Ten ideas in food for 2013


Edible packaging? Rethinking chicken? C-stores and drugstores as fresh purveyors? These were just some of the trends presented by the Hartman Group in a webinar on Wednesday.

Melissa Abbott, the Hartman Group's senior director of culinary insights, provided highlights from the recently released trends report, Ideas in Food 2013 -- A Cultural Perspective.

Here are Hartman's 10 trends for retailers to watch:

1. Consumers continue to struggle with at-home fresh meal preparation, creating considerable opportunities for retailers, food service, and CPG manufactures to meet the growing demand for fresher and less-processed foods and beverages.

2. Weight management, energy and satiety are closely aligned with protein. As the first meal of the day becomes more than quick carbs, consumers look to dairy, free-range eggs and global preparations in convenient formats at breakfast occasions.

3. Ethics and transparency in food production are becoming more important. Not to discuss transparency in the long term may be seen as a liability.

4. People are making a link between sugar and inflammation. More specifically, they are questioning the amount of fructose in foods. As this issue gets traction, there will be business opportunities for food companies who address inflammation.

5. The traditional foods revival focuses on the digestive health benefits of cultured foods. Look for expanded global offerings to appease the American palate obsessed with novelty.

6. A growing number of consumers are seeking health and taste benefits from herbs and spices in lieu of over-the-counter medicines. Expect the beverage and confectionery categories to leverage this trend.

7. Watch for drugstores to upgrade their fresh and convenience offering, while C-stores play catch-up to attract female shoppers.

8. An overall casualization of cuisine is allowing for globally-inspired poultry to gain new respect. Breed-specific, local and varied cuts using the whole bird will reflect the movement toward real, fresh and less processed.

9. New types of candy brands are perceived as being of higher quality through absence of negatives such as high-fructose corn syrup. Expect the candy category to reinvent itself over the next few years with Fair Trade principles and better-for-you ingredients.

10. There is opportunity for the food and beverage industry to tap into the demand to cut waste with edible packaging based on principles developed within molecular gastronomy.

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