Natural Foods Merchandiser

Grocery store growth among top food trends for 2010

Grocery stores will grow—especially as private labels become prominent—according to The Food Channel’s top ten food trends for 2010. The list is based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with CultureWaves and the International Food Futurists.

The Food Channel predicts that the caste system for products will become less strict as private labels continue to gain ground at grocery stores. "There is no particular glory in using a 'name brand' anymore (unless you are ketchup)," said The Food Channel editors in the report.

And retailers who have embraced such transitions and made other modifications based on trends will ensure their status in 2010. Notable changes for success, according to The Food Channel, include upgrading delis and fresh take-out sections and returning the in-store butcher to the meat counter.

In the future, grocery stores will cater to the aging population, both in product selection and store design. Aisles will accommodate mobile chairs, and inventory will be placed at eye view.

The Food Channel expects store customers to focus more on freshness than frugality. “Grocery shopping, in other words, is less of a chore and more of a way to provide personalization, fresh ingredients, and create less waste in the long run,” The Food Channel editors reported. Shoppers will search for the best deals on grocery items using Twitter, iPhone applications and other social networking tools.

Other top food trends for 2010 from The Food Channel include:
* Keeping it real. Consumers will focus on buying pure, simple, clean and sustainable basic ingredients. The shift will be away from convenience foods to scratch cooking.
* Experimentation nation. Restaurant concepts will get more creative.
* American, the new ethnic. This is a merging of flavors that rethinks what “ethnic” is all about.
* Food vetting. People will want to know from where their food comes.
* Mainstreaming sustainability. Forget greenwashing. Companies will become sustainable for real in 2010.
* Foods with benefits. Functional foods mature.
* I want my umami. People will love food, not food snobbery.
* Will trade for food. People will use social networks to barter for food.
* I, me, mine. More than portion size, the trend is about food that reflects personality.

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