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Packaged Facts predicts trends for 2011


January 12, 2011
By Canadian Pizza

January 12, 2011, New York – Consumer thriftiness and health-consciousness will continue to exert a notable influence over the ingredient and flavour trends emerging in 2011, according to Packaged Facts.

The predicted trends are explored in the eighth edition of Packaged Fact’s annual Food Flavours and Ingredients Outlook series.

“Heading into 2011, consumers are growing evermore weary of economic and nutritional health gloom and doom. Many have spent the last few years reinventing their financial and employment lives, and are now starting to focus more emphasis on their overall wellbeing and happiness in a way that is reflective of their values, being more pragmatic and deliberate in making decisions about how to spend both their time and their resources,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

The firm predicts that food marketers from the retail and foodservice sectors will take that consumer mindset to heart in 2011. Some of the key trends predicted to hit it big this year are:

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Flavours from around the globe Ethnic food will remain a bright spot for foodservice and retailers, providing variety and interest without taxing smaller food budgets. The growing presence of food trucks, with their varied ethnic fare at reasonable prices, will bring this national trend home to the local level.

Sustainability trumps local, organic and natural Local, organic and natural foods will more often be connected with eco-friendliness and a more holistic lifestyle approach to eating that promotes sustainability. As a result, there will be greater use of natural, organic, local and antibiotic and hormone-free ingredients at QSRs and fast casual restaurants. At retail, the popularity of private label organic products is anticipated to continue while growth in directly marketed local and organic produce, meats and locally processed foods sold via farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture is anticipated.

Wellness overhaul Food will get more attention as the foundation of health and wellness activities will be better integrated into overall lifestyle. Growing recognition that digestive health is a key link in promoting overall good health will help drive sales of yogurt and other foods containing probiotics, but gluten-free foods will likely show signs of slowing down after a year of explosive growth that some might consider to be a fad.

Plethora of produce Vegetables, more so than fruit, will take on added importance this year as they move to the center of the plate. More fine-dining restaurants are starting to focus on vegetables as the main attraction, with either no accompanying meat, or with meat used sparingly, as a condiment to accentuate flavour. Look for considerable menu experimentation with taste palates developing to savour a broad array of produce. Turnips, parsnips, black and purple kale, broccoli, spiragello, Romanesco, eggplant, celeriac, and sunchokes will become more commonplace.

Flavour and ingredient crossovers A key trend will see greater crossover of savoury ingredients into sweet foods and sweet ingredients into savoury foods. For example, the use of olive oil will extend into a wide range of desserts and sweet goods including ice cream, gelato, cake and muffins.

Satisfying sweets Agave will surrender some of its sweetening prominence to the less exotic but always special honey, while stevia gains ground at a slower pace. Figs, pears, cherries and blackberries look likely to be the most popular fruits, along with the superfruit combination of blueberry and pomegranate. America’s appreciation of artisanal and retro desserts is expected to continue this year, with home-made pie and ice cream showing a great deal of creativity.

For more information, visit www.packagedfacts.com.