- Speciality Nutritionals – Consumers who once relied on nutritional supplements are switching to fortified and functional foods.
- Get Real – six out of ten consumers look for ingredients they can recognise while shopping for food and seek out foods made with simple, real and natural ingredients.
- Hispanic Health – America’s 52m Hispanics spent an estimated $6.9bn on functional foods in 2012 and $9.4bn on natural/organic foods/drinks.
- The Protein Evolution – The protein market is still centre stage with 57% of consumers, particularly between the ages of 18-34 and above age 65, seeking protein sources.
- Kid-Specific – Nearly half of America’s 32m mums who say they always buy health foods/drinks for their children are looking for a wider range of healthy, convenient, kid-friendly foods/drinks with nutrient and calorie levels specific to youngsters
- Pharma Foods – Eight out of ten consumers believe that functional foods can help or prevent the onset of heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
- Alternatives – 80% of households now eat meatless meals for dinner on occasion and eggs are the most popular alternative followed by beans, lentils or legumes.
- Performance Nutrition – Nearly six out of ten adults used a sports nutrition product in 2012 and the combined consumer sales of sports nutrition supplements, nutrition bars and energy drinks topped $24bn in 2012, up by 11.2%
- Weighing in – Weight conscious consumers have ditched deprivation-style weight loss campaigns in preference for healthy eating, while adding specific real food, components and nutrients to their diets.
- Gen Zen – Today’s millennials, aged between 14 and 33, view their food choices as healthier, more expensive, more natural and or organic, less processed, better tasting and fresh.
After more than a year of planning, the American ‘Walmart to Go’ convenience-store format quietly opened in Bentonville, US, on Saturday 15 March, with the grand opening set for 19 March 2014.
The small store is a hybrid format — part traditional convenience store, part grocery, part quick serve restaurant. Walmart partnered with Bentonville Butcher & Deli, one of the more popular names around in terms of quality meat, to operate a quick serve meat counter in the back of the store. Fresh deli sandwiches or hot barbecue brisket, ribs, smoked chicken and traditional sides were available by the plate or by the pound.
Krispy Kreme has a donut stand between the beverage stations. There is a traditional soda fountain, ‘Icee’ fountain, milk shake option and full coffee/cappuccino area.
Refrigerated food-to-go includes market fresh pizzas, sandwiches and other meat entrees. There is also fresh fruit and a Greek yoghurt smoothie station.
The convenience store also features six fuel pumps out front with a covered awning that sports the Walmart sunburst on the underside. One unusual feature is a large awning that connects the pump area to the front door. There is a picnic area outdoors to seat those wanting to eat onsite.
With this new convenience format Wal-Mart hopes to capture some of the $415 billion quick trip marketshare it is losing to Dollar General and other convenience stores. Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said earlier this month that the retailer has just 10% of that marketshare and is vying for more with the hybrid stores that can serve consumer fill-in trips, which Walmart estimates to be 40% of their grocery spend.
Produce World was awarded Best New Edible Variety at the UK Grower Awards. The company, which has a site in Sutton Bridge, was presented with the award earlier this month.
The winning vegetable is a Chinese leaf called Tatsoi. Although a traditional vegetable in Asia, Produce World is the first company to produce it commercially in the UK. The versatile vegetable is challenging the more widely known Pak Choi.
New product development manager Dara O’Doherty said: “Produce World is committed to trialling and growing exciting new vegetables from all over the globe.
“Tatsoi has a short growth cycle, taking only a matter of four or five weeks from planting to harvest.”
The success of coconut water, which surged from zero in 2006 to an almost US$1 billion business in North America and Europe by 2013, is just the first step in a massive trend, according to global nutrition business analysts New Nutrition Business.
According to New Nutrition Business there is an emerging global trend for “healthy, natural, low-calorie waters” taken directly from plants. Extraction and packaging innovations that prolong shelf life have led to products with a “subtly sweet taste” extracted from maple trees and birch trees.
“With the right marketing and distribution strategies, these new waters will be a US$2 billion business by 2025,” said Julian Mellentin, Director of New Nutrition Business.
Like coconut water, maple and birch waters offer benefits that make them good options for health-conscious consumers. New Nutrition Business said the waters are “naturally healthy with a positive nutritional profile”, “naturally sweet” with no need for added sugar, and “can be sustainably sourced with little constraint on volumes”.
Sales of coconut water have been surging for five years — with no products carrying health claims, according to New Nutrition Business — driven by consumers’ desire for drinks that are “natrually functional” and have no added sugar. In fact, according to a report by New Nutrition Business, 12 Key Trends in Food Nutrition and Health 2014, “naturally functional” was the biggest driver in the industry, and the force behind the success of beverages such as coconut water and almond milk.
Maple trees are known as the source of maple syrup, but they also yield a beverage much more in line with the preferences of health-conscious consumers: maple water.
Maple water, like coconut water, is “naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and 46 antioxidants” according to New Nutrition Business. Maple water also has an “inherently sweet taste”, with a taste profile that received an overall higher score than coconut water in consumer research. New Nutrition Business said the sugar content (primarily sucrose) was “only 2 to 3 per cent”.
Maple water, or sap, is the raw ingredient of maple syrup, which is traditionally process into syrup because it spoils after just a day. But New Nutrition Business said developments in aseptic packaging from packaging company Tetrapak, combined with processing maple water on the same day it is collected, mean water could now be made commercially available.
A trio of Canadian entrepreneurial brands — Oviva, Seva and Maple 3 — have been developing the market.
New Nutrition Business said maple water had the potential to reach the same market size as coconut water over the next five to seven years, provided maple water brands apply the same strategy as coconut water did, focusing initially on single-serve packs (250ml-330ml) and upscale distribution and pricing.
Birch sap is produced by birch trees every year in early spring and is currently harvested as a health drink in countries such as Japan, Korea, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, according to New Nutrition Business.
The sap is completely clear and “slightly sweet”, containing between 1 per cent and 1.5 per cent sugars. The main naturally occurring sugar in birch sap is fructose. The product also contains xylitol.
As with maple water, New Nutrition Business said advances in packaging and processing technology have allowed companies to begin bringing birch water to market in its “all-natural, no added sugar” form.
Brands such as Finland’s Nordic Koivu, whose patent-pending technology has allowed it to collect and bottle birch sap without adding any preservatives, and Denmark’s Sealand Birk have been rapidly developing the consumer market.
New Nutrition Business said birch sap had been shown to be “high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, manganese, thiamin and calcium”. Uses in tradition and folk medicine include “boosting immunity, fighting fatigue, treating arthritis and joint pain, energy booster, and migraine prevention”.
ieat foods was founded by a foodie frustrated by years of restricted, ‘same old’ boring choices. Bubbling away for years, this frustration fuelled a personal quest for Shazia Saleem to create the most exciting halal food range ever developed in the UK.
The team have been busy working in partnership with consumers and some of Britain’s top development chefs at NPD Direct to design an entire range of delicious, contemporary British dishes – made from the finest ingredients and bursting with flavour.
The potential market for ieat is huge. According to the 2011 Census, there are 2.7m Muslims living in Britain and well over half of those are under 30. “It’s the younger generation who wants to eat spaghetti Bolognaise and cottage pie,” explained Ms Saleem. “Our parents wanted the food they grew up with but we feel British, we are British and we love the culture.”
Ieat’s recipes are not only Halal, but “Tayyab”, which means “pure” or “ethical”. “All the recipes use only kitchen cupboard ingredients – you could make them at home,” explains Ms Saleem. “The animals come from certified farms to guarantee the best quality meat.”
Non-Muslims have also taken to ieat’s products. “We’ve given the dishes a bit of a twist for an ethnic palate,” said Ms Saleem. “We’ve added more spices, herbs, garlic and onion. But it’s not just Muslims who like the extra flavour. People are having Mexican for lunch and Thai food for dinner. The dishes we created, with these different flavour profiles, were extremely popular with the non-Muslim testers at our focus groups, too.”
All of their first 12 dishes can be found in the new halal section in the chilled ready meal aisle of selected Sainsbury’s stores in London, Birmingham and Leicester from Wednesday 26th February 2014.
All at NPD Direct wish Shazia and her team every success.
Click on the link below for an introduction to ieat foods:
Achacha, a small orange-coloured fruit in the same family as the mangosteen that has a melon-like taste which can be eaten at room temperature, cold or frozen. The skin to make a “thirst-quenching drink”.
The easiest way of accessing the soft fruit inside is piercing the skin with a thumbnail and then squeezing the skin on each side to pop it open.
Originated in the Bolivian rainforest and is now grown in Australia. The farmer of the fruit grew up eating the achacha in Bolivia and, on moving to Australia, missed it so much that he spent four years cultivating it to be grown successfully and sustainably.
Its nutrients include calcium and vitamin C and less sugar than many other fruits, it is rich in antioxidants, potassium and Riboflavin which neutralise “free radical” molecules in the blood thought to contribute to ageing and illness. Dietary gurus claim it can also benefit pregnant women because of its high levels of folate, a naturally occurring form of folic acid which promotes healthy blood cell formation and circulation.
The Achacha shall be available at Marks and Spencer, £2.50 for a pack of four.
Despite prevalent health trends encouraging consumers to eat less red meat, 90 per cent of US consumers are eating some kind of red meat at least once a month, but 39 per cent of beef and other red meat consumers ate less in 2013 than they did in 2012, according to new findings from market research organisation Mintel.
Furthermore, a quarter (25 per cent) of pork consumers claimed to have eaten less pork in 2013 than they did in 2012. In contrast, only 10 per cent of beef and other red meat eaters said they were eating more, and only 13 per cent of pork consumers said the same.
“Health trends motivating consumers to cut fat and cholesterol intake are by far the most dominant factors affecting the red meat market,” said Patty Johnson, Global Food Analyst at Mintel. “While some consumers are turning away from red meat, in favour of healthier alternatives, there are still a staggering number of Americans who partake on a regular basis. For many of those who are cutting back they are very well trading up to a higher quality meat product,” she said.
Opportunity for higher quality meats
Indeed, 16 per cent of those US consumers who said they were consuming less red meat were eating less, but a higher quality red meat. Mintel said this creates an opportunity to market higher quality meats to consumers.
Packaging innovation potential
While innovation in this category has been low for several years, packaging may be an area for meat manufacturers to innovate, particularly to appeal to women. More than one-third (35 per cent) of women would like to see more resealable packaging, 26 per cent said they want individual-sized portions and 23 per cent said they would like to see recipe options on the package.
Price also a reason for cutting back
While health concerns were the top reason consumers were cutting back on meat, the price of meat was another matter of contention. More than half (58 per cent) of consumers said they had noticed the price of red meat increasing in the past 12 months, and 36 per cent said it was too expensive to buy it as often as they would like.
“The red meat category is facing a difficult future, as both health trends and price are working to discourage consumer demand for red meat products,” Ms Johnson said. “The industry also has done little to innovate since the recession and therefore has offered consumers little to get excited about. This presents an opportunity for the industry to try to invigorate the market with new products, improved quality and improved functionality,” she said.
Scientists have recently recommended to the World Health Organisation that men shouldn’t consume more than eight teaspoons (32g) of sugar a day or women six teaspoons (24g) a day. The amount of sugar hidden in alcoholic drinks has been revealed by nutritionists and it’s probably more than you think.
How much sugar is in your drink?
Pint of real ale 9
Pint of Guinness or Stout 5
Pint of Premium Lager 3.5
568ml bottle of Magners Pear Cider 8.5
Pint of Strongbow Dry Cider 3.5
175ml glass of Mulled Wine 11
175ml glass of medium Sweet Wine 2.5
Vodka and Red Bull 7
Gin and Tonic 5.5
Vodka and Coca Cola 6.5
Sambuca shot 4
Amaretto shot 4
50ml glass of Baileys 2.5
50ml glass of Port 3
50ml glass of Sweet Sherry 2
Smirnoff Ice 7.5
Barcardi Breezer 5.25
Eating more oily fish can increase brain size in later life and may help prevent age-related mental decline, a study has found.
People with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil preserve bigger brains as they age, the research shows. In particular, they maintain more nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain’s key memory centre.
The larger neural volume linked to omega-3 intake is equivalent to reducing the effects of brain ageing by up to two years, say scientists.
Researchers measured levels of two essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in the blood of 1,111 women taking part in the US Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study.
Eight years later, when the women had an average age of 78, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were performed to measure their brain size.
Those who started out with higher intakes of omega-3 were found to have larger total brain volumes. A doubling of omega-3 levels was associated with a 0.7% increase in overall brain size.
In addition, the hippocampus area was 2.7% larger in women with higher levels of the fatty acids.
Lead scientist Dr James Pottala, from the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls, US, said: “These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and the results suggest that the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with ageing by one to two years.”
The findings are published in the latest online edition of the journal Neurology.
Shrinking brain volume is a known sign of Alzheimer’s disease as well as normal ageing.
Dr Laura Phipps, from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ” There has been mixed evidence as to the benefits of omega-3 fish oils on the brain and whether they may protect against memory decline and dementia.
“This study suggests that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in blood are linked to larger brain size but the possible reasons for this association need further investigation. We know that the brain gets smaller in people with dementia, but it is unclear from the study what effect larger brain size would have on memory and thinking in the volunteers or their long-term risk of developing dementia.
“The best way to assess whether omega-3 could protect against dementia is through clinical trials and so far, trials of omega-3 supplementation have not shown benefits in protecting against cognitive decline.
“Currently, research suggests that a balanced diet, along with regular exercise, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check may help to keep our brains healthy as we get older.”
Dr Doug Brown, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ” It’s interesting to see that eating more fish could lead to larger brain volume, particularly in the hippocampus – an area of the brain that comes under attack in dementia.
“We know that brain shrinkage can be linked to dementia and larger brain volumes could indicate a better ability to cope with the ravages of the condition, but it’s a big leap to draw this conclusion.
“Whilst interesting, this study still leaves us in the dark about what effect eating fish has on the development of dementia.”
A chocolate boutique dedicated to KitKats has opened in Tokyo in Japan, where the wafery chocolate bar is considered a cult item and lucky charm. In Japanese it sounds like kitto katsu, which translates as ‘you will surely win’. The KitKat Chocolatory opened in Seibu Department Store in Ikebukuro, and will sell only gourmet bars aimed at an adult audience.
KitKat fans in Japan have been able to choose from varieties including Purple Potato, Cinnamon Cookie, European Cheese, Bean Cake and Wasabi – unwrapping sticks of pale green, delicate pink and lilac chocolate that look and taste very different from those anywhere else in the world.
These special varieties are available only in certain regions of Japan, using ingredients and flavours linked to the local area. KitKat Kobe Pudding, for example, has a creamy custard pudding flavour, with a hint of citrus and is only available in Kobe.
Three limited edition tastebud-ticklers – Sublime Bitter made with couverture chocolate, a very high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter, Special Cherry Blossom Green Tea, made with cherry blossom extract, and Special Chili, which contains a chilli pepper cream filling – are being stocked in-store. Only 300 Sublime Bitter bars will be sold per day, as the chocolate-work is done by hand. Each bar costs 315 yen (£1.83). The 500 bars available on opening day sold out in one hour forty minutes.
The brand KitKat was invented by Britain’s Rowntree confectionery company in 1935, but until 1937 was called the Chocolate Crisp.
Leading health experts from across the globe have united to form ‘Action On Sugar’ – an unprecedented call to tackle and reverse the obesity and diabetes epidemic. Obesity is a major crisis facing the UK and practically every country around the world, and yet there is no coherent structured plan to tackle obesity. This group will initially target the huge and unnecessary amounts of sugar that are currently being added to our food and soft drinks.
Action On Sugar will carry out a public health campaign, to make the public more sugar aware and thus avoid products that are full of hidden sugars. Children are a particularly vulnerable group targeted by industry marketing calorie dense snacks and sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
The major initial focus of the group will be to adopt a similar model to salt reduction pioneered by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH). This model has become one of the most successful nutritional policies in the UK since the Second World War, by setting targets for the food industry to add less salt to all of their products, over a period of time. As this is done slowly, people do not notice the difference in taste.
Salt intake has fallen in the UK by 15% (between 2001-2011) and most products in the supermarkets have been reduced between 20 and 40%, with a minimum reduction of 6,000 strokes and heart attack deaths a year, and a healthcare saving cost of £1.5bn.
A similar programme can be developed to gradually reduce the amount of added sugar with no substitution in food and soft drinks by setting targets for all foods and soft drinks where sugar has been added. Action On Sugar has calculated that a 20 to 30% reduction in sugar added by the food industry which, given a reasonable timeframe (3-5 years) is easily achievable, would result in a reduction in calorie intake of approximately 100kcal/day and more in those people who are particularly prone to obesity.
It’s not just the well-known brands, such as CocaCola which has a staggering 9 teaspoons of added sugar, but flavoured water, sports drinks, yogurts, ketchup, ready meals and even bread are just a few everyday foods that contain large amounts of hidden sugars.
Additional aims of the group include:
- To educate the public in becoming more sugar aware in terms of understanding the impact of sugar on their health, checking labels when shopping and avoiding products with high levels of sugar.
- To ensure that children are highlighted as a particularly vulnerable group whose health is more at risk from high sugar intakes.
- To ensure clear and comprehensive nutritional labelling of the sugar content of all processed foods.
- At the same time we would conduct a Parliamentary campaign to ensure the government and DH take action, and that, if the food industry do not comply with the sugar targets, they will enact legislation or impose a sugar tax.
The Daily Mail (11.01.2014) reported that undercover shoppers are targeting supermarkets and fast-food chains to investigate the authenticity of food products branded as British. Items that are thought to be suspicious will be sent for ‘isotope’ tests, which can accurately determine the real origin of fruit and vegetables and identify where cattle and sheep had been grazing. The operation has been launched by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and follows a call from environment secretary Owen Paterson for shoppers to buy more British food. FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said ‘We want to make sure that consumers are getting what they are paying for’.
Brits have been revealed as being the worst in Europe for unhealthy snacking, with 41% of us filling up on crisps, cookies, cake or chocolate. We do this more often than the other nine nations in a survey by Fruyo, which looked at 4,000 people from the UK, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Spain and Greece.
Only 15% of us snack healthily – in comparison to Spain, at 27%, and Greece at 25%.
While we may not snack as often as some countries – Brits were found to snack twice a day – our unhealthy choices add up. Over a third (39%) of us admit to consuming more calories each day through snacking than we do at meal times. There is also a subset of secret snackers – around 8% of us do so in secret (although we swear in must be higher).
As for why we snack, rather than hunger acting as the main motivator, most of us seem to snack out of boredom (41%) while others have mentioned stress and a lack of energy.
Nutritionist and food writer, Fiona Hunter, said: “These results show exactly how wrong many people in the UK are getting it when it comes to snacking. It should be a positive occasion – using well chosen products to provide important nutrients. But too many of us are instead turning to ‘grazing’, which involves grabbing something to fill up on that’s quick, easy and often unhealthy.
“When it comes to snacking, Brits need to plan ahead so that they’re not caught short in a moment of hunger and think about products which are high in protein so will keep them fuller for longer, helping to resist further temptation.”
Additionally, the findings showed:
• Scotland is the unhealthiest snacking region in the UK (with a ranking of 45%)
• London tops the healthy regional snack league table, with results of 17%
• Poland is the mecca of snacking; its inhabitants eat more snacks – an average of 2.2 a day – with the people of
France the most snack-averse at an average of just 1.4.
• Most popular time to snack in the UK is 3.04pm, potentially signalling a ‘mid afternoon slump’ and desire for
something to eat.
• However, nearly a third (32%) of Brits snack after 6pm, highlighting that these people may be choosing evening
meals that don’t fill them up properly.
American Consultancy Baum+Whiteman creates high-profile restaurants around the world for hotels, restaurant companies, museums and other consumer destinations. Based in New York, their projects include the late Windows on the World and the magical Rainbow Room, and the world’s first food courts. Their just released 30 buzzwords for 2014:
- Boneless lamb neck
- Filipino food
- High-proof spirits
- Sweetbreads make a comeback
- Buckwheat is grain of the year … even if it’s not a grain
- Fluke is fish of the year … octopus second … trout third
- Kale still rules but cauliflower’s working forward
- Consumers’ newfound protein obsessions
- House-made fruit vinegars for vinaigrettes and cocktails
- Teres major (a cut of steak found deep within the shoulder)
- High-priced vegetarian tasting menus
- More beer and wine in fast-casual chains
- House-fermented food
- New uses for pretzels
- Banh mi makes it onto Western menus
- Chicken skin
- Crackdown on food waste
- Rose wines all year long
- Hipster Asian restaurants
- Drinkers rediscover gin … gin bars and gin-tonic bars
- Jewish fusion
- Coconut everything
- Mexican sandwiches … tortas and cemitas
- Sweetened and flavoured whiskeys … smoked, mapled, honeyed … prove most Americans don’t like the real taste of booze
- Made-to-order liquid nitro ice cream
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Paleo dieters add to gluten-free demand
- Delivery, high-priced and fast food. Smart phones, tablet computers speed ordering and payment, cut service staff
- Shakshuka (a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, often spiced with cumin) will appear on breakfast and brunch menus.
- Sorghum becomes a trendy sweetener
The arrival of a New Year often brings an urge to better ourselves and our health, whether it’s cutting back on the booze, getting more exercise or looking at what we’re eating. So how about less meat, more veg?
The part time vegetarianism trend is set be bigger than ever in 2014 as more of us become conscious about what our diet is doing to our health, our future and even our environment. And forget the image of the limp lettuce leaf, going veggie can be tastier and more interesting than you think. Those who embrace vegetarianism part time are now called flexitarians.
Back in 2009, Sir Paul McCartney and daughters Stella and Mary launched Meat Free Mondays – an initiative which encourages people to enjoy at least one meat free day each week. Today, it has a massive following and lots of celebrity supporters such as Jamie Oliver, Sir Richard Branson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Fearne Cotton and Matt Lucas to name just a few. Pizza Express is also one of many restaurants and retailers who support the campaign, promoting their meat free pizza, pasta and salad dishes on Mondays.
And in the wake of the recent scare about horse DNA being found in meat products in supermarkets in the UK, some people might be thinking about whether they shouldn’t just give flesh the cold shoulder.
Waitrose has pin-pointed part time vegetarianism as a key food trend in 2014, noting that “we’re making vegetables the heroes of more and more meals… Scandinavian styles of preserving veg, with pickling juices and marinades, will ensure we don’t even notice the meat is missing”.
So what are the benefits? Well, health wise, it is said vegetarians have a long life expectancy than every day meat eaters (3.6 years) and less chance of developing many diseases including bowel cancer. Their blood pressure is often lower than carnivores as is their cholesterol levels and overall weight.