Mintel: Products will mix the new and the familiar

by Allison Sebolt
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CHICAGO — The familiar being paired with something new will be a dominant theme for new product introductions in 2010, according to Mintel International.

“Post-recession, we don’t expect manufacturers to reinvent the wheel,” said Lynn Dornblaser, new products expert at Mintel. “Instead, we predict 2010’s new products will give shoppers something familiar paired with something new to better satisfy their needs. On retail store shelves we expect today’s familiar megatrends — health and wellness, convenience, sustainability — to get a fresh, new makeover for 2010.”

Mintel predicts various big trends for new product development during the next year, including:

• Packaging symbols. Nearly half of adults in the United States say having caloric information on the front of packages would help reduce their overall intake. But consumers are still confused and skeptical about different nutrition symbols. In response, more manufacturers will go for clean, clear facts on the front-of-pack in 2010.

• Sodium reduction. Mintel said sodium reduction will become even stronger with food companies and health organizations pushing it.

• Buying local. The definition of local will expand, making it more practical for major companies to use and for mainstream shoppers to “buy local.”

• Fancier packaging. Companies will work to make buying ordinary products more exciting with chic packaging and premium positioning.

• Color-coding products. In an effort to make it easier to find different varieties of products, manufacturers will work on color-coding their products for easy recognition.

• Private label brands to look more mainstream. Many shoppers equate private label brands with national brands and value them accordingly. Private label brands that are low cost and high quality will do very well.

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