released earlier in the month.
Next year would see the revival of interest in ‘heirloom’ vegetables such as parsnips, artichokes, kale and salsify. Innova also predicted the rediscovery of new ancient grains such as freekeh and chia. Their renewed popularity will follow quinoa’s success, and reflected the trend of “going back to the future for health”.
The other four top 10 trends, about which the research firm released more details in Frankfurt, were what it described as: the rise of the hybrid, the protein horizon, new stealth strategies and alternative alternatives.
Product innovation pushing boundaries
The rise of the hybrid referred to the trend towards product innovation pushing boundaries more than ever before – with new product ideas making product categorisation more difficult. “Cross-branding from apparently unrelated brands is also becoming more prevalent, along with the use of unique flavour combinations,” said the researchers.
The protein horizon trend would be driven by new product launches featuring protein. Innova predicted that the dairy category would continue to be the main beneficiary, with yogurt, and particularly Greek yogurt, being the top driver. Adding high levels of protein to some products was said to have attracted more male attention in some market categories.
‘Stealth or health approach’
New health strategies reflected the food and drink industry’s moves to reduce the sugar, salt and saturated fat contents of products. This trend would gain momentum next year. Food and drink manufacturers would have to decide whether to take ‘a stealth or health’ approach to marketing, said Innova. Another consideration was the business merits of maintaining a clean-label.
The final trend – alternative alternatives – referred to the ‘free-from’ sector’s development of alternatives to the standard choices for allergy conscious new product development. Next year, new competition for soy will include: coconut milk, nut and grain milks, said the researchers. They also predicted the greater use of new gluten-free flours.
Food Ingredients Europe 2013 took place in Frankfurt between November 19–21.
Top 10 food and beverage trends for 2014
1. Waste not want not: cutting food waste.
2. You can trust us: improving consumer trust.
3. Simpler pleasures: back to basic trends towards simpler food.
4. Look out for the small guy: small-scale innovators rise to the challenge.
5. Health is more holistic: a more holistic approach in providing nutritious food and beverage solutions to consumers.
6. ‘New’ superfoods: renewed interest in nature’s own functional foods, such as chia.
7. Rise of the hybrid: product categorisation becomes more challenging.
8. The Protein Horizon: Protein to feature in new product launches – particularly in the dairy category.
9. New stealth strategies: Manufacturers to decide between ‘stealth or health approach’.
10. Alternative alternatives: New competition for alternative products, such as soy.