Are you ready for 2015? We have spent time over the last month studying trend lists as they come out and seeing how they fit into our industry and how they will affect both Truly Good Foods as a manufacturer and our customers. Much of what we see is a short jump from the path we have seen for years, but, as usual, there are also new trends that we see coming to the forefront. Following is a sneak peak at what you can expect to see in 2015.
1. Preference Healthy Eating – Consumers will be shaping their own health. We will need to adjust our offerings to address consumer needs, and the needs will be many. Expect to see increases in the areas of gluten-free, low calorie, portion control and “energy boost” foods.
2. “Back to the Earth” Eating – As fad diets come and go, we are seeing increased consumption in less processed and more “raw” eating. Expect to see increases in vegetarian, vegan, paleo, raw and natural.
3. Asian Flavors – Look for Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and Filipino flavors to move into the mainstream.
4. Adventurous Flavors – We will continue to see manufacturers and consumers experimenting with unique flavors and flavor combinations. We will see combinations of sweet, savory, spicy, smoky and bitter, among others. It will be a new day and age for mothers who say, “try it, you may like it”.
5. Snacking shows no sign of slowing down. The latest statistics claim 91% of adults snack. Many are replacing traditional meals with multiple snacks throughout the day.
6. Fresh Grab-n-Go – We expect to see traditional snacking outlets turning to fresh packed snacks. You will see trail mixes replacing chips. You will see fresh vegetables replacing candy bars. Expect more retailers to give you a nutritious package in grab-n-go form, like a vegetable/cracker/hummus/cheese combo.
7. Food (snacks) will be everywhere – Whether you are at the department store, the bedroom store, a car dealership or a hardware store, there will be no shortage of snacking opportunities.
8. New adventures in Foodservice. IKEA and Costco already give you a place to sit and have dinner or lunch, expect to see more of the same in the places you would least expect it.
9. Convenient and Fast – Consumers want it NOW. Get ready for “order ahead and customize”, it’s not just for pizza anymore. Consumers want what they want, when they want it, and that means quick. Expect the increased desire for convenient ordering, nutritional and ingredients at consumer’s fingertips, expanded digital health benefits and shelf/package level QR codes.
10. Just for the fun of it, let’s close out the list with a wildcard … TECHNOLOGY … facial recognition and electronic wallets. You walk into your favorite lunch spot. Your face is digitally recognized the moment you walk in. You get a text (or another electronic note) that asks if you would like the usual. You reply “YES” or nod in agreement. You get to the front, your sandwich is ready and your account has been charged.
Sources of information: Technomics, csnews.com, MNN Bloggers, Baum & Whiteman, Nielsen, fastcasual.com, Forbes