Private Label Buyer

Bits & Pieces -- Jan. 18, 2011

January 18, 2011

Recent Trends in Food Flavors and Ingredients Examined
The slow, seemingly jobless recovery that defined 2010 will linger into 2011, further hampered by food inflation. At the same time, addressing America’s obesity epidemic will take on heightened importance. This combination of factors will impact consumer food and beverage selection, says the Packaged Facts report, “Food Flavors and Ingredients 2011.”  The report aims to highlight key flavor and ingredient trends for the coming.
Key drivers that will affect the U.S. food and beverage industry in 2011, according to Packaged Facts, include rising food prices, consumer desire to take control and remain tight-fisted, actual vs. perceived thrift, government and industry pressure for a healthier diet, and more focus on pragmatic lifestyle choices to promote happiness and well being.
Packaged Facts anticipates that food will get more attention as the foundation of health, and wellness activities will be better integrated into overall lifestyle. Continued focus on sodium reduction is expected to preoccupy packaged foods manufacturers, while foodservice scrambles to offer menu items with fewer calories in time to comply with federal healthcare legislation mandating its posting. Growing recognition that digestive health is a key link in promoting overall good health will help drive sales of yogurt and other foods containing probiotics, but gluten-free foods will likely show signs of slowing down after a year of unjustifiable, fad-like explosive growth.

Packaged Facts anticipates that drug stores will act more quickly and be more successful than convenience stores in exploiting the opportunity to address America’s food deserts. The nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreens, expanded the food sections of 10 Chicago stores in areas considered to be food deserts and they now contain more than 750 new food items. For more information on the Packaged Facts report go to:


More grocery shoppers are men

A recent Ad Age article says Mom is losing ground to Dad in the grocery aisle, with more than half of men now supposedly believing they control the shopping cart. The implications for marketers may be as disruptive as changes they're facing in media.
A study by Yahoo based on interviews last year of 2,400 U.S. men ages 18 to 64 finds more than half now identify themselves as the primary grocery shoppers in their households. Dads in particular are taking up the shopping cart, with about six in 10 identifying themselves as their household's decision maker on packaged goods, health, pet and clothing purchases. Not surprisingly, only 22 percent to 24 percent of men felt advertising in packaged goods, pet supplies or clothing speaks to them, according to the Yahoo survey.

Of course, in the survey, men could be overestimating their own role in shopping for the family. Lauren Weinberg, director-research and insights for Yahoo, acknowledges that could be possible -- and that women don't see them making as much progress on that front. But she said the fact that so many men now see themselves as masters of the shopping cart not only reflects real shifts but also means any stigma once attached to men as shoppers is fading fast.


FOP labels don't necessarily influence product purchasing intent

Front-of-pack labels may not sway customers from purchasing certain items in stores, suggests a September 11 Drug Store News story. The HealthFocus International study of more than 1,000 shoppers on their opinion of such labels and changes in purchase intent among 25 major brands with and without FOP labeling, found that 43 percent of shoppers say it’s unlikely that FOP labeling will impact their food choices. However, some purchase-intent scores changed by more than 25 percent.

HealthFocus noted that such terms as “better for you” and “indulgent” garnered different attention. For example, purchase intent for such products as frozen pizza dropped with the FOP information, while the purchase intent for some cookie brands rose. Purchase intent for pasta dropped with the FOP information, while some canned soup brands increased.


Whole Foods Market introduces frozen vegetable blends

Whole Foods Market is introducing eight frozen vegetable blends, developed under its Health Starts Here program. Launched under the company’s 365 Everyday Value brand, the new line offers flavor combinations free of added sodium, artificial preservatives, additives, or sweeteners.   Each 16-ounce package also features a Health Starts Here recipe.

These new frozen vegetables are available at Whole Foods stores nationwide at the suggested price of $1.99:

  • Garden Blend: carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas provide vitamins C and A
  • Four Seasons Blend: sugar snap peas, yellow squash, carrots and corn deliver vitamin A
  •  Harvest Blend: green peas, carrots, kale and corn offer vitamin A and fiber
  •  Soup and Stew Blend: a mix of spinach, asparagus, mushrooms and red potatoes
  •  Beans and Greens Blend: kidney beans, Great Northern beans and kale deliver iron and fiber
  • Blue Curled Kale: leafy green provide carotenoid and phytochemicals
  • Collard Greens
  • Leafy Greens: collards, kale and mustard greens offer vitamin A

Health Starts Here is an approach to healthy eating Whole Foods says is rooted in four principles: whole foods, plant-strong, nutrient dense and healthy fats.  For more information visit: