Food waste reduction, trust building top trends for 2014

In an era of austerity and concern over the environment, food companies that focus on responding to consumer trends will inspire loyalty and trust. Innova Market Insights’ Top 10 Trends list for 2014 focus on gaining consumer trust, reducing food waste and increasing traceability.

Innova identifies “Waste not, want not,” or reducing food waste, as the top trend for 2014. Food loss during production and on the retailer or consumer end will be heavily scrutinized, according to the report, while ingredients derived from the waste stream will hold huge potential.

Food companies will also seek to regain consumer trust after a year featuring a number of negative headlines. “You can trust us” comes in second on Innova’s trend list, as “recent food safety scares and scandals have crippled consumer confidence.” Ingredient origin and traceability will be used as marketing tools, with global product launch activity featuring the word “origin” for claims purposes, as evidenced by an increase of 45 percent for the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012.

As consumers slowly emerge from the economic recession of the past five years, they are reassessing their needs and going back to basics, according to Innova. Finding pleasure in simpler foods, the third trend for 2014, entails a shift toward home cooking, while growth in the premium and budget retail sectors has squeezed companies in the center. Innova says value packaging and “good value” claims on products and in-store promotions are prospering.

“Look out for the small guy” is another top trend to watch for. Small innovators are developing high-quality, distinct products with big-time trend potential. Combine that with the growth of social media marketing, and more small processors are developing markets by directly targeting niche consumers.

Rounding out Innova’s top five is “health is more holistic,” meaning some big food manufacturers are looking at health issues in attempting to provide holistic approaches to food and nutrition. Clinical nutrition has the potential to be a highly profitable industry.

As manufacturers look to gain a competitive edge in a difficult market, recognizing consumer trends and deploying the insights they yield are essential.

For more information on Innova’s Top 10 Trends list, contact Lu Ann Williams at contact@innovami.comor +31 26 319 2000.