“Clean Eating” labelling; a trend in 2015 that has inspired back to basics approach in product development which has seen a surge in the reporting of “free from” launches and “flexitarian” options.
New global products tracked with “organic” labelling have risen from 6.3 per cent in the first half of 2013 to 9.5 per cent in the first half of 2015.
According to Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights Lu Ann Williams, 2016 may see further interest in a return to natural food processing as links to ‘real’ food are re-established.
“Many consumers don’t actually need products that are free from gluten, wheat and dairy, but are demanding them anyway, as they believe them to be healthier. Industry has little choice but to respond and the recent surge in mainstream gluten free products has been incredible.”
In outlining the emerging trends for 2016, Williams believed that health-conscious consumers that reduced their consumption of meat are having a major impact on new product activity.
The combination of shared health, sustainability and animal welfare concerns are changing the technological handling and development of alternative protein sources and animal-friendly treatment.
Established food processing practices that have been around for centuries are in the spotlight. They bring with them a natural and authentic image to counteract some of the negative perceptions of heavily processed foods.
Changes in children’s diets have also affected food trends over the past year, as they are encouraged to consume fusion smoothies and vegetable pastas which further indicate a possible growth in vegetable consumption amongst adults.