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Back-to-School Brings New Trends and Products
September 22, 2010
With the summer coming to an end, the inevitable back-to-school shopping presents an opportune time for companies to offer new products that are geared towards healthy, nutritious, and convenient options. A number of health trends are impacting food and beverage products for breakfast, school lunches, and dinner, as children return to a school routine and start an array of busy activities.
The back-to-school period also creates buzz among writers, bloggers, and consumers. A number of blogs and articles have been highlighting the importance of nutrition, healthy food products, and easy solutions and recipes for all three meals of the day.
A recent article in Western Grocer magazine highlighted a number of food trends occurring in retail grocery stores, which have already been prominent trends this year and include allergen-free, better-for-you, organic, and sustainable products. Allergen-free products are growing in popularity, such as soy butter in place of peanut butter, while other offerings include organic juice boxes, new dried fruit flavours, and bread made with more whole grains and less sodium and sugar. Making life easier at breakfast and dinner is also another area of focus, and the popularity of snack products and meal solutions appears to be continuing, catering to consumers with busy lifestyles.
School food programs and vending machines are also creating opportunities for introducing healthier products. The Food Channel reported on the School Nutrition Association's (SNA) recent survey which seems to indicate that programs are moving in a healthier direction. Some of the most popular improvements in nutrition involved increasing whole-grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and reducing sodium and sugar. These trends were very similar to what was seen at the SNA's annual national conference which took place in July. However, some additional trends at the show, which haven't yet been mentioned, were dairy products and carbonated fruit juices.
The growing “koodie” movement (termed by Phil Lempert, and derived from “foodie”, for children who show a particular interest in new and different foods) also appears to be playing a role in the variety of foods that are becoming available at schools this year. Some new offerings include edamame, sweet potato puffs and fish tacos. The SNA also has a 2010 Back to School Trends Report highlighting new products, policy trends and issues facing school programs.
These back-to-school trends fit closely with the larger trends that were forecasted for 2010 and have been appearing in the market this year. With the ongoing attention that children's health and nutrition has been receiving among media, government, associations and consumers, it is no surprise that there is a definite movement towards healthier eating. In addition to health, demand for convenience and new, innovative products has long been present in the consumer market, and it is products that contain all three of these attributes which have the potential to see notable success. With this focus on health and innovation, it will be interesting to see how the food and beverage preferences and habits of this generation are shaped and evolve, and how this will impact their consumption and product choices in the future.
If you would like more information about this topic or have any questions for us, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Until next time…
ATS Market Analyst
Photo credits: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Kiana // 16-June-11
"Thanks for the insight. It brings light into the dark!"
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