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What’s trending in CPG?

From healthy alternatives to globally inspired fare, today's consumer trends are spurring a bevy of new CPG products.

5 min read



Kellogg Company

Today’s consumer packaged goods run the gamut from healthy to indulgent and everything in between. With consumers increasingly reaching for unique flavors, healthy alternatives to old standards and plant-based foods, CPG companies are taking notice and creating foods that meet these desires. Here’s a roundup of recent CPG trends and new products that cater to the them.

Plant-based foods

Seen as one of this year’s top trends, plant-based foods are making a splash on grocery shelves and even in the frozen aisle. In fact, Future Market Insights is forecasting annual growth in the plant-based snack food category through 2028, driven in part by a rise in vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diets.

Whole Foods Market also recently named plant-based foods as one of its top trends for 2019. “While plant-based foods aren’t exactly a new trend, our experts noted more people — even those who don’t eat only vegan or vegetarian — are exploring plant-based snacking as their palates crave adventure, want a break from meat or seek more ways to add savory umami flavors into snacks and meals,” the retailer found.

Atlantic Natural Foods Tuno: This plant-based alternative, which went into development five years ago with the help of seafood industry experts, will come in three flavors, including Spring Water with Sea Salt, Lemon Pepper, and Spicy Sriracha.

Green Giant Fresh meal bowls: These meal bowls are chock full of veggies, including butternut and carrot noodles, and are available in the refrigerated produce section. The Buddha Bowl, for example, features crumbled sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, roasted chickpeas and tahini sauce.

Archer Farms non-dairy ice cream: Target recently launched seven varieties of almond milk-based ice cream under its Archer Farms private label. Research from Global Market Insights shows the global non-dairy ice cream market will hit $1 billion by 2024.

Healthier alternatives

From low-carb and high-protein foods to those focusing on digestive health, CPG makers are rolling out healthy alternatives to old standards as consumers grow increasingly interested in health and wellness. Lou Jordano, chief marketing officer at consumer insight company Crimson Hexagon, wrote for CPG Matters that replacement foods have also been growing in popularity for several years. Items like zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice and almond milk fit the bill, according to Jordano.

As for digestive health, Nigel Hughes, global head of research and development for Kellogg, told Baking Business that the trend is certainly on the rise. “[I]f you need evidence that consumers are ready to seek that again, look no further than Australia,” he said. “Here, we didn’t have to do anything with our food. It already met the science-based needs of our consumer. We simply reintroduced gut health via effective communication on air and on pack. And these brands bounced back to growth.”

Kellogg HI! Happy Inside cereal: Kellogg has dubbed this a 3-in-1 cereal that boasts probiotics, prebiotics and fiber to help support digestive health. According to the company, 92% of American adults believe digestive health is important to their overall health.

Snickers More Protein: Mars is updating its classic Snickers bar in the UK to include a high-protein version, which is slated to hit shelves in January. The candy bars will include 10 grams of protein and 30% less sugar.

Rule Breaker Snacks Brownies and Blondies: Rule Breaker Snacks’ sweet treats are vegan and gluten-free, and boast chickpeas as the number one ingredient. The company was recently chosen to participate in PepsiCo’s Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator program.

Global flavors

Flavors from around the globe are whetting consumers’ appetites and making for interesting new CPG products. While world flavors have been a hit for several years, new and different iterations are becoming more popular. In fact, the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter panel believes one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be a regional palate shift that will see CPG products embracing street fare-focused flavors from Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

Additionally, Statista found that sales of ethnic food at retail are expected to grow from $10.9 million in 2013 to $12.5 million in 2018.

365 Everyday Value Passionfruit Coconut Swirl Fruit Bars: Among Whole Foods’ 2019 trend predictions is Pacific Rim flavors, and the retailer is rolling out several products that align with the trend. Other items include 365 Everyday Value Organic Strawberry Guava Pudding Mix and Guava Tropical Vinaigrette.

Saffron Road noodle bowls: Already known for its globally inspired flavors, Saffron Road recently released a line of Japanese frozen noodle bowls. The bowls come in four varieties, each featuring ramen or udon noodles and traditional ingredients ranging from white miso and freshly ground ginger to shiitake mushrooms and bok choy.

Herdez Taqueria Street Sauces: These sauces, which come in street food-style squeeze bottles, feature authentic ingredients like poblano, chile de arbol, and fire-roasted habanero and chipotle peppers.



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