10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2017

10 Key Trends 2017 Report Cover

Which are the real GROWTH trends in food and health?

The ones that will still matter 5 years from now?

Our annual trend survey, now in its 20th year, gives you the answers.

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Recent Case Studies Premium snacking strategy delivers success for Mondelez Mondelez has had an immediate success with Good Thins, its first savoury snack brand in more than a decade. read more Swiss innovator quietly builds global high-value health niche Emmi Dairy is a small Swiss-based dairy that has used creativity and innovation to create a health, nutrition and indulgence business stretching from Europe to Asia to South America and the US. Its next step is goat’s milk, which the company calls “one of the dairy industry’s most attractive niche markets worldwide”. read more What does creating a success look like? The Case Studies in this issue of New Nutrition Business illustrate what the best minds in our business are doing to create success. read more Sorting the sheep – and the goats – from the cows From Switzerland to New Zealand, the niche-focused, creatively-minded are emerging as winners. And there is better example than the quiet emergence of niches like sheep milk and goat milk. read more NZ backs innovation in value-added sheep milk A Kiwi entrepreneur is working with the New Zealand government to create appealing products, robust export markets and an expanded supply chain for sheep milk in an attempt to turn an abundant national resource into a global dairy competitor and a much stronger contributor to the domestic economy. read more Free-from fresh porridge poses shelf challenge Family-run business Yorkshire Provender has built on success in catering and fresh soups to launch a range of premium, free-from, fresh and chilled porridge recipes. But while free-from may be popular, having a chilled product in this category has challenges for listings and consumer awareness. read more Sauerkraut gets modern health food revamp Sauerkraut may have a very traditional image, but Laurie’s Foods has given this well-established fermented food a modern twist with a range of zingy flavours to promote both health and enjoyment. For Laurie himself, sauerkraut has taken him on a personal journey to health and wellbeing – and he hopes that the current trend for fermented foods is more than just a passing fad. read more European turmeric market heats up If you want to understand what the emerging hit ingredients are, one of the best places to start is by talking to ingredient suppliers, who are the first to see shifts in demand. European ingredient companies report surging sales, which should take away any doubts product developers have about the growth potential of turmeric. read more Is the high-growth hummus market over the hill? The trend for high-growth healthier categories to hit maturity and flattening sales much sooner than brand-owners would like – or expected – continues. The latest success story to go ex-growth is the once-booming US hummus market. Despite a surge in product innovation as manufacturers try to keep the interest of today’s restless food explorer consumer, the category’s best days may be behind it. read more App helps employees eat better Consumers won’t pay for their own health, but their employers will – that’s the thinking behind a digital platform that uses algorithms and a virtual tether to tell employees what they should eat. read more
The re-birth of full fat dairy – and the long slow death of low-fat

The re-birth of full fat dairy – and the long slow death of low-fat

It would have been unimaginable 10 years ago: Unilever wants to get out of the polyunsaturated spreads business and sell-off brands worth $3 billion (€2.8 billion) in retail sales. The reason? Sales are falling – down 8% a year in the US and more in other markets – and there’s nothing Unilever can do to pull them back.

It’s a perfect case study of how powerless companies are in the face of a big trend – and the trends in this case are the rehabilitation of dairy fat and people’s preference for foods that are as natural as possible over foods that are like a chemistry set.

Regardless of any scientific arguments still raging about dairy fat – and there are many health professionals who cannot bring themselves to accept that the science has moved on – what’s more important is that consumers are making up their own minds.

Starting with the most health-aware consumers, the most-educated and the young, people are losing their fear of fat.

Armed with their phones, people are able to access more information about nutrition than ever before – and they are learning to be more discerning in the data sources they go to. And the result?

In 2016 in the US:

  • sales of whole milk grew 4.6%
  • sales of skim milk fell 12.6% (an acceleration of the 3% decline of 2015)
  • Sales of butter increased by 8%.
  • Noosa Australian-style yoghurt – a range launched in 2010 which offers only full-fat yoghurt – reached over $100 million (€94 million) in retail sales. Other “whole milk” yoghurt brands are proliferating and they are one of the few growth-spots in a US yoghurt market where growth has stalled.

In Australia:

  • Full-fat milk sales grew by 9% in 2016 while low-fat milk sales slipped.
  • demand for dairy fat has resulted in prices increasing from $3,000 a tonne in mid-2016 to up to $S5,000 a tonne now.

In Sweden statistics from The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare show that Swedish butter consumption grew by almost 200% between 2005 and 2012 – while the incidence of heart attacks continued to fall. Swedes’ cardiovascular health improved despite eating more and more butter.

The old claim that increased butter consumption would increase the incidence of heart disease is defeated by reality.

The rehabilitation of fat represents the end of what Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard Medical School has called “the largest public health experiment in history”.

Low-fat dairy is not going to go away – people over 50 might be reluctant to give up the “low-fat-is-best beliefs” that they grew up with – but low-fat dairy’s share of the market – and particularly the premium market – will continue to decline as people rediscover the naturalness, pleasure and culinary usefulness of full-fat dairy.

Read more on the blog

Julian Mellentin

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NNB April 2017 Issue 59 2017

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