It’s often difficult for those in the Food and Beverage Industry to determine what consumers want. The industry is such that the consumers have very fickle tastes, and this makes for quick trend shifts. While organic foods were popular in 2008, the recession led to a return to inexpensive comfort foods in 2009. With the economy in recovery, what trend shifts can we expect in 2010?

Evolution of Private Label Foods
People are buying more supermarket brands, plain and simple. Not only are these brands cheaper, but they’ve also developed a trust among consumers. Many private brands are often more expensive, and consumers are less apt to develop a trust of these products. Look for more co-branding to occur between major brands and these private brands, i.e. cookies being made “with real Hershey’s Chocolate.” Furthermore, look to see supermarket brands doing the exact same thing to increase their own competitiveness.

No More Mystery Meat
What would you say if you found out the meat you ate in your hamburger came from two different countries? It might be a little unsettling, and could lead to the assumption that your beef was melded together could also lead to questions about whether or not it’s beef you’re really eating. New regulations have required Country of Origin Labeling, which, as the name implies, requires a listing of what country(ies) the meat came from. People are finding that their meats may not be as fresh as they’d like. Look for a return of consumers to their local markets, seeking out fresh meats where they can find out exactly where the protein was grown, and how fresh it is.

Smaller Ingredient Lists
It seems like lots of mystery chemicals cause cancers and other mysterious health detriments these days. As such, people are going to be more vigilant about what exactly they’re putting into their body. Milk, cream, and salt sounds a lot less intimidating for a butter ingredient label than partially-hydrogenated soybean oil. Look for more distributors to flood the supermarkets with smaller ingredients made with real foods instead of chemicals.

Social Marketing Is Key
With the massive expansion of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and even the internet in general, word-of-mouth recommendations are able to be spread easier than ever. Bloggers and iPhone applications are the future of cuisine review. Look for the food industry to develop a more pointed approach to social marketing advertising. After all, it has influenced corporate policy before…


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