From Snacking To Dairy To Digestion

The Lempert Report
January 13, 2015

What consumer trends will drive food sales in 2015?

It’s the start of a new year, and consumers are focused on health! According to New Nutrition Business, a food- and nutrition-focused market research firm, food product development and sales in 2015 will be influenced by shoppers desire to manage their weight and improve their health. New Nutrition Business recently released the report 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health in 2015; here are a few highlights:  

First, snacking. According to the report, “consumers will continue to demand a wide variety of snacks and on-the-go foods, creating a “paradise for start-ups” and a category where companies can explore “innovation without limits.”. But most importantly, to success, consumers want to feel like they are indulging but still being just healthy enough that people can eat them without guilt.

Another trend?  Dairy. According to the report, “Dairy is enjoying a more positive health image as science pushes back the negatives around dairy fat and uncovers potential benefits to dairy,” including it is a good source of protein, it is natural, tastes better when not low-fat and it often has probiotics. The report also notes, thatdairy can tap into “free-from” claims that appeal to consumers with more specific health needs, such as gluten-free, lactose-free and sugar reduced.

Finally, the rules are changing for low fat. According to the report, many categories are benefiting from changing science on fat. Butter, for example,saw an increase in sales of $2.88 billion from the first of the year through May, according to Nielsen data. Also, consumption of butter is up 2.54 kg per capita in 2014, while vegetable spreads fell below 1.5 kg. The report also notes that meat snack sales also are up 15-20% in France, U.K. and the U.S., partly because of the evolving view of fat. NNB still feels that consumers may still be slow changing, but the trend is certainly turning away from reduce fat and fat free.

Such reports like this one from New Nutrition Business, offer food retailers an insight into what consumers may be looking for and how they may shop. With health continuing to be a focus for shoppers in the New Year, supermarkets should look to guide, assist and inform their customers on purchases that align with such health interests and goals.