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Ten trends for packaged goods in 2010

Ten trends for packaged goods in 2010

Datamonitor predicts a banner year for products sporting the “free range” moniker as a growing number of food companies will be hailing humanely-raised protein products. 

2010 is also expected to be a big year for a new generation of biodegradable plastics that may succeed in greening the image of plastic water bottles.

Among ten emerging trends expected to blossom are new generation superfruits like baobab and borojo, growth in the use of sustainable ingredients like bamboo and a renewed “back to basics” approach when it comes to product ingredients.

1. A More Humane World

Forget about human rights (for a moment).  Animal rights have emerged as a growing worldwide concern as consumers want to know more about how the foods they eat were raised and prepared.

For example, the “free range” product claim commonly used identify how poultry are raised has nearly doubled in frequency for new food products launched worldwide since 2006 per Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics.
Look for this trend to accelerate in 2010 as foodservice chains follow the trail blazed by leading-edge CPG companies into humanely-raised products.

2. Meat – The New Boss

With all apologizes to The Who, meat is definitely making a play to be the “new boss” in 2010 and meat is nothing like the “old boss.” 

Meat’s burgeoning popularity on the flavor front helps to explain some of the more bizarre product launches over the past few months including meat-flavored lollipops (Das Lolli Man Bait), potato chips (Mackie’s of Scotland Haggis and Cracked Black Pepper Potato Chips), chocolate candy (Mo’s Dark Bacon Bar) and even vodka (Bakon Premium Bacon Flavored Vodka).  Can meat-flavored ice cream, yogurt or fruit juice be far behind?

3. Diamonds Are Forever, Plastic Isn’t

One of the great attributes of plastic is that is lasts – for what seems like forever.  But that’s also one of its greatest drawbacks.  Plastic that is not recycled often ends up in landfills where it can persist for centuries.  But that is changing.  New types of degradable packaging enable plastic to biodegrade in years, not centuries.

The key is additives like EcoPure or Reverte that help plastic biodegrade more quickly and safely than it ordinarily would.  The bottled water market has been ground zero for this trend with entries like Aquamantra Natural Spring Water in Enso bottles and State of Mind Bottled Water in Reverte Back to Nature bottles.  Look for this trend to accelerate in 2010 and move beyond the bottled water market to other categories.

4. Skin Care You Wear

What if the clothes you wear every day could enhance the health of your skin and improve your appearance?  Sound far fetched?  Maybe not, as innovations like skin-enhancing bedding from London Luxury show that wearable skincare could be a breakout hit in 2010 and beyond.

These products utilize breakthroughs in nanotechnology to incorporate ultrafine particles like copper or aloe vera into clothing or bedding.  SkinGlow brand bedding uses Cupron Copper Technology that professes to smooth or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and more in just a few weeks of use.  Skin care makers looking for a new wrinkle (no pun intended) and clothing makers looking for something new to ramp up sales could both be in luck.

5. More Muscular Functional Drinks

A decade ago, a brand called Red Bull took the soft drink market by storm, creating a new niche for energy drinks.  Is history about to repeat itself with a drinks brand called Muscle Milk?

Quietly, the protein-enhanced exercise recovery drink brand from Cytosport has crafted a following that suggests significant crossover potential for so-called “muscle” beverages that have long been aimed at weightlifters and power athletes.  Muscle Milk and similar healthy and active lifestyle beverages could be the next hot niche within the functional drinks market.

6. Superfruits Get More Exotic

Indiana Jones may be done looking for the Holy Grail and other antiquities, but searchers trekking through rain forests, jungles and the wilds of South America, Southeast Asia and Africa are just getting started in the eternal quest to find the next hot superfruit.

Candidates for 2010 and beyond include Baobab (a tart African fruit high in antioxidants), Borojo (a natural energizer from the jungles of South and Central America), Maqui (a berry native to South America said to have 8 times the antioxidants of blueberries) and Yumberry (technically “yang-mi” fruit – a super-high antioxidant tree fruit from China).  Move over pomegranate, you’ve got some competition. 

7. Ingredients: The Fewer, The Better

With “natural”’ and “organic” product claims displaying the same growth patterns as peak oil, the conundrum for packaged food and drinks companies around the world boils down to this: how do we say “better for you” and not just sing the same old songs?  The newest technique is to take a machete to product ingredient lists.

Out are ingredients that sound more at home in a chemistry lab and in their place are ingredients that most consumers recognize.  Haagen-Dazs’ 5 Ice Cream illustrates the trend with just five ingredients for each ice cream flavor.  Look for other packaged food and drinks makers to dance the limbo with product ingredient lists in 2010 and beyond.

8. Bamboo Cleans Up

Perhaps no substance has enjoyed more of a booster shot courtesy of the green movement than bamboo.  Thanks to its outrageously-fast growth rate (it can grow as much as 24 inches in a single day), bamboo has become the ingredient of choice for companies that want to bolster their sustainability credentials.

The substance has shown up in recent launches as disparate as dish-cleaning sponges and paper plates to baby wipes and cosmetics packaging.  If bamboo was a stock, we’d issue a “buy” order.

9. Shots Aim For Success

While the shot format has been around for some time in various world markets for dairy-based drinks, the format has exploded in popularity in other markets.  Almost singlehandedly, shots have elevated the energy drink market to new heights.

The latest “shot” trend is the polar opposite of energy drinks – new relaxation “shots” that offer a non-alcoholic way to reduce stress.  Examples include Koma Unwind Chillaxation Shot and Tranquila Relaxation Shot.  All told, the number of new products featuring the words “shot” or “shots” has doubled since 2006, reports Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics.

10. A Gluten-Free World

Given the experience of food fads from the past such as low-carbohydrate foods which went from hero to zero in no time, one is always reluctant to anoint the next hot “free from” food trend.

But you have to give the gluten-free movement credit as it continues to strengthen each year. With the incidence of food-related allergies on the rise, things look good for suffers of celiac disease seeking products they can enjoy.

Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics reports a doubling of new gluten-free products since 2005 with major consumer packaged goods companies now jumping on the bandwagon.


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