The trend towards ‘Better-for-you’ ingredients reflected shoppers’ growing concern about unhealthy ingredients such as sugar. After the introduction of natural sweetener stevia into many popular products – including Coca-Cola and Pepsi – this year, the next 12 months will see a greater number of ‘better-for-you’ offerings with healthier and more natural alternatives.
The researchers said: “One of the main challenges will be to overcome the negative taste perceptions of these new products through innovation and reformulation as consumers still put indulgence first.”
The other four key trends were: From mass-produced to personalised, All things hot and spicy, Mix-and-match favourite flavours and Packaging drives sensory experience.
‘Closer connection to the brands they choose’
From mass-produced to personalised underlined the trend towards craft offerings. “Consumers want their products to be produced and manufactured on a smaller scale to ensure quality and to feel a closer connection to the brands they choose,” said the researchers.
Emphasising the exclusivity of a brand and the care with which it was formulated, will enable firms to cater for the growing number of consumers who want to move away from mass-produced items across the FMCG market.
The ‘All things hot and spicy’ trend reflected the growing preference for hotter and spicier food. Manufacturers will increasingly replicate popular heat trends from the catering industry to satisfy growing consumer needs. “Brands will innovate in formulation by including spicier ingredients in meat, dairy, and snacks, as products infused with chillies become more popular.”
Canadean predicted that after the Indian and Mexican food trend, manufacturers should prepare for emerging spice cuisines from across south-east Asia and the Middle East.
New and exciting combinations
Mix-and-match favourite flavours revealed consumers’ desire for new and exciting combinations based upon their favourite foods and flavours together. Examples included: fusion products such as amaretto cider and chocolate flavoured wine, which would become even more popular.
“The increase in demand for these experiential offerings means manufacturers must continue to innovate with ingredients and positioning to encourage sales among consumers who want more than just traditional products,” said the researchers.
The final trend, Packaging drives sensory experience, highlighted the danger of brands on supermarket shelves being swamped by competitors’ products. Innovative packaging that commands consumers’ attention will be the key to retaining market share and for brands attempting to enter the market.
“The use of ‘haptics’ – including tactile packs, bright colours and reflective surfaces – will help to enhance the sensory experience, while matt finishing and the feel of a product can denote quality and superiority, encouraging trading-up and higher levels of spending,” said the researchers.
The trends offered an insight into how manufacturers and marketers can target evolving consumer needs to boost sales over the next year, said Canadean. The firm’s research covers FMCG including: food, packaging, ingredients, soft drinks, beer, retail, foodservice, wines and spirits and cosmetics and toiletries.
Meanwhile, insect proteins and fruit-sweetened confectionery were two of 10 hot food trends for 2015, identified by Innova Market Insights.
Canadean’s top trends for 2015
- From mass-produced to personalised
- ‘Better-for-you’ ingredients
- All things hot and spicy
- Mix-and-match favourite flavours
- Packaging drives sensory experience