Some of our team had the chance to spend the past three days at the SmartFood Expo™ in Chicago. Food industry leaders and innovators converged for education sessions, networking and a product showcase where the future of fresh, healthy and better-for-you options were on display.
Here are some of our favorite insights from the conference:
- Look at food trends from restaurants. Good trends always start on the food service side and then move into CPG and retail. Find a way to make that food service trend relevant for your audience.
- There’s been a rise in probiotics in confectionery and snacks.
- Coffee and tea flavors are popping up in snacks.
- Filipino food is having a moment. Specifically street food flavors.
- Seeing blurring lines of food service. It’s meeting retail with in-shop concepts (ex: Urban Outfitters now has cafe)
- Allergen-friendly, protein rich snacks for children are showing immense growth
- Fox nuts are new superfood. They are lotus flower seeds.
- Private label products continue to show massive growth. Millennials are a big driver for this.
- WHERE a product is made and WHO makes it matters to consumers.
- For packaging, people valued seeing the product over seeing the company or product brand logos. They also want bigger product descriptions.
- Real ingredients are important to consumers and they want to see this highlighted on packaging.
- The term “thin” on packaging is a growing trend
- Vegan is showing the biggest growth for claims.
- 88% of scientists are now in defense of GMOs. This is up from 30% a few years ago.
- 80% of 18-34 year olds spend 25% of their disposable income on health products and services.
- 62% of Gen Y believe that you have to have a health component to your brand.
- US average daily protein consumption is 61g. Meat is 25g of that.
- Savory snacks will be up 2.5% for protein sources.
- Flexitarians are a huge trend right now
- There’s a big retail dilemma now: consumers want to eat better, BUT better for you items items do not turn well (poor velocity).