The idea of natural, caffeine – free products that delivery either energy or “anti-energy” relaxation is moving over to other food categories after previously being relatively limited to the soft drink category.
The company that said these products are also moving away from the health food shop niche into mainstream retailers in the form of recognisable products like beverages and snacks.
One step Convenience
Consumers do not want to spend more than an average of 35 minutes on preparing a meal.
Consumers are increasingly looking for convenient, prepared products that have a “feel-good” experience by allowing them to perform the last step of the preparation unlike straight ready meals that go directly in the oven.
There is a growing interest in foraged, local and seasonal produce which is fueling demand for foraged flavours.
This year, expect to see manufacturers begin to incorporate forages, hyper-local ingredients into accessible formats and recognisable product, with ingredients such as seaweed truffle, rosehips, nettle, wild mushrooms and blackberries appearing in familiar products. This is currently a small trend in South Africa but celebrity chefs like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have set this culinary precedent of “making do” and buying local.
Consumers are seeking healthy alternatives to recognisable products which push interesting ingredients and exciting flavour blends as opposed to being marketed as health food.
This trend could reinvigorate the appeal of healthier products by making them attractive from a taste point of view.
Fullness of flavour need not contradict the health message. Adding flavour does not necessarily mean adding calories. It is a question of “what’s the biggest thing on the label when you look at that product on the shelf”.
Interest in high protein diets continues to grow, and consumers are seeking out natural protein within convenient, recognisable products. Unlike other foods like carbohydrates, protein has not received bad press with regards to health.
Example: products marketed as high in protein, low in carbohydrates wont take away the enjoyment factor from the meal. We are only just starting to see these kinds of products appear in mainstream retailers but this is a trend to watch.
- Coconut – one can of coconut milk contains the potassium of five – and – a – half bananas, and for the health conscious and trend watchers, this is a must-use in all Christmas dishes.
- Exotic flavoured oils, such as pumpkin seed oil, tomato seed oil and cherry pit oil.
- Peruvian cooking – cola and soy sauce, coriander, chilli and lime, and buttermilk with cumin
- Sweet and spicy – honey and harissa, sweet and spicy marinated chicken wings as a starter, and desserts with a bite.
- Emerging flavours to track are fresh melon, wasabi, mango, cherry, calamansi and ginger, which can all be combined into a sweet salad with a mild wasabi dressing
- Baby chicken/quail