Four Key Trends Impacting the U.S. Food Market

Locally-grown produce and promoting gut health top the list.

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(PRNewswire)  Market research firm Packaged Facts, via their U.S. Food Market Outlook 2019 report, feels the following four trends will be among the most prominent in 2019.

  1. Local Emerges as the Next-Gen Organic. Organic products have been one of the hottest trends in the food industry, and local is the evolution of that trend. This is especially true when it comes to products such as fresh packaged salads.
  2. Greater Authenticity Drives Innovation. Consumers are looking for at-home food products that deliver "restaurant quality" and "chef-inspired" meals. Increasingly, Millennials and other younger people want greater authenticity that comes from involvement with real chefs who seem to be cooking the meals in a kitchen, rather than in a big industrial food processing plant. Marketers of frozen dinners and entrees are among those leading the way in this trend.
  3. New Players Challenging the Old Guard. Traditionally, major food players take the majority of the steps to innovate the industry, but in certain segments new players are the ones breaking new ground. For instance, in the ice cream segment it took a small upstart to disrupt the category and force everybody else to play catch-up. Better-for-you ice cream brand Halo Top launched in 2012 and exploded in popularity over the last several years, as a lot of consumers fell in love with its high protein, low-calorie, reduced sugar platform.
  4. Growing Gut Health. As consumers increasingly focus on digestive issues and increasing gut health, they have gravitated to fermented and probiotic-rich foods and beverages like yogurt, Kefir, kombucha, and kimchi. While cereal is not in this realm, cereal makers have joined some in other food categories that are incorporating probiotics and other gut-healthy ingredients into new products. Kellogg's recent HI! Happy Inside cereal promotes digestive wellness with prebiotics, probiotics and fiber.