Consumer tastes and trends are continually changing and evolving. This can be in response to a number of factors, for instance: concerns about health, the environment, ethics, nostalgia, cost, a desire to try something new, technology or an increasingly busy lifestyle. As a result food and drink manufacturers and retailers are regularly bringing new products or services to market to satisfy those demands. Here are some trends which are gathering pace across the pond, which could come our way in the next 12 months.
1. New players in grocery delivery
Sainsburys, Asda , Waitrose and Tesco have been providing home delivery of groceries for several years now, but they will face even more competition now as Morrisons has now finally entered the fray with its online offering. It’s also likely that operators which are traditionally non-grocery might begin operating in this arena, such as Amazon, who are rumoured to be launching their own private label food products line.
2. Soup pods for coffee machines
It seems powdered soups to which you add boiling water just don’t satisfy some people any more. Everything has to appear fresh; so the latest innovation stateside is soup pods for your coffee machine. Cock-a-leekie -cino, anyone?
3. Breakfast innovations
Porridge oats, regular cereal and milk, croissant…. they’re just soooo 2013. We’ve had breakfast bars, but now Kelloggs have extended their Special K range to include hot cereals with quinoa and have even entered into the breakfast shakes market. Mountain Dew have launched ‘Kickstart’ – a breakfast drink which contains caffeine but is not quite a soda and not quite an energy drink. Talking of hybrids, you can also now buy a Cronut™ in the US. Yes, you guessed it – a doughnut-croissant hybrid.
4. Soup in pouches and cartons
Andy Warhol’s prints of Campbell’s soup tins will truly become museum pieces if the soup packaging market continues. Research has shown that people prefer their soup to be served from pouches and cartons. It’s the speed and convenience factor yet again – you can’t put a tin straight into the microwave. Plus there is also the perception that soup in cartons and pouches is ‘fresher’. In the UK we’ve already seen this trend and it looks set to continue, with further packaging innovations such as screw-top cartons (like New Covent Garden soups) for easy opening and storage of remainders.
5. The decline of cola
With the emphasis on health and obesity, traditional cola has been in the firing line for some time now. Demonstrations of what it can do to a tooth and how you can clean a sink with it certainly haven’t helped aid its popularity. The two giants, Coca Cola and Pepsi still dominate but there are several new alternatives being developed.
6. Sweetener debates
Recently there have been a number of health concerns over sugar and non-sugar sweeteners such as aspartame. To this end manufacturers are starting to use alternatives such as Stevia, which is derived from a plant leaf or monk fruit or coconut palm sugars.
7. Bugs as food
Yep, creepy crawlies are now on the menu. You can read all about this on our previous blog post.
8. Profanity-based marketing campaigns
WTF?!! A US yogurt firm is using this as a hashtag, but in this case the ‘F’ word is ‘Flavour’, or should I say ‘flavor?’ We can’t think of any UK ones , but it’s only a matter of time….
9. The rise of Sodastream
If you thought that making a Sodastream drink was just something that you did in the 80s whilst listening to Spandau Ballet on your Walkman, think again. The people at Sodastream have certainly been ‘getting busy with the fizzy’ and are now a real contender in the fizzy drinks market. They’re certainly appealing to the more environmentally-friendly amongst us as they have re-usable glass bottles and use tap water – compare this with the amount of plastic used for traditional fizzy drink bottling and you soon get the picture.
10. Labels that don’t say ‘natural’
There has always been lengthy debate about what actually constitutes a natural ingredient. The tightening up of labelling laws surrounding health claims has seen several companies rethink the wording on their labelling. We run a ‘creative legal labelling course’ which will guide you through the new EU and UK Regulations concerning food labelling including the use of words such as ‘fresh’, ‘pure’ and ‘natural.’