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Study Predicts Taste of Tomorrow's Consumer

US - A new study has been compiled which claims to have tracked the future trends of food consumers. Along with increasing awareness of 'green' foods comes a growing appetite for personal health.

However, taste and convenience continue to be the primary drivers of food choices at home and when dining out or away on vacation.

The study, Food Flavours & Ingredients Outlook 2008 that was completed by Packaged Facts, provide some interesting consumer trend predictions that could affect the food industry.

Key factors that have an affect on flavours and ingredients include higher energy prices, global warming and heightened consumer awareness and ability to "go green" when it comes to food choices. This will enhance the buy local movement as consumer vocabularies start including words such as carbon footprints and other eco-friendly words.

Another factor fuelling the local movement is food safety concerns after the media hype about the safety concerns of Chinese imports. These concerns will also have a huge impact on Country of Origin Labelling, as the demand to know where products come from continues to grow.

Some other identified factors include:

  • various levels of government stepping into the food arena legislating what may or may not go into food or where specific types of food may or may not be sold will also have an impact on ingredients
  • huge opportunities will be created by aging baby boomers motivated to stay young and healthy (health, wellness and maintaining vitality are the primary focus area for these consumers)
  • anti-oxidants, omega 3's, probiotics, whole grains and the glycemic index continue to be important, but super fruits will be the stars
  • natural, organic and grass-fed protein will continue going strong
  • eggs will also become more important
  • sustainable or eco-friendly seafood will be one of the hottest trends
  • there may be potential for higher fat pork breeds with more flavour
  • goat meat will gain in popularity
  • cheese will win greater acceptance on the dessert menus
  • ethnic foods are on the rise but may not be truly ethnic in nature with crossover happening between ethnic styles of food that include different ingredients

Ellen Hardy

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