For years, Americans professed a keen interest in products that had something--anything--to do with Saving the Rainforest. Today they've got more than just preservation on their minds: They want to
wash their faces and fortify their foods with ingredients from the Amazon jungle.
"'Saving the Rainforest' is passive when you're just giving to causes. People want to be more
active by supporting products and companies from that part of the world," said Lynn Dornblaser, director of custom solutions at Mintel International, which released its forecast today of the "10 Hot
Trends To Hit Supermarket Shelves In 2007."
It isn't all about sustainability and fair trade. People also have self-preservation in mind, and many rainforest botanicals offer wellness, natural
and anti-aging properties. "It's also about the exoticness and functionality of the ingredients," she said.
Odwalla and Bossa Nova juices are among the specialty brands to include
high-antioxidant rainforest ingredients such as the açaí and cupuaçu fruits. Mintel expects to see these in mainstream products next year, and also believes the beauty industry will
embrace the Amazonian trend even more than food marketers.
Dornblaser is most excited about changes in product packaging. "There's a new technology that allows manufacturers to create plastic
packaging from a corn-based source. That's big news for two reasons: It's very easily renewable and--more importantly--it can be commercially composted."
Corn-based polymer packaging is used by
Newman's Own Organics for its pre-washed spinach and by Biota Colorado Pure Spring Water.
Mintel's other trends for 2007 include: Ethical products: Sustainable and fair trade
goods will go mainstream, highlighting local and seasonal products and symbolizing a return to fresher ingredients with community-oriented ties. Refillable packaging: This is a strong
opportunity, as consumers look to save natural resources. Natural Beauty: The prediction is for more natural cosmetics and skincare products.Keeping it Simple:
Simplicity in products and messaging is expected to flood the consumer packaged-goods market next year. Tech-Advanced Initiatives: Consumers will start to see wider use of technology
to advance packaging, promotion and consumer tracking procedures. Internet Marketing: It's only going to get stronger, with companies reaching out to consumers through corporate and
brand-based blogs. Consumers will see increased promotions, online sweepstakes, giveaways and other initiatives in cyberspace. Traditional consumer marketing budgets will continue to migrate to
Web-based initiatives. Blooming Boomers: More initiatives will combat the senior stereotype, especially in the area of personal grooming products for older men. Teen
Spirit: Opportunities will grow for home-care products, such as the Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Light Show. The analysts see growth in snacks targeted to teens and a new focus on maintaining product
loyalty as teens reach adult age. Breakfast: The forecast is for new innovation and development. Beyond convenience, companies may look to bring back traditional aspects of the meal,
which have been diluted by the on-the-go trend.