On-trend Mother Nature set to be big in 2014!

Innova Market Insights recently announced its predictions for the top 10 food and drink trends in 2014 at the Food Ingredients Europe trade show in Frankfurt, with the majority of the trends falling neatly within the remit of the natural food environment.

The research company predicts that there will be an upsurge in ‘new’ superfoods, noting that “Nature’s own functional foods: fruits, vegetables and grains are being revisited”. It points to the revival of heirloom vegetables including artichokes, salsify, kale and parsnips along with ancient grains such as freekeh and chi which reflect the trend of “going back to the future for health”.

The company also sees a ‘protein horizon’ in the future which will be driven by new protein-based products, continuing the trend that has been witnessed recently with the launches of protein-rich pasta, bread, and even ice cream, and attracting more male attention to some categories.

And Innova foresees a trend of ‘alternative alternatives’ developing within the free-from arena, with the already booming coconut milk sector competing alongside grain and nut milks for a slice of the soya market, for example. Gluten-free flours are also expected to grow in popularity.

Other top 10 trends include: ‘waste not, want not’ – indicating the emergence of new manufacturing solutions to “recover, recycle, reuse and reduce at all costs”; ‘you can trust us’, predicting customers’ ever increasing demand for improved traceability; and ‘health is more holistic’, foreseeing a more holistic approach to providing nutritious food and drink solutions.