Global trends to watch in 2014

by Keith Nunes
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FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Energy, relaxation, the return of speed-scratch products, foraged ingredients and protein are all trends to watch in 2014, according to Jamie Rice, research director for RTS Resource, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.

“Natural highs is something we think will be a trend in 2014,” Mr. Rice said. “The use of natural ingredients to deliver energy or relaxation, ingredients that give consumers a benefit are finding their way into products that are convenient. The key here is these products are moving from health food shops into supermarkets and other mainstream retail formats.”

Mr. Rice made his comments during the Food Ingredients Europe trade show this week in Frankfurt.

Speed-scratch, or as Mr. Rice called it, one-step convenience, also will be on consumers' minds next year.

“A lot of consumers are wary of ready meals because they are processed, but consumers are still time-pressed,” he said. “These products give consumers something to do while making an end meal. It gives them a meal solution at the end of the day.”

Many food and beverage trends find their beginning in the white-tablecloth restaurant category, and the emergence of Copenhagen's Noma may be felt during 2014 as Mr. Rice said consumer interest in flavors from foraged ingredients also will be a trend. Flavors of interest he cited include seaweed, truffles, rose hips and blackberry.

Consumer perception of health may undergo a transition next year as well. Mr. Rice said claims such as low calorie or light may give way to consumer perception of ingredients.

“It may be less about the mention of a health claim and more about how consumers associate ingredients with healthfulness,” he said.

Finally, Mr. Rice said the food and beverage industry will see the emergence of next generation protein products in 2014.

“There is increasing interest in protein diets, and we are seeing more protein products reaching the mainstream,” he said. "One example is crisps that are made with egg and barbecue flavor. We may see more products emerging next year.”
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