Texture; playful foods aimed at adult consumers (the so-called ‘kidult’ generation); gender specific; and vended foods, would feature prominently in new product launches between 2015 and 2018, claimed Dr Morgaine Gaye, director of the consultancy Bellwether: Food Trends.
Different ways of eating breakfast; new experiences; edible food packaging and serve-ware; and products which offer reassurance in an increasingly “disruptive” world, would also come to the fore, said Gaye, at Leatherhead Food Research’s Taste trends conference last month.
She said these trends would be driven by an economy in which food prices were set to rise; resources became more limited; there was greater regulation; a geo-political shift; and an ageing population.
“We are looking to texture to counterbalance the virtual world,” said Gaye. She added that while the food and drink industry had focused for a long time on different flavour combinations, it had tended to ignore the sense of texture.
“We’ve really not had anything interesting happen in the world of texture, possibly since pop rocks came in in the ‘70s,” remarked Gaye.
“Taste is not just a sense of ‘that is really good’, but taste is also an organoleptic experience and how that changes from childhood all the way through as we go into old age. Mouthfeel perception is a massive area.”
Health would remain a key driver, she said. But it would be about people taking more responsibility for their own health through being more careful about what they eat. However, she added: “Fad diets are a thing of the past.” People would be seeking more simplicity and greater meaning from their lives.
“Breakfast is a massive emerging market,” said Gaye. It would be driven by the move away from traditional bowled cereals to the “two-step breakfast”, consumed as snacks on the go and when people were at work for ‘elevenses’, and was likely to feature far more savoury products, she added.
“Our whole eating plan has really shifted,” said Gaye. “We are looking for the new thing to fill [the cereal] breakfast space.”