MSLGroup: Trends in Mobile American Food Culture

foodAs Americans become more connected through mobile devices, researchers predict our dining experiences will follow suit. MSLGROUP North America’s food PR and marketing team follow trends and industry research, examining America’s food industry “from farm to fork.” They also explore social media influences on food and beverage choices. In an annual list of 10 top food predictions, industry experts on the Food & Beverage Specialty Team of MSLGROUP North America., the MSLGROUP suggest favorite foods will increasingly be made portable, portioned and personalized to mobile life in North America.

Steve Bryant, Director, Food & Beverage, MSLGROUP North America explains:

“Products like single-serve coffee pods, one-liter boxed wine and high-protein snack packs will come on stronger to add more portability and accommodate our snacking mania. In many cases, these innovations will also prove more sustainable, thanks to less food spoilage and lower energy demands for transportation.”

The agency’s Clicks & Cravings study earlier this year showed just how dramatically social media is shifting the food landscape.  According to Joy Blakeslee:

“We see social media as a food trend accelerator, permitting new foods and food ideas or issues to be quickly popularized.”

According to it’s recent press release, MSLGROUP’s Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2013 are:

1)   Coffee: Stronger Than Ever.  The #1 source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, coffee, has seen more than 100% recent growth in the single-serve coffee category.

2)   Trendy Preservation.  Cured, brined, pickled and fermented items like Korean kimchi, brined Moroccan lemons, citrus cured Peruvian ceviche, and pickled Mexican carrots are eclipsing the popularity of fresher alternatives.

3)   Stealthy Healthy.   The market for handy healthy foods is also being catered to as food scientists and chefs continue to create tasty salt alternatives, healthier types of fats and new natural no-calorie sweeteners like monk fruit. “These ingredients will create better-for-you packaged foods that taste-sensitive consumers won’t even notice.”

4)   Wine-In-A-Box Gone Wild.  With lower shipping costs, boxed wine not only eliminates the risk of oxidation found in “corked” wine, it lowers shipping costs. Higher quality wine producers are expected to create single-serve options to cater to Millennials and the large individual household market.

5)   Fantasy Food Sharing.  The “connected table” of virtual sharing will increase in popularity as people share recipes and food experiences with social media sites like Pinterest (where food pins are more popular than all other categories), Taste Spotting and Food Gawker.

6)   No-Facts-Barred Food Labeling.  Food politics will remain an important discussion/initiative as consumers fight for right-to-know food labeling transparency and ingredient disclosure about biotechnology and origin.

7)   Protein on the Go.  As grab and go snacks can serve as any meal substitute, researchers predict an “explosion” of protein-fortified bars, beverages and salty snacks (such as bean chips). Soon, we should see a rise in high-protein products specially formulated for men and women.

8)   Bitter Flavors.  Bitterness adds balance to food and is often indicates antioxidants. “Sales of famously bitter Campari liquor are already up by 16 percent since last year.”

9)   Off with the White Table Cloth!  Casual dining will grow as the convenient gourmet street food and food truck fare trend continues to influence sit-down dining settings. “People want more casual experiences, even at higher price points.”

10) Coconut Crazy.   The natural electrolytes found in coconut water, non-dairy substitute of coconut milk beverages, and proposed health benefits of these and other products like coconut oil, make the coconut trend a “craze.”

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