Gourmet hot chocolateOrganic junk foodAustralian or South African wineLow-carb chocolateCherry Balsamic VinegarHandmade old-fashioned CaramelsRevival of martini making kits (and other bar staples)
Key trends that will influence gift giving during the fall and winter seasons are:
SimplicityOrganization/streamliningShopping via alternate means (online and catalog)NestingBurning your own CDs (Everybody's a DJ)Handwritten correspondence on personalized stationaryFocus on health and fitnessLuxury items for pets
Mother Hens: Moms are more likely than shoppers overall to buy nutritionally enhanced food/drinks and to actively seek out nutritional information. Words like “organic,” and “GMOs” affect buying experiences (Packaged Facts, 2013). Moms also want healthier kids’ food away from home, and children’s portions of adult menu items.
Redefining Health: Date shows that consumers relate the word “fresh” with “healthy”. Nine in ten people think fresh foods are healthier, and 80 percent look for the descriptor “fresh” when it comes to retail and 58 percent in restaurants (Technomic, 2012). Healthy foods are also linked to the phrases “house-made” or “home-made,” as well as keywords like, “from scratch,” “artisan,” “authentic,” “seasonal,” “real,” and “never frozen” (Technomic, 2012). Consumers also have renewed interest in animal-welfare when it comes to their foods. “Farm-raised,” “grass-fed,” “free-range” and “cage-free” are perceived as conveying healthfulness.
Seeking True Transparency: With all of today’s food hot topics, most adults have given some thought to food safety in the past year, while up to 17 percent have stopped buying a certain food or brand due to certain safety concerns (IFIC, 2012). Many shoppers (27 percent) think that antibiotics/hormones in meat are a “serious health hazard,” (FMI, 2011); and nearly three-quarters of consumers say humane treatment of animals is important when shopping for foods (MSI, 2011). Consumers were also glad to see posted calorie count information at restaurants, and 22 percent of consumers surveyed (Technomic, 2012) said that those numbers had an impact on their order decision.
Farmstead Formulations: Hyper-local sourcing, like restaurant gardens, farm/estate brands, small-producer suppliers, and the mainstreaming of farmers’ markets all attest to consumers’ fascination and appreciation for all things agricultural related. Consumers have become interested in the cut and breed of meat they are buying (Technomic, 2011). Fish like arctic char, branzino, barramundi, mackerel, bluefish, and redfish are also becoming more popular (NRA, 2012).
Craveable Finger Foods: Last year one in five best-selling new foods were either bite-sized or handheld; 45 percent of consumers want snacks that can be eaten on the go (IRI 2012; Wyatt, 2013). It’s noted that the mini-foods introduced were not only sweet, but also savory. Even restaurants have added bite-sized food to their menus and 67 percent of consumers find it “extremely appealing” to get their flavor through dips/condiments, up 8 percent vs. 2009 (Technomic, 2011).
Nutritional Insiders: In 2012, 78 percent of consumers made a strong effort to get more vitamins and 57 percent tried to consume more products with specialty nutritional ingredients. Among the top vitamins were vitamin D, vitamin C, B vitamins and omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin A, along with more protein (MSI, 2011). Muscle strength is also now among the top 10 health concerns in the US and Canada and quickly becoming a profitable food market (Packaged Facts, 2013).
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