2015 Trends: Changing Palates, Transparency, Trade

For foodies and food professionals alike, 2015 should turn out to be an interesting, exciting year. New labeling laws in the EU and US; new flavors for changing demographics; novel foods to save future generations, and the potential for sweeping free trade agreements between the US, Asia  and the European Union. We scanned hundreds of sources and summarized the most important trends and developments that are likely to make headlines in next two years:

EU Label Law_edited-1The Quest for Transparency and “The Right to Know”

Eating food is easy, but the path from seed to stomach has become ever more complex and complicated. As consumers demand ever more quality, safety, flavors and package sizes at ever-lower prices, food producers, retail stores, and restaurants owners (have to) use ever-new processes, food science, and biotech ingredients to fill demand. What fell by the wayside is a solid understanding of what’s in a food product and how it affects health and well-being.

This is about to change:

  1. European and US regulators have enacted new labeling and food safety laws that come in effect in 2015 and 2016, all designed to provide more transparency around ingredients, origins and caloric values.NON GMO Project
  2. The “Right To Know” movement in the US demanding the identification of genetically modified ingredients (GMO) in everyday food is getting stronger, with a mandate in Vermont pending
  3. As morbid obesity has been declared a disease by the American Medical Association and now qualifies as disability in the EU, health insurers will ask consumers to take the time, get informed and make the right nutritional choices for themselves Read On…

New Consumers, New Flavors

Hagebutten Shake1Long term demographic changes influence what new flavors and food products will be sold and consumed in the US and Europe over the next few years. In the US,  a child is born every 8 seconds. Just in 2014, the US population grew by 2.5 million people (including immigration) to reach 320 million. Different kinds of family structures have evolved, the average household size decreased over the years, „Millenials and Generation Z“ (the marketers terms for young folks between the ages of 15 to 35) determine, what’s hip and what’s not, as do “minorities” who today constitute the “majority” in many large urban markets. Here are the predictions of food trends from the Specialty Food Association , the National Restaurant Association, and the world’s leading flavor provider McCormick & Company:   Read On…

Novel Foods to Save Future Generations

GreenhouseIndustrial farms, biotech firms and global mega food corporations provided safe, reliable and low cost foods for 7 billion global consumers over the past decades. With efficient operations and large budgets to research and develop new products, “Big Ag & Big Food” has undoubtedly helped to mitigate hunger and increase nutrition around the globe. However, large-scale industrial agriculture and food production has also been part of the global environmental and health problems, contributing to climate change, soil erosion and over-consumption. Entrepreneurs in various countries, some supported by Silicon Valley high tech investors, have come up with intriguing new ideas to feed a growing global population with environmentally and socially sustainable methods. Whether they will appeal to consumers is yet to be seen. Read On…

New Era for International Trade

Cargo Ship3A nation’s economic prosperity depends on open and free trade with other nations and the international community is trying hard for the past 60 years to lower trade barriers, alas, with mixed success. The latest attempt to establish global free trade, administered by the Word Trade Organization, dubbed the Doha Round, went nowhere. So, the main economic centers are now working on bilateral deals, called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP = US and various Asian countries), and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP = US and the European Union). Despite ferocious opposition by vocal consumer and special interest groups, it is widely believed, that these trade deals are inevitable and will be signed in the next two years. Read On…