Nuts, relaxation and stevia all trends to watch

by Staff
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NAPLES, N.Y. — Nuts, relaxation, and stevia are all trends that will influence the food and beverage market in the coming year, according to Datamonitor.

Datamonitor has announced trends that will impact the consumer packaged goods market in the coming year, and these include:

• Nuts about nuts (and seeds) — It used to be consumers were told to avoid nuts, but this notion has been reversed and nuts are now seen as high in nutrition and are showing up in more new product launches. Seeds, including flax seed, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, are showing up in more launches as well.

• Don’t energize, relax — Products such as Drank Relaxed Energy Beverage and Purple Stuff Pro-Relaxation & Calming Elixir are some of the products on the market emphasizing the need to de-caffeinate and de-stress.

• Beauty you can eat or drink — Specially formulated foods and drinks with beauty benefits have gained the attention of brands such as Nestle and Masterfoods with Nestle’s Glowelle Beauty Drink Supplement Powder and Masterfoods’ Dove Beautiful Milk Chocolate. More similar products will be introduced to the market.

• Steam it up — Steam and steam cooking are becoming popular especially in the frozen food market with products such as Dole Easy Steamer Potatoes and Birds Eye Steamfresh Specially Seasoned Rice.

• Detox me — Consumers are looking to rid themselves of toxins in their body through products such as Function Urban Detox Goji Berry Drink.

• Get ready for stevia — This zero-calorie sweetener has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for regular use in foods, but this hasn’t stopped Coca-Cola and PepsiCo from developing products using the South American-sweetener in hopes of approval in 2009.

• It’s an "eco" friendly world — Despite the economy, companies and consumers desire products perceived to be environmentally friendly, and such product introductions are on the rise.

• Flower power — Flavors such as lavender, hibiscus and jasmine have made their way to foods and beverages with products such as OOBA Sparkling Refreshing Hibiscus Beverage and Lavender-Jalapeno flavored Theo Caramel Collection Chocolates.

• Brain power — DHA omega-3 fatty acids are working their way into all sorts of products, and mentions of the word "brain" in new food and beverage products worldwide has nearly tripled in the 2007-2008 period compared with the 2005-2006 period, according to Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics.

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