What will be the breakthrough new food products of next year? The trend experts at Mintel released their 2010 global consumer packaged goods predictions. Overall, the theme is about recreating the familiar.
“Post-recession, we don’t expect manufacturers to reinvent the wheel,” said Lynn Dornblaser, a 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 shelves, we expect today’s familiar megatrends — health and wellness, convenience, sustainability — to get a fresh, new makeover for 2010.”
Next year, Mintel predicts the following trends will impact global new product development as manufacturers try to pique interest in new launches while keeping shoppers comfortable.
- Sodium reduction. Poised to be the next major health movement, sodium reduction is finally ready to take hold. The key difference, Dornblaser says, is that “sodium reduction is being pushed by food companies and health organizations, not by consumers.” This could mean slow adoption of the “less salt” mantra by shoppers, even as the food industry moves ahead.
- Fitter products. Expect an increase in lighter, slimmer and easier products in 2010. They’ll be lighter in formulation (cleaner labels), slimmer (less packaging) and easy to use (simple packaging and formulations). Mintel’s Global New Products Database indicates that 48% of U.S. products had a decline in number of ingredients. A shorter ingredient list has become something to brag about, and a “natural” positioning beats all other claims.
- Real, fresh. “Fresh” continues to grow, including on restaurant menus. It can mean better for you, local, additive free, less processed, more natural, traditional and authentic. It often ties in with decreasing number of ingredients and increased explanation of where products come from.
- Local gets stretched. For many shoppers, buying only local products isn’t realistic. However, people still want products with recognizable origins and those that haven’t been shipped too far. In the U.K., for example, nearly half of shoppers buy British-made products when they can. For 2010, the definition of “local” will expand, becoming more practical for major companies to use and for mainstream shoppers to purchase.
- Detox redux. The concept of “detox” is coming on strong. The claim declined in beauty and personal care, but growing in food (108%+) and drink (19%+). Detox has become a new way to talk about weight managment and even mainstream brands are beginning to make detox claims.
- Simple made special. In 2010, chic packaging and premium positioning will elevate everyday items to a new level. Companies will be reinvigorating brands in new ways, and everyday basics will become “destination” products. The recent trend towards boutique-inspired packaging highlights how manufacturers will make the ordinary a little more special next year.
- Small moves in eco-friendly. Companies are taking smaller, yet significant moves regarding the environment. Consumers are taking smaller steps themselves. That’s because subtle changes are easier for consumers to accept. What we’ll likely see in 2010 are products that not only offer an environmental story but provide value for money and products that use new ways to appeal to consumers.
- Symbol overload. Shoppers say they’re confused and skeptical about different nutrition symbols on food packages. In response, more manufacturers will opt for clean, clear facts on front-of-packages in 2010. Coca-Cola announced it will put calorie information on the front of pack next year, expect to see other products do the same.
- Color coding for convenience. To help shoppers make faster choices, more manufacturers will color-code their products in 2010. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say they want color-coded packaging and 45% of Brits claim to compare products by their labels. Color coding also helps brands stand out on cluttered store shelves.
- Iconic budget brands. Private label or store brands are starting to look a lot more like brands. As consumers cut spending because of the recession, smart marketers ramped up promotions for their private label lines. Many shoppers now equate private labels with national brands and value them as such. In 2010, low cost, high quality private labels will thrive.
- Multipurpose makes inroads. Consumers must make do with less, so products that serve several needs will grow in popularity. Expect to see more beverages labeled as snacks and snacks positioned as meals.