It’s a great time of year. Everywhere you look, experts and analysts are sharing their predictions for the top trends that will shape the food & beverage industry in 2014.
What are they saying? Today, we’re summarizing some of the key predictions from Innova Market Insights and consultants Baum+Whiteman LLC:
- Sustainability. A hot topic for some time, sustainability remains at the top of the list. In particular, food loss during production will be heavily scrutinized this year.
- Traceability. This issue is high on manufacturers’ agendas right now, as they will use terms like “origin” to enhance consumer marketing of newly launched products – especially in the cheese, chocolate and coffee sub-categories.
- Return to simpler pleasures. Consumers are going back to basics, finding comfort in home cooking and the way food brings family and friends together.
- The rise of the little guy. Small innovators are using social media to create huge opportunities for marketing high-quality, distinctive products with big trend potential.
- Holistic approach to health. Large food manufacturers are considering a wider variety of options for bringing nutritious food and beverage solutions to consumers. Clinical nutrition and traditional Chinese medicine are some of the most promising and profitable options being considered.
- Return of restaurants to retail stores. Kicked out decades ago because they were considered “too messy,” retailers are once again embracing the appeal of increased “dwell time” when customers eat and drink on-site. In-store cafes, juiceries and upscale restaurants will create a whole host of new opportunities for food & beverage manufacturers.
- Chicken goes from humble to haute. Chefs around the country are offering premium chicken entrees (with equally premium pricetags), pairing the poultry staple with high-end ingredients such as foie gras, quail eggs and chanterelles.
- Fresh use of tea. Tea isn’t just for auntie’s afternoon, anymore. Artisan bartenders and savvy chefs alike are using tea blends for boozy cocktails and basting.
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