Leatherhead’s top food and drink trends for 2011

Related tags Leatherhead food research Recession

Ten trends will dominate the UK food and beverage industries next year, predicts Leatherhead Food Research.

It identifies the 10 trends as: Reformulations and stealthy reductions, sustainability, health and wellness, riding out the recession, ever-expanding tastes, provenance, small indulgences, frozen foods, convenience and obesity.

Trends such as sustainability and reformulations fit together well as it’s all part of an overarching move towards companies becoming more transparent with their consumers and fulfilling consumer demands to move back to simplicity in terms of packaging and ingredients listings​,” a spokeswoman for the Market Intelligence Department at Leatherhead Food Research organization told FoodNavigator.com.


The health and wellness and obesity trends also fit with reformulations as companies look towards stealthily reducing sugar/fat/salt contents in order to help consumers maintain their health, she added.

Commenting on the second theme, the spokeswoman said: “The recession and the recent government spending cuts mean that consumers will be more likely to stay in (as suggested in ‘riding out the recession’) and tighten their belts and opt for small treats rather than large indulgences, such as chocolate bars.”

Although the 10 trends refer specially to the UK, they include examples of more widespread trends, according to Market Intelligence Department. “The obesity crisis is affecting many countries worldwide and therefore the weight management food and beverage sector is set to see global growth, particularly as the crisis spreads beyond the Western countries,”​ said the spokeswoman.

The reformulations and stealthy reductions trend is also applicable to other major European countries such as Germany and France and the United States. “The US in particular is very focused at the moment on the removal of ingredients/additives such as high-fructose corn syrup whilst Europe has placed a focus on removing artificial colours from products, particularly in the sugar confectionery sector. We believe these trends are set to continue,​ “she said.

Double-dip recession

Sustainability continues to remain important despite the prospect of double-dip recession, according to the Market Intelligence Department. ”Sustainability is on the long-term strategic agenda of many manufacturers in the food and beverage industry. It is important to continue to address consumers concerns about factors such as recyclable packaging and food miles in order for brands to continue to resonate effectively with their consumers and build strong relationships​.”

Although the economic recession has under-lined the back-to-basics trend, other factors are at play. Those include nostalgia driven baby boomers segment, brands playing on their heritage to drive sales and a growing consumer desire for overall simplicity and transparency from manufacturers.

The threat of a double-dip recession, amongst these other factors, will aid the continuation of this trend into 2011, according to Leatherhead.

Leatherhead Food Research top 10 trends

1) Reformulations and stealthy reductions. (Initiatives such as the removal of artificial additives and ingredients will continue into 2011).
2) Sustainability high on the agenda
3) Health and wellness
4) Riding out the recession
5) Ever-expanding tastes. (Cuisines from regions around the world).
6) Provenance. (British will be the core focus for consumers when demanding provenance).

7) Small indulgences ( Consumers to forgo large expenses in favour of 'treats' in inexpensive forms).
8) Frozen foods market beginning to thaw?
9) Less is more/convenience. (Consumers will continue to demand convenience to fit in with ever-busy lives).
10) Obesity to get bigger. (innovations within the ingredients sector will allow companies to explore the addition of fibres and proteins and their effects on satiety).

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