The top trend – ‘from clean to clear label’ – had already gained attention from many major food and drink companies this year, said Innova.
Nearly a quarter of all food and beverage launches this year highlighted ‘naturalness’ and ‘origin’ in their product description, for instance.
But, there was a need for more clarity on the definition of ‘natural’ before the trend could really grow, it added.
“The move from ‘clean’ to ‘clear’ labelling is a key trend for 2015, reflecting a move to clearer and simpler claims and packaging for maximum transparency,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova.
Number two on the list – ‘convenience for foodies’ – had emerged in response to the increase in consumer interest in home cooking, she said.
“It [Home cooking] is seen as fashionable, fun and social, as well as healthy and cost-effective,” Williams said. “It has driven demand for a greater choice of fresh foods, ingredients for cooking from scratch and a wider use of recipe suggestions by manufacturers and retailers.”
Also in the top five list of key food trends was ‘marketing to millennials’, the pool of consumers aged between 15 and 35.
Millennial consumers make up one third of the global population, are tech-savvy and want to connect with products and brands and learn about the story behind them, according to Williams.
‘Meeting the needs’
“Meeting the needs of millennial consumers has become a key focus – they are well informed and want to try something different.”
Engaging millennial consumers through technology was important as they were generally less brand loyal than older consumers, she added.
A slump in formal dining and the growing amount of snack foods and drinks would result in the development of more snack foods for specific occasions, according to the list.
Focus from industry and government on the so called ‘obesity crisis’ would also feed consumers’ growing awareness of healthier foods, according to Innova.
“With concerns over obesity there is a growing emphasis on unsaturated and natural fats and oils that has seen rising interest in omega-3 fatty acid content as well as the return of butter to favour as a natural, tasty alternative to artificial margarines,” said Williams.
Innova plans to reveal another five key industry trends for 2015 at Health ingredients Europe (HiE) in Amsterdam this December.
To read a preview of this year’s HiE, subscribe to Food Manufacture.
Top five food trends for 2015
- From clean to clear label
- Convenience for foodies
- Marketing to millennials
- Snacks rise to the occasion
- Good fats, good carbs
Top 10 food trends for 2014
- Waste not want not: cutting food waste
- You can trust us still: improving consumer trust
- Simpler pleasures: back to basic trends towards simpler food
- Look out for the small guy: small-scale innovators rise to the challenge
- Health is more holistic: a more holistic approach in providing nutritious food and beverage solutions to consumers
- ‘New’ superfoods
- Rise of the hybrid
- The Protein Horizon
- New stealth strategies
- Alternative alternatives
Source: Innova Market Insights