Food & Beverage

Food and Drinking. Ten Top Trends for 2014

Food and Drinking. Ten Top Trends for 2014
Yareah Magazine

Ten Top Trends for 2014: Community Spirit, Farm to Table Food, Waste Avoidance, Glorious Gluten-Free – 2014 will be the year when less is more!

Schlenkerla Rauchbier being poured from a cask

Schlenkerla Rauchbier being poured from a cask

Ten Top Trends for 2014: Community Spirit, Farm to Table Food, Waste Avoidance, Glorious Gluten-Free – 2014 will be the year when less is more!

–food&drink towers publishes the 8th edition of its annual Ten Top Trends Report today—

Introducing the 10 Top Trends for 2014

1. The Real Deal
2. Health and Happiness
3. Waste Avoidance
4. Celeb Influences
5. Farm To Table Food
6. Fresh & Flavourful
7. Mutton Dressed As Lamb
8. Glorious Gluten-Free Food
9. Community Spirit
10. A Different Kind of Ethnic 

London, United Kingdom, 9 December 2013: food&drink towers ( today publishes its widely anticipated annual ‘Ten Top Trends’ report free of charge for all 5,300+ members. The eighth-edition report highlights a wealth of new product development and marketing opportunities for brands to get stuck into over the next 12 months including industry opinion canvassed through one-to-one interviews, social media and an independent online survey of 148 people. 

Which of the following do you think will influence new product development and grow in popularity in 2014 (top seven of 14 options)?

• Craft beers – 63.1%
• Community spirit – allotments, pop-ups, community restaurants, tweet-ups – 58.5%
• Butchery – barbecues, roasts, stews, joints of meat, ribs and steak houses – 56.9%
• English wine – 49.2%
• Fruit and herb combinations – 40%
• Wild tea, bubble tea, tea smoothies, all things tea! – 35.4%
• Eccentric afternoon tea – 29.2%

Source: food&drink towers annual Ten Top Trends Report survey, 148 people, online October to December 6 2013.

The report was written by food journalist and brand consultant, Helen Lewis, who founded food&drink towers in October 2006 and is now director of parent company Literally PR Limited. Available to read in full upon request, at food&drink towers and the Literally PR blog, the trends report is designed to help food and drink brand owners, PRs and journalists focus their attentions on the opportunities for 2014.

Helen Lewis, author of the report and managing editor at food&drink towers, said: “The Ten Top Trends for 2014 report is an invaluable resource to food and drink companies that is now expected every year by small producers considering their first product launch as well as multinationals around the world. This report easily rivals those published by other companies…and it’s free! What’s the catch? We just ask that you visit food&drink towers regularly to access the latest news, features and press releases – it’s all free and there for you to use”.

Community Spirit
Almost 60% of respondents believe community spirit to be a hugely influential trend for 2014. We’re thinking allotments, pop-up restaurants, street food, local food markets and stalls, food clubs, wine and beer tasting clubs, even ‘tweet-ups’. Community Sprit brings the fun and social side back into dining, which are, in our opinion, vital to connecting a food/drink brand with the end user time and time again. 

Helen Lewis says: “Our experiences of working with the food&drink industry, and hearing directly from the producers, retailers and chefs at the coal-face, has helped shed light on what could be in store next year. Health will be hugely important, but we’re not talking about functional foods any more, we’re talking about fresh, flavourful, simple fare. Natural and delicious foods that help people to stay fit and healthy will be in demand – it is up to the food industry to decide how to position these to attract the right target audience in a creative way. 

“Gluten-free goodies one of our 10 trends for the first time this year, as more and more people choose to cut gluten from their diets entirely or occasionally. The passion of gluten-free producers to create delicious products that stand up in taste tests compared to ‘standard’ variants is incredible. 

“Overall, the food&drink industry remain positive about the year ahead citing various opportunities for innovation and marketing despite continuing economic challenges,” says Helen Lewis.

The Real Deal
According to the food&drink towers Ten Top Trends for 2014 report:
Despite economic difficulties being cited by 38% of respondents as very important and 40.5% as important in 2014, there still seems incredible interest in ‘Real Deal’ products such as craft beers, English wines, premium and indulgent goodies, artisan spices and herbs, which often come at a premium compared to economy ranges. When it comes to certain products/recipes/food/drink some shoppers are simply not prepared to settle for second best. 

Authenticity, localness and provenance were cited as the top trend of a list of 19 put to our 148 survey respondents. 59% believe it to be ‘very important’ for the food&drink industry in 2014 and a further 19% agree they are ‘important’. Nobody thought they were below importance and just 1.4% said they were of ‘average importance’. So everyone seems to agree that these three sub-trends are the Real Deal, but what does it mean for innovation in the coming year? 

Greg Parsons, MD at Cricketer Farm, ‘the home of healthy cheese’, thinks small producers will be the real winners in 2014: “Quick and nimble small producers have a distinct advantage over big multiples and food&drink brands. Whether it’s investing in seasonal small-run pack design or tweaking recipes fast, based on customer feedback, this is how small and regional producers can get one up on their larger counterparts.” 

“I think artisan food producers have great scope to do well online. Websites can be crafted to convey their soul and provenance just as much as a physical shop window.” – Emma Goss-Custard, Founder of Honeybuns, the “go-to” artisan bakery for gorgeous gluten free cakes.

Heritage, transparency, honesty, brand trust and provenance are imperative to the ‘Real Deal’ trend. John Gilfillan, MD of Delavals (Brewers) Ltd and Chairman of the National Trust Beer Club, explains that there is a clear heritage between the National Trust brand and the product of beer. He says: “Country House brewing was a way of life in Britain from between 1500 and 1900. A number of the large stately homes used to have working breweries on site and indeed they used to pay their workers in beer as well as supply local pubs. The National Trust manages a number of such stately homes (and owns approximately 60 pubs) as part of their portfolio of properties and so for us there is a very natural link”.

Health & Happiness
Healthy eating for children

Children’s nutrition is one of the biggest, most important areas for 2014 NPD according to our survey. The children’s chilled ready meal market, for example, is growing fast with players such as Mrs Tinks and Little Dish capturing the attention of busy parents, but this category has been in growth for a few years now. What’s the next big thing? founder Rosen says: “A good chef will put as much thought into the children’s food as the adults’ – assuming the kitchen is catering to them at all. You can tell a lot from the Kid’s section of a pub or restaurant menu. Are they an afterthought, with the usual bangers, chicken nuggets and other clichés?”

How important will children’s nutrition be in 2014?
• 69% – hugely important
• 22% – important
• 8% – average importance
• 1% – below average importance

Green Saffron anticipates an upsurge of interest in introducing spice to children from an early age. “Our range of spice blend sachets is an excellent way to introduce the whole family to the joys of spice; with the huge success of Rick Stein’s India and The Incredible Spicemen on the BBC, we anticipate an upsurge of interest in introducing spice to children from an early age – and we’re also seeing it from kids themselves,” says Arun Kapil, founder of Green Saffron. 

Another area of concern for parents is children’s nutrition away from the home, according to Greg Parsons at Cricketer Farm, where parents do not have control over their child’s food intake. A perfect example is school meals. However, there is good momentum being shown by the likes of Compass Group, catering supplier to more than 2000 education establishments across the UK. They are working to reduce calorie consumption across the group thanks to suppliers like Cricketer Farm, where the adoption of Cricketer’s Eatwell half fat, lower salt cheese has the potential to reduce calories consumed by their ‘end diners’ – students – by millions of calories, as well as tonnes of salt per year.

Glorious Gluten-Free Goodies
According to the Food Standards Agency, the British gluten-free market is worth £238 million annually and grew by more than 15% last year. In the US, it’s worth around $2.6 billion, with growth of 36% since 2006, and there are predictions that it will double in size over the next two years. Across Europe, demand is soaring – with even carb-loving citizens of countries like Italy now demanding gluten-free pasta and pizza. India with its growing middle class is also touted as a potential huge market.

The food&drink towers survey points to the categories expected to experience the biggest gains from the growing interest in gluten-free goodies:
1. Bread and baked goods
2. Cereals
3. Pasta
4. Pizzas, pies & pastries
5. Ready meals
6. Desserts

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