Simplicity, sustainability top 2010 consumer trends

by Allison Sebolt
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New product activity is continuing to do well despite the global economy as there have been more new product launches in the first 10 months of 2009 than during the same period of 2008, according to Innova Market Insights.

Innova has named trends that will have an impact on the market during the next year. These trends include:

1) Simplicity. Consumers are interested in going “back to the basics” and are interested in natural and clean-label foods. Natural ingredients, including natural sweeteners, are on the rise. Additionally, 13% of global soft drinks launched during the first nine months of 2009 were positioned on a “natural” platform.

2) Sustainability. Consumers are looking for more locally sourced and fair-trade products.

3) Health and wellness. Consumers desire health benefits from natural ingredients.

4) Functional foods. Regulatory entities are getting tougher on functional claims, and hard times are ahead for obscure ingredients making radical claims.

5) Immunity. As the result of fears of H1N1 and other illnesses, many ingredients such as probiotics and antioxidants will be marketed on an immunity platform. However, companies need to be careful not to go over the top with claims.

6) Energy. Energy shots are one product type gaining speed as a quick way to get a boost, and the confectionery category has picked up on this trend as well, especially with energy chewing gums.

7) Absence of unwanted ingredients. There has been an increased move toward gluten-free products and other products with the absence of certain ingredients. Some brands are even positioning products as “easy to digest” and “easy on the stomach.”

8) Cooking from home. With a catch phrase of 2009 being “staying in is the new going out,” having dinner at home will still be popular as consumers look to stretch their dollars.

9) Extreme flavors. Very hot and spicy products are increasingly entering the market around the world.

10) Authenticity. Consumers desire products that are not only from a specific region but even produced in the region and based on ingredients from the area.

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