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Happy Agriculture Week! Food & Beverage Trends to Watch

Friday, March 18, 2016

Happy Friday everyone! As the work week comes to a close, so does another week: National Agriculture Week.


As part of this week of gratitude and awareness, we reflect on the importance of domestic agriculture as well as the new changes in this sphere.


Natural is the New Normal

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This is true even among our more indulgent treats. Just over a month ago Mars, Inc. announced they plan to remove all artificial color from its human food products. Nestle made a similar announcement last year.


A 2014 Nielsen study showed that more than 60% of Americans said the absence of artificial colors or flavors is important to their food purchase decisions.


At the same time, we’re seeing backlash against antibiotics in animals, a call for labelling GMOs, and the strong growth of organic foods, now nearing a milestone of 5% of total food market.


We at Watershed know this is not just a trend, it’s a new relationship to the earth and its cultivation. So Watershed Insights Division has put together an instructive list for those involved with food & beverage industry on trends to key an eye on:


Food & Beverage Trends to Watch

1. Gut-Health: The new darling of the nutrition beat, a well-flourished gut is top-of-mind for health nuts, but soon plausible as a mainstream concern as well.

2. Sense of Place: Drivers for transparency dictate not only a clear (intelligible) ingredient list, but also an indication of ingredient origin & effect of terroir. Community-emphasis and hyper-localism will continue to propel this forward.

3. Food Justice: Related to place of origin, issues of food justice – particularly worker conditions – will likely grow in importance in the consumer mind. Ruth Reichl points to this as the next frontier in the foodie world.

4. Sugar Alt: Facing attacks on all front, it’s not just politicos pushing for lower sugar. This trend is trickling down to consumers as well.

5. A ‘Mass’ Rebellion: As more small food & beverage entrepreneurs begin to spring up (empowered by direct-to-consumer marketing & sales channels), mass-produced food companies will face increased pressure. We’ll likely see the growth of unique sub-brand identities, as well as more acquisitions by larger brands.

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