Healthy and convenient is the key to R&D

Convenient, healthy, natural and organic characteristics dominate new products in 2008, according to a survey of more than 300 food and beverage product developers conducted by Troy, Mich.-based Clear Seas Research. Although products with health attributes are top of mind as consumers become more health conscious, consumer "convenience" is still the price of entry requirement for processors developing new products. "In 2007, a majority of processors reported that organic, energy-boosting, natural, ethnic and whole grains were the trends to pay attention to," notes Sarah Corp, Food & Packaging division executive director. "Trends receiving the highest sustained attention in our 2008 New Product Development Outlook include those in the ‘organic' and 'natural' spaces. New in 2008, processors are mindful that consumers -- more than ever before -- desire 'healthy' products, and products that have healthy, natural and organic characteristics have the greatest potential for staying power in the coming year."