It’s that time of year when we look ahead as to what’s coming in the new year for the food industry. When it comes to the 2015 consumer food trends, consumer palates are continuing to evolve.According to the Supermarket Guru® Phil Lempert, you’ll see a shift in consumer preference in 2015 toward craft foods and fermented foods. Craft foods—typically associated with foods made in small batches with specialized, local ingredients—will be making their way into kitchens as major companies produce these products in larger quantities. Craft foods are not a new phenomenon by any means with craft beer from companies like MillerCoors® and Anheuser-Busch InBev. In 2015, look for this trend to expand into other beverages and foods as millennials; in particular, continue to seek unique tastes and foods with authentic origin stories. In addition to craft foods, 2015 will be the year fermented foods—foods like yogurt, tempeh and sauerkraut—will take center stage. A survey from ConAgra Foods found that nearly 50 percent of Americans have changed their diet to help improve digestion, with nearly 20 percent doing so in the past year.
According to Innova Market Insights, a move from ‘clean’ to ‘clear’ labeling will be a key trend for 2015 as consumers, retailers, industry and regulators push for more transparency in labeling. Another key focus in 2015 will be meeting the needs of the millennial consumer—those that are generally aged between 15 and 35 and who account for about one-third of the global population. Additional trends in 2015, according to Innova, include targeting the demands of the gourmet consumer at home, re-engineering the snacks market for today’s lifestyles and combating obesity with a focus on positive nutrition. Convenience continues to be of interest to consumers as there is ongoing interest in home cooking, which has driven the demand for a greater choice of fresh foods, ingredients for cooking from scratch and a wider use of recipe suggestions by manufacturers and retailers.
Innova also stated that formal mealtimes will continue to decline in popularity as it has seen a growing number of food and drinks that are now considered to be snacks. Quick, healthy foods tend to replace traditional meal occasions, and more snacks are targeted at specific moments of consumption, with different demand influences at different day parts. Consumers, in addition to ingredient suppliers and food producers, will also continue to be on the lookout for the next protein source—whey protein being popular for many years and still growing, while white pulse protein is rapidly emerging and algae protein applications are expected to surface in the future.
In our next blog post, we’ll look at what flavor trends are being forecasted for 2015.