KANSAS CITY – Trends in snacking, gluten-free eating, global flavors and clean labels dominated the American diet over the past year. Soggy sales in ready-to-cereal reflected a rise in portable breakfasts, and school lunch sacks filled up more snacks and fewer sandwiches.

As consumers increasingly favor simple labels and natural ingredient claims, artificial and bioengineered ingredients are facing mounting objection. Meanwhile, alternative proteins, nut milks and gluten-free fare continue to grow. Sixty-five per cent of consumers who eat or used to eat gluten-free foods do so because they think they are healthier, and 27% eat them because they feel they aid in their weight loss efforts, according to research from Mintel.

Click for a slideshow of top consumer trends in 2013.