Look for the next generation of portioned packaging to appear on grocery shelves soon, as well as splashes of whiskey in unexpected places, according to the latest news from Mintel. The market research company, which reported its trend update at the recent Institute of Food Technologists confab, says that portion control continues to be the least-talked-about nutrition guidelines, and that it expects companies to begin exploiting that soon.
"As companies respond to the new U.S. nutrition guidelines, it appears that the most important issue is largely ignored by CPG companies -- portion size," the Chicago-based firm writes in its release. "Hundred-calorie packs helped the U.S. consumer think about easy ways to control consumption, but today the packages are less focused on just 100 calories and more focused on providing additional benefits."
Show attendees voted on the best-tasting portion-control products, with Sensible Portions Veggie Snacks Variety Pack from Canada taking first place, followed by Emerald Nut and Granola Mix in the U.S., and Krave Chocolate Hazelnut Cereal from Ireland with second and third.
The foodies also voted on new products based on taste: First place went to Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Peach Whiskey Sauce. (At the beginning of the year, Mintel had named the dark spirits flavor and ingredient trend as one of its key predictions.) International Delight Almond Joy Creamer, one of many new products using coconut flavoring, came in second. And SunGold Foods Sunflower Seed Spread came in third.
Mintel also reported that while the functional food trend still has some legs, with 56% of consumers having bought a functional food or beverage in the last three months, growth has slowed and the market appears to be stagnating. (In that category, attendees voted Special K Protein Shake from the U.S. as the favorite, followed by Nestle Plus Antioxidants Cereal from Belgium, and Special K Savory Herb Crackers from the U.S.)