Trendwire, December 2009

Trendwire, December 2009

Food & Drink

Trendwire, December 2009


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The Food Channel Trendwire
December 2009 • Volume 25, Number 10 •

Yes, it’s that time of year. Children have visions of sugarplums and Zhu Zhu pets dancing in their heads, while food professionals try to visualize sweeter days ahead as they scan the annual year-end trend forecasts for the coming year. Here’s a roundup of food trend prognostications for 2010.

The Food Channel® Trend Predictions for 2010

This list of predictions is based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with CultureWaves® and the International Food Futurists. Here are some of the highlights.

Keeping It Real. In a back-to-basics economy, perhaps it is natural to return to basic ingredients, say The Food Channel analysts. This isn’t about retro, or comfort food, or even cost, they say. It’s about determining the essentials and stocking your pantry accordingly. Basic ingredients are trending high because people are still eating more at home and need a foundation for nightly meals. They predict you’ll see more education that focuses on what you need in the refrigerator and pantry, and online shopping will focus less on luxury items and more on basics.

American, the New Ethnic. The Food Channel says this is all about flavor delivery. Immigration has come to the plate, and we are now defining a new Global Flavor Curve. Part comfort, part creativity, the latest flavors are coming from the great American melting pot. Flavors from Africa and Japan and Asia are joining with Mexican and Italian as top-of-mind choices.

Will Trade for Food. What do we do in a bad economy when we have more time than money and skills that we still want to put to use? We barter. The Food Channel predicts we’ll all see more of the barter system come into play now that technology can assist with the connections.

View this video for a quick overview of The Food Channel Top Ten Trends


Mintel’s Consumer Packaged Goods Outlook for 2010

The consumer research firm predicts seven core trends will impact new product development in the year ahead.

More from Mintel:

Symbol overload. Consumers want more nutrition information, but are often confused and skeptical about nutrition symbols on packaging. Mintel predicts more manufacturers will opt for clean, clear facts on fronts of packs.

Sodium reduction. Mintel sees this as the next major health movement.

“Local” gets stretched. For 2010, the definition for “local” will expand, making it more practical for major companies to use the term and for mainstream shoppers to purchase.


Restaurant Consultants’ Forecast for 2010

The Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. has come out with a lucky 13 Food and Dining Trends for 2010. In its number 1 prediction (New Priorities for Beaten-Up Consumers), the restaurant consultants identify several hot buttons for the coming year: Economic survival, Reassurance, Artisan/Hand-made, Authentic/Real, Comfort and Safety.

In addition, Baum and Whiteman forecast a greater focus on the left side of the menu, with more “creative snacky things, more small plates, more portion options.” Sharing is the key, says Baum and Whitman.

Other trends to watch for in 2010, according to the consultants, are Menu Churn, Catering to Kids, and Fried Chicken as the New Pork Belly.

The Food Channel also publishes a great consumer newsletter, called FoodWire®. To receive a copy, please register your email address at


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