The beginning of a new year marks a time of reflection, as well as anticipation. With 2010 behind us, 2011 is bringing us a flood of industry trend reports. It's a good time to reflect on what was learned in 2010 and try to predict what 2011 has in store.
Looking back, the industry predicted 2010 would see a return to simplicity and comfort foods, as well as demand for convenience and healthy food options. However, new fusion flavours, experimentation, individualization, and specialty products were also predicted to be popular in 2010. Lasting impacts from the global downturn were also expected to continue strong demand for private labels and increased dining at home, while local sourcing and sustainability were also popular forecasts. Last year, the abundance of food trend predictions for 2010 led to the creation of a report for the ATS Web site titled "Food Trends for 2010 in Video", which can be found online at: www.ats-sea.agr.gc.ca/ana/5467-eng.htm.
This year has been no different, with plenty of bold trend predictions for 2011. Not surprisingly, some predictions have been carried over from 2010, such as increasing interest in fusion and international cuisine, health, as well as sustainability and the eating local movement. While predictions for 2011 continue to include a somewhat price-conscious consumer market with regards to smaller portions, private-label products and food preservation, there seems to be less of a focus on recessionary impacts for this year's trends than in 2010.
Predictions for 2011 seem to be based on a multitude of factors; however, there are commonalities. Common factors include consumers taking a more holistic approach to food and how it relates to their environment, health and well-being. Mintel has revealed key demographic shifts that they believe will shape food trends in 2011. Ageing populations are expected to continue to fuel demand for products related to health and vitality, while an increasing presence of women in the workforce is leading not simply to more eating out or home meal replacements, but to an increase in food shopping and meal preparation by men, which is creating new product opportunities that cater more to this demographic. Rising obesity rates are expected to result in brands deciding to either cater to, or work to counter this trend with their products.Increasing urbanization is also leading to a "grow-your-own" food trend which is sparking interest with both consumers and foodservice sector. However, tinned and frozen foods are expected to continue to cater to consumers seeking stability. Further details on Mintel's predictions can be found at FoodNavigator.
To further summarize some of the trend predictions for 2011, a majority of the reports call for an increase in popularity of Korean food and other international cuisines, as well as mobile cuisine and new foodservice formats, such as food trucks and pop-up restaurants. The local movement is also expected to remain prominent in 2011, even taking on a broader scope to encompass local sourcing, restaurants and businesses.
Similar to 2010 predictions, simplicity, comfort foods and "old-school" recipes are expected to remain popular in 2011, as well as a focus on healthy food options. However, indulgence is also expected to be a trend in 2011, with both consumers and industry expected to play a balancing game between healthy eating and indulgence.
Downsizing is another notable trend prediction which has been made for the year ahead, due to the popularity of smaller portion sizes. This downsizing trend appears to be occurring in numerous facets of the food industry, including a trend toward operating as a "smaller business", with regards to providing smaller eating spaces/locations and menus.
TheFoodChannel: 2011 Trends Forecast
Similar to operating a "smaller business", the use of smart phone applications and social media technology is another significant trend being forecasted for 2011. Businesses are expected to use these technologies to further interact and provide information to consumers, building a better overall customer service experience.
Two interesting forecasts for the year ahead, which appeared several times, were the increase in popularity of pie, which is expected to finally overtake the popular cupcake trend, and a trend toward food preservation, such as canning.
These are only some of the more common food trend predictions being mentioned for 2011. For a more comprehensive summary and analysis, keep an eye out for our upcoming report on Food Trends for 2011. As usual, the ATS monitors industry trends throughout the year and will further report on how they take shape and impact the agri-food market. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments on past, present or future agri-food industry trends, please feel free to contact us.
Until next time…
Online Product Manager, Agri-Food Trade Service (ATS)
Valinda // 15-Jun-11
"Glad I've finally found something I agree with!"
Reply (ATS Content Manager) // 15-Jun-2011
"Glad we found an audience. Trends and opportunities are of great interest to us. Keep checking back, we'll be publishing more trend analysis soon."
Jady // 15-Jun-11
"That's way the bestest answer so far!"
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