June 05, 2003
The Institute of Food Technologists has compiled the following list of the top ten consumer trends:
1. Do-It-For-Me Foods
Pre-made meals and take-out meals. Pizza and hamburger chains dominate, but Asian and Mexican outlets are gaining.
2. Super Savory and Sophisticated
Baby-boomers are well-traveled and technologically savvy and have increasing amounts of disposable income. This means a larger market for provocative, flavorful and healthier fare.
Gone are the days of all-out avoidance of red meat or obsessing over fat-free. Balance is the key.
4. Form Follows Function-Bits, Bites and Bags
Appetizers are one of the most versatile forms of food in the decade ahead.
5. A New Kind of Home-Spun
Home is still the preferred place to heat, but fewer consumers are trained how to cook and fewer still want to clean up afterwards, leaving the opportunity for family-sized portions perfect for sharing one-dish meals that go from the oven to dinner table to sink or dishwasher.
An emerging market will be the youth health category, and more health-directed products should develop. One in four kids is overweight; 27 million teenagers and younger have high cholesterol; 2.2 million have high blood pressure.
7. Light and Lively
There is a growing demand for products and ingredients to be presented with a fresher and more natural image.
8. Crossover Meal Patterns
Meal time is anytime nowadays. Sandwiches top the list of in-home dinner items and soup has cracked the top 10.
9. Do-It-Yourself Health
Fat, energy and weight control will continue to be a major influence on purchases.
10. Clean, Pure, Natural and Safe
All natural, free-range and even kosher foods represent a strong and sustainable market for years to come. A third of grocery shoppers say they purchase organic foods to maintain health, and one in four seek out information on specific health benefits of food while shopping.