Top Ten Trends 2016: “Health Has Become the Halo Over Everything”

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26 Nov 2015 --- Innova Market Insights has launched its Top Ten Trends to look out for in 2016. Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at hosted a webinar and stressed that the focus this year remains on health. Eight out of the ten trends this year are related to health: “Health has become the halo over everything,” she says.

In the second part of our series, we look at Trends 6-10, which follow the top five trends, including Clear Label, Flexitarian living and the rise of Green Vegetables.

Trends 6-10:

#6. CREATING A “REAL” LINK

The rise of the Millennial consumer as a key product development target group has led to growing calls for a back to basics approach, to re-establish links with “real” food. “Real” is about telling a story about where the product comes from and goes beyond certification alone. Consumers want to know that the product is local, sustainably sourced, or created by well treated and well-paid workers if it comes from a distant land. Staple foods from a specific region have a marketing advantage over generic staples.

Williams said: “Big trends relating to the consumer where it comes from and making the link to ‘real’ food are on the increase. The number of brands claiming ‘made in’ or ‘ingredients from’ almost tripled between 2011 and 2015.” 

#7. SMALL PLAYERS, BIG IDEAS

Big companies used to have a few major competitors, now they have hundreds of small ones. Many of these small players only do one thing, but they do it well, which holds high appeal for discerning millennial consumers. Because they are less restricted in their development process, small companies are getting their ideas out much quicker and serving as inspiration for the big boys, who are resorting to copying them, or just buying them out altogether.

Williams took the rise in use of kale as an ingredient as a case in point: “If we look at kale, we separated out product launches that use kale as an ingredient, launches are being led by small companies. It has been on-trend and there is a lot of conversation in the media and consumer press surrounding kale and it is all influenced by small companies have become thought leaders. We need to be watching small companies to see what they do next.”
 
#8. BEYOND THE ATHLETE

Major sports nutrition manufacturers have realized that they can only get so far in targeting the saturated niche of bodybuilders, elite athletes and fitness fanatics in western markets. The benefits of sports nutrition components such as protein and energy ingredients can be exploited by all demographic groups and manufacturers are therefore diversifying on the “healthy living” platform for everyone. Previously specialist product portfolios are expanding into new categories, while some major manufacturers are launching products that in the past could have been seen as the athlete’s domain.

“In terms of products that contain protein, the trend is not going away but it has definitely moved beyond the athlete now and become a product for the mainstream. It is about healthy living and healthy lifestyle. The categories with a lot of protein claims now include cereals and baby food,” says Williams.
 
#9. THE INDULGENCE ALIBI

For some categories such as desserts and chocolate, there will no valid argument to take up a health positioning. It can be confusing and detrimental to a brand steeped on a premium & indulgent platform. But health conscious consumers do want to justify consuming a product purely for pleasure and therefore look for an excuse. A classic “indulgence alibi” can be the wholesome or natural quality of ingredients. The trend is also an opportunity to create smaller, but still highly indulgent treats.
“There will be a lot of change in portion size of these indulgence products as well as guilt-free indulgence, particularly dark chocolate,” says Williams.
 
10. TASTES FOR NEW EXPERIENCES

Well-traveled and highly adventurous consumers are expecting more authenticity and originality from food and beverages that they consume. They are looking for highly specific and authentic products from all corners of the globe. Their curious flavor palate is open to trying out new taste experiences, which can include combining apparently non-complementary flavors in a single bite or opening up to unusual textural ideas through layered flavors. Creative marketing and the development of 3D printing are just two platforms driving this innovative trend.

Innova Market Insights Top Ten Trends for 2016

1. Organic Growth For Clear Label

2. Free From For All

3. The “Flexitarian Effect”

4. Processing the Natural Way

5. Green Light For Vegetables

6. Creating A “Real” Link

7. Small Players, Big Ideas

8. Beyond The Athlete

9. The Indulgence Alibi

10. Tastes for New Experiences


View the entire on-demand version of the Top Ten Trends Webinar here.

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