Supermarket Guru Names Top 2011 Food Trends

It’s that time of year when everyone makes 2011 food trend predictions.  Here’s a look at Phil Lempert’s 2011 Food Trends to Watch.

The Supermarket Guru tells us what he thinks will be “new” in the coming year:

1.  The New Nutritional Guidelines

Phil says we’re moving away from highlighting or demonizing certain nutrients or ingredients and looking at foods more holistically (I hope so!).  He says look for simplified ingredient statements, produce departments that start adding stickers to fruits and vegetables that tout nutrients, and the demise of all-natural claims as shoppers seek more substance from their foods.

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2.  The New Customer Service

Next year will be about food apps — for in-store information, instant messages with specials, digital coupons and restaurant apps to pre-order from the menu.

3. The New Bacon:  Seafood from the Gulf

Phil predicts the Gulf Region will become the new epicenter for food, with supermarket retailers creating major themed promotional events that include Mardi Gras and Cajun-spiced dishes combined with health messages about seafood.

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4. The New Vitamin:  Vitamin D

Supported by research that shows widespread vitamin D deficiencies, look for more foods to tout naturally occurring vitamin D.

5. The New Soda: Fruit-Based, Lower Calorie Drinks

Look for new beverages to hit the shelves with less carbonation, lower calories, less sugar (blend of Stevia) and fruit-based flavors, including antioxidant-rich exotic fruit juices.

6. The New Food Store:  Smaller

How we shop for food may change in 2011.  Phil predicts that food stores will continue to get smaller and you’ll find more affordable prepared foods and service departments, including pizza, fresh fish and meats.

7. The New Local:  Regional

As consumers and retailers begin to understand that it’s impossible to have all their foods produced within 100 miles of where they live, look for regional foods to emerge that are based on the tastes and culture of the areas they are sold in.  Major brands will begin to market special flavors based in limited geographical distribution, the cultural heritage of their customers and using names and sourced “local” ingredients.

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8. The New Free Sample

Phil says it will go well beyond a rickety card table and toaster oven.  Expect food brands to hit stores and sample products before they hit the market in order to control the new product introduction failure rate.

9. The New Social Responsibility

In 2011 consumers will expand recognition of and commitment to social responsibilities — including reducing hunger and the humane treatment of animals.  Instead of direct, cash donations to individuals to individual charities, 2011 will be about building stronger connections to companies with donations made to charities like Feeding America when you purchase their brands.

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