Five leading trends for 2017

by Keith Nunes
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Certified humane food
Trending supply chain clams now include “environmentally friendly" and “animal welfare."

ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS — In many ways, 2017 may be described as more of the same, according to Innova Market Insights. The market research firm’s top five trends for 2017 includes the continuation and growth of such trends as clean label, plant protein and sugar reduction.

Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights

“Interest in naturalness and clean label continues to feature strongly,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “It has become somewhat of a running theme through our trends forecasts in recent years.

“In 2008, ‘Go natural’ led our trends list, and since then the theme has featured each year in different forms, such as ‘Processed is out’ in 2011, ‘From clean to clear label’ in 2015 and ‘Organic growth for clear label’ in 2016. This year, clean and clear is a theme weaving throughout the entire list, but is specifically the case for trend No. 1.”

Dairy with plant protein
Dairy companies now are leveraging the functional and technical benefits of plants in new product development.

In 2017, Innova Market Insights sees demand for clean label and transparency permeating throughout the food and beverage supply chain. Next year a shorter, easier to understand ingredients list may no longer be enough. Trending supply chain claims now include “environmentally friendly,” which shows a compound annual growth rate of 72% from 2011-2015, and “animal welfare,” which has grown 45% during the same period.

Innova also predicts plant protein will move into a disruptive phase during the coming year. Even dairy companies now are leveraging the functional and technical benefits of plants in new product development, driving more variety and excitement into their category, according to Innova.

Reduced sugar fpod
Regulations and new tax initiatives will propel food and beverage companies to continue seeking effective alternatives to sugar. 

Regulations and new tax initiatives may propel food and beverage companies to continue seeking effective alternatives to sugar. The quest to combine taste and health is driving new product development, Innova said, and the industry will continue to face the challenges of balancing public demand to reduce added sugars and create indulgent experiences while at the same time presenting clean label products.

The two trends rounding out the top five include the continued emergence of more authentic ethnic cuisines and personalized nutrition. While manufacturers have been developing and introducing more products with an ethnic flavor twist for some time, the issue of personalized nutrition may prove to be more challenging.

Paleo food
Consumers are experimenting with such specific diets as paleo.

Consumers are making food choices around what they think will make them feel better. They also are experimenting with free from products and such specific diets as paleo and low FODMAP. At the same time consumers continue to increase their intake of product with ingredients that they consider to be healthy, like protein and probiotics. A challenge for manufacturers will be to reach and tap into the consumers who are investing in these personalized trends.

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