11 trends of selective shoppers in 2011

Packaged Facts predicts what will be The Next Greatest Thing in its "Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2011" report, out this month.

If you haven’t heard of yakatori or sriracha, there is no better time to hit your Google search bar. Those are just two of the new food flavors Packaged Facts predicts will be The Next Greatest Thing in its "Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2011" report, out this month.

As America’s economic woes continue, crafting the right food products and flavors are more important than ever.

“When it comes to food, consumers will continue to be selective in their spending habits in 2011, and demand will not be strong unless the value is right,” explained Elaine Techlenburg, food industry specialist and author of the report. “Consumers reduced expenditures on food at home by 28 percent in 2010, following on a 23 percent reduction in 2009.”

Here are just a few of the trends Techlenburg sees for the coming year:

  1. Olive oil will extend into a wide range of desserts and sweet goods, including ice cream, gelato, cake and muffins.
  2. Macaroni and cheese flavoring will extend beyond potato chips seasoning, perhaps even into sweets like ice cream.
  3. The luxurious flavor of red velvet will extend into all product categories.
  4. Ethnic sauces such as sriracha, chimichurri and miso will extend beyond their traditional cuisines.
  5. Oatmeal will move beyond breakfast foods.
  6. Agave will lose ground in favor of other natural sweeteners, like honey and stevia.
  7. Top fruits will include figs, pears, cherries and blackberries, plus the superfruit combination of blueberry/pomegranate.
  8. Consumers will show a renewed interest in frozen yogurt with indulgent flavors.
  9. Expect a greater assort of ethnic foods. Food trucks will accelerate familiarity with the South American cuisines of Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela, and those of specific regions of Mexico, including the Yucatan.
  10. Among Asian cuisines, Japanese food will draw the most attention, especially with yakatori, while Indian and Korean food continue to become better established.
  11. Already ubiquitous Greek food is likely to gain a greater presence at retail with hummus and yogurt; Moroccan and Turkish food will gain recognition; while an entirely new genre of Scandinavian cuisine could well create a culinary stir.
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