Food trends fit and healthy for spring

The predictions for food and drink trends promise better health and happier taste buds according to Datamonitor’s Productscan Online research.

The small yoghurt pot drink has changed the dairy industry dramatically as consumers devour the daily shot of probiotics. Prebiotics and probiotics have hit the mainstream with Danone’s Activia and Actimel. Activia accounted for more than $150 million in first year sales in the US. But probiotics aren’t limited to yoghurt – they have moved into cheese with Kraft LiveActive Cheese as well other dairy products.

There are indications that the luxury sector is next in line with chocolate. Supplier Barry Callebaut is launching new technology that enables the creation of a probiotic chocolate bar. Procter & Gamble is also jumping on the probiotic bandwagon with its new Align daily probiotic supplement.

Growing controversy over marketing practices involved in selling foods aimed at children is providing an opening for organic food and beverage producers. Organic product makers are just beginning to aggressively target the kids’ market. Sugar and calories remains a major issue with the obesity battle.

High nutrient ‘superfruits’ like acai, goji berries, noni and even pomegranates have been popping up in a widening array of food and beverage products. 2008 could also be a great year for emerging fruits like yumberry. This has been harvested for over 2,000 years in China, but is new to most of the rest of the world. Hailed for its high antioxidant content and cranberry-like flavour, the yumberry is the basis of a fashionable flavour of drinks.

Hot peppers like African Birds Eye Chili also known as Peri-Peri are beginning to appear in many new sauces and condiments and couscous is also gaining ground.

Making food ‘better for you’ without stripping it of the things we all love is a challenge for food manufaturers. Increasingly, this challenge is being met with new products that deliver a hearty crunch that can help make up for reduced fat and calories. According to Datamonitor’s Productscan Online database of new products, the number of worldwide new product reports a crunchy and crispy share of the ratings particularly geared to breakfast cereals.

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