Undoubtedly, one of the most important recent industry trends points to strong consumer interest in wholesome, natural and sustainable products. The macro trend, identified in reports by NBJ/Engredea, should guide manufacturers to a multitude of opportunities in product development.
The major driver for this trend is the movement toward organic, sustainable, wholesome, natural and locally produced products. People want to consume and feed their families good, wholesome foods and supplements that have simple messaging to them. Simple claims and product benefits that consumers understand are in.
As important as what is in, is what is out. Market data shows strong consumer concern with what is not in a product. People are scrutinizing labels and avoiding highly processed foods that contain pesticides, preservatives, artificial additives (including artificial colors), genetically modified ingredients and gluten.
Another part of this trend is a new interest in what is “old,” like in ancient grains and basic foods from near and far that were lost in modern diets. The surge in demand in grains like quinoa, chia, amaranth, flax and many more, is truly amazing. Extra virgin coconut oil, nearly abandoned 60 or 70 years ago is being rediscovered as a health food.
This trend is deeply reminiscent of the early days when the industry was extraordinarily creative and deeply values oriented. Companies made good, wholesome foods and supplements with few ingredients, simple messaging and strong values. Then the industry grew up, and over the past 30 or 40 years the level of sophistication has grown dramatically, which is mostly a good thing. Yet a little “retro-volution” for the industry is a great reminder of where we come from and should always be.