The food industry has made stride in improving the health profile of many products over the past several years - but consumers are increasingly sceptical of reduced fat, reduced sugar and reduced salt foods.
While the reduction trend will continue, smaller portions of regular products will multiply over the year ahead as a way to appeal to consumers’ desire for health while also providing the full flavours and creamy textures they crave. In some cases - notably the confectionery market - smaller portions may become the new norm.
Sustainability has featured in our predictions for several years. In 2015, the trend will focus on communication with consumers. In the light of the Food information for Consumers (FIC) regulation requires to specify palm oil (instead of generic vegetable oil) in ingredients lists, many manufacturers will be keen to highlight sustainably sourced palm - and if they are not sourcing sustainably already, to make the switch.
Consumer interest in food has expanded dramatically in recent years, and the coming year will see technology firms - including small start-ups, tapping into this increased interest. Look out for proliferation of apps in 2015, providing information on the provenance of ingredients, nutrition, and a range of environmental and ethical criteria.
Consumer demand for healty and functional foods seems set to continue for a long time yet. However, the growth of organic and raw foods also signals the ever increasing importance attached to foods that are closer to nature and minimally processed. Expect to see strong growth in product categories that naturally contain ingredients with proven health benefits.
Seaweed and algal ingredients have created a lot of buzz in recent years. Expect to see even more widespread use and acceptance of these ingredients in 2015.
One of the hottest flavour trends of 2015 is set to be a combination of sweet and spicy. The mixture is already used in top restaurants - it’s not usually too long before the industry will then follow that trend which happened with salted caramel and chilli chocolate.