IRI Identifies Key Food Trends for 2009

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

Watching the 2009 numbers come in, IRI has identified some key trends for 2009:

  • Nutrition for Prevention -- Consumers are focused on nutrition as a preventative medicine, and CPG marketers are capitalizing on this trend with fervor. Look for new product innovation and marketing efforts to focus not only what is in the product, but also what is not in the product. Innovation will provide consumers easier access to nutritious snacks and meal opportunities, ranging from reduced fat and calories to added vitamins and nutrients. Better-for-you is not going to go away any time soon. In years to come, the trend is expected to gain steam regardless of economic conditions.
  • Organic and Natural Products Gain Steam -- The popularity of natural and organic products seems to increase every day despite a recessionary economy. Organics/natural products have permeated every retail department: from healthcare to fresh/perishable, from center store to general merchandise, and consumer appetite is keeping step.
  • Sustainability as a Differentiator -- Sustainability goes beyond natural and organic. An estimated 85 percent of food and beverage CPG manufacturers currently employ environmental sustainability practices – from plant to packaging to promotion. In a recessionary economy, newcomers to eco-friendly behavior are key drivers of segment growth. Look for manufacturers to drive penetration through the ongoing development of products, packaging and promotional programs from within and from outside the traditional sub-set of sustainable products to address a growing call for earth-friendly CPG.

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