The Kroger Co. has identified consumer trends to keep an eye on for the coming year, as well as a list of the 10 hottest food products.
"Many of our customers rediscovered their passion for cooking and baking at home in 2020 and aspire to eat more healthy foods and explore more unique tastes and flavors in the year ahead," said Kroger spokesperson Stuart Aitken.
The seven trends, buttressed with examples from Simple Truth and other Kroger private label lines, are:
Futureproof foods. These are foods that have specific health benefits, ranging from immune defense to mood management. Examples include almond butter, elderberry gummies and kefir water.
Seeking comfort. Home cooking is on the rise, both out of necessity and as a mood booster and mental escape. Examples include quick-cooking risotto and mac & cheese with gouda and aged white cheddar.
“Ketotarian” foods. Those are plant-based foods that follow the keto diet principle of high protein and low carbs. Examples include snacks like cheddar cheese crisps, plant-based patties and grinds, and chocolate chip French ice cream.
Global flavors and restaurant favorites. According to Kroger’s research, more than 60% of its shoppers are cooking more at home, and they’re looking for greater variety. Examples: ancho chile with rojo mole meatloaf kit, mole negro cooking sauce and Jalfrezi coconut curry simmer sauce.
Mushroom mania. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, with a warm umami flavor. Examples: quick cook mushroom risotto, organic mushroom umami herb seasoning rub, natural blend beef & mushroom patties, and grilled mushroom & truffle oil thin crust pizza.
For the planet. Consumers are more conscious of food waste, carbon footprint and sustainability in general. Examples: Plant-based analogue beef and chicken patties, roasted seaweed snacks and lentil dal soup.
Fresh innovation. The produce aisle has seen technology emerge, such as hydroponic farming and new coatings, that will keep fruits and vegetables in better condition, longer. Examples: organic honeycrisp apples, sweet onions, avocados and limes.
In addition, Kroger identified its 10 hottest products, in terms of year-over-year growth:
- Zero-calorie soft drinks
- Four-cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese
- Flavored potato chips (hot & spicy, regional flavors & meal-inspired varieties)
- Sauvignon Blanc wine
- Heavy whipping cream
- Fresh burger patties
- Artisan breads & restaurant-style buns
- Bulk individual coffee pods (96-count)
- Party-size bags of variety chocolate
- Black Forest ham