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Mintel has predicted the worldwide consumer packaged goods (CPG) trends set to make an impact in 2011. “These annual predictions represent continuations of current big-picture trends, rather than major changes in the marketplace and what companies are doing,” notes Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel. “Understanding the major trend areas and how they change from year to year is essential for companies to be successful when developing and launching new products.”
Mintel has predicted 12 CPG trends that will impact product development in 2011, spanning across categories from health and wellness, the environment, demographics, marketing and media, convenience and indulgence. Below are six of these core trends.
1. Quiet reduction: Sodium, sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are three well-known ingredients that appear to be experiencing covert reductions in product formulations. While sodium reduction has long been the focus of “quiet reduction,” sugar and HFCS are jumping on board. As the media continue to demonize HFCS, what may start as covert reduction is likely to end up as a key labeling issue, in the same way transfat-free has become the norm in some parts of the world. The European region still awaits approval of stevia, but we should expect to see sugar and stevia used in conjunction to achieve an overall lower sugar content in new products. However, “stevia” will not always be part of the overt communication. Instead we’ll see messaging like “naturally sweetened” or “reduced sugar.”
2. Redefining natural: Get ready for a “natural shakedown”. While all types of natural claims have grown in importance in all regions, and across all product categories, the term “natural” is still ill-defined. Terms that are vague or not well-understood will come under fire, and we are due to see an intervention of regulatory bodies. Also, expect to see a new focus on accentuating the positives of what is in a product, rather than emphasizing what is not in it.
3. Professionalization of the amateur: Mainstream brands are getting into a more serious “professional” arena, by bringing into the home what used to require a specialist service. This trend arguably has its origins in personal care markets, with “salon-style” hair treatments for home use, but continues to expand to include household (“professional strength” cleaning products) and food (chef-endorsed, restaurant-style meals).