While some in the food industry predict that that we're slowing down, others beg to differ. Here's a look at just a few trends to watch for in 2006:
Packaging: UK company Datamonitor suggests the consumer trend of "flexi-eating" continues to rise, creating a need for manufacturers to be creative with packaging options. According to Datamonitor, as on-the-go snacking becomes an increasingly typical behaviour in our rushed lives, food manufacturers are seeking innovative ways to package their foods so we can take them with us.
We're used to seeing breakfast bars, sandwiches, pastries, pretzels and chips in packages, but with the right packaging, other food products could also be grabbed on the run. Individual servings of fruit and vegetables, sometimes with dip, are already on the market. Think also of yogurt tubes and drinks. Wouldn't you love to eat or drink all your favourites with one hand, while the other is using your PDA, MP3 player, or cellular phone?
Mmmm... Coated Foods: Also expected to see significant growth over the next few years are quick-to-prepare pre-coated foods, particularly fish and cheese, despite the general consumer perception that they are unhealthy. UK research firm Leatherhead Food found that while consumers said they viewed chicken nuggets and other battered or breaded foods as unhealthy, most expect to continue eating them.
With increasing awareness of the health benefits of fish, breaded or battered fish products may be a handy option for people who wouldn't otherwise consume seafood. A handy option, but not often a healthful one. Other coated foods less likely to be perceived as unhealthy included coated cheese (e.g. breaded mozzarella sticks and breaded cream cheese) and coated vegetables like onion rings, potato croquettes and breaded mushrooms.
If manufacturers develop these products to be lighter on fat (especially saturated and trans fats) and calories, they would indeed become more healthful choices, but time will tell whether that's a trend we're likely to see emerge.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.