Food trends go in and out of fashion just like the latest clothing lines. The success of a new food product isn’t always judged by how innovative and cutting-edge it is but by how popular it becomes.

Consumers may associate fermented foods with digestive health and clean and simple product formulations… awareness of fermentation is driven by continued interest in yogurt and beer.

David Jago, Director of Innovation and Insight at Mintel International, says some of the most innovative products aren’t best-sellers, and in most cases, are short-lived.

According to Food Business News, Jago and his partner Lynn Dornblaser discussed trends in product development during a series of presentations at IFT17.

“Consumers are faced with a lot of choice,” Dornblaser said. “Not only are they faced with a lot of choice in-store; they’re also faced with a lot of choice when it comes to where they buy products. It’s a very complex, very confusing marketplace.”

Official records show that more than 20,000 food and beverage introductions were made in the United States last year, which highlights the growing demand by the consumer for new and improved food products.

“What we see is most of the products that get introduced increasingly in the marketplace aren’t even new,” Dornblaser said. “They’re not innovation. They might be what we would call renovation.”

Customers are now more than ever driven by fresh, healthy and natural products, as opposed to lower prices or well-known brands.

Food Trends 2017

Here, we have collated the six surprising food trends currently on the market:

  • Seasonal Opportunitiesgrocery basket with organic food

Seasonal or limited-edition products have become popular for many well-known brands. Mondelez International had a recent success story with limited-edition Peeps Oreo cookies. They reportedly sold $6 million in just 16 weeks.

  • Thins and Minis

Food brands are taking advantage of their already successful sellers and producing mini or thin versions to increase sales. For example, Oreo Thins has so far accumulated $70 million in sales since 2015. The trend has seen other brands follow suit by introducing mini or thin versions, Kellogg’s Keebler and Chips Ahoy! are prime examples.

  • Consumer Collaboration

Several firms have held competitions or worked with consumers in some way, shape or form to produce customer collaboration products. The trend has proved a hit for both the industry and consumers.

  • Fermentation Frenzy

Fermentation is again an on-trend concept for food in America. “Consumers may associate fermented foods with digestive health and clean and simple product formulations. Additionally, consumer awareness of fermentation is driven by continued interest in yogurt and beer,” Dornblaser said.

  • Everyday Gourmet

Ensuring products have a gourmet version, or rebranding it with fancy packaging is currently proving a hit with consumers. “Adding premium positioning to products such as packaged bread may appeal to today’s consumer,” Dornblaser said.

  • Retro Foods

What’s old is new, and back in fashion again! Repackaging old products as new but retro versions seems to work with consumers today. “We see companies looking to the past to products that were popular, and might still be popular, and looking for ways to give them a little bit of a twist to make them appeal to a new audience,” Dornblaser said.

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