Food industry report shows consumers are moving out of economic crisis

March 8, 2013

Culinary Tides Inc. has released its report "Top 10 Trends Analysis — Shifting Sands 2013." The analysis covers government, technology, health, consumer, travel, beverage, and food & flavor trends hitting the food industry from now through Q1 2014.

Some of examples from the report include:

  • Governments and technology focuses on health and safety issues;
  • Health is dictated by obesity, cognitive function;
  • Consumers move from unfocused to directed;
  • Travel remains extreme, indicating continued confidence;
  • Beverage expands laterally with cocktails dominating;
  • Food interests cuts wider path with more extreme offerings.

The report is a cross analysis of 145 separate "Top 10" prediction lists for 2013 affecting the food industry. In all, 1,440 individual predictions were evaluated for their potential in the coming year.

Many of the predictions will be familiar as they are holdovers from previous years but remain strong in 2013 while others are newer to the food world. The trends are broken down by macro and then micro families which helps to establish their strengths and links to other existing trends.

Overall the trends indicated that consumers and food continue to move towards experimentation, according to Culinary Tides CEO Suzy Badaracco. There is strong evidence that consumers are moving out of the economic crisis both emotionally and behaviorally. The Food and Flavors, Consumer, Travel and Beverage sections all note more extreme behaviors and activities; a sense of risk taking, playfulness, courage and vulnerability.

The swings in behavior and desire in all sections are simultaneously wider and extreme in nature. This is a normal transition when coming out of recession and into recovery and therefore is a good sign that consumers mood is improving.

However, consumers are cautiously moving toward recovery and are still demanding authenticity and so this is not the time to "Americanize" global foods. Bring foods in from abroad in their truest form and represent them accurately on the plate. While consumers are letting go of their blanket of fear, created by the economic crisis and war overseas, be aware that they still have it in their line of sight. While fusion and molecular gastronomy will resurface this year, it is still too early to regain significant hold.

Some of the predictions you will see listed representing "Poster Children" for this new direction include:

  • Government – GMO, BPA, acrylamide, kids, obesity, food safety;
  • Health – Obesity, sugar, kids, apps, cognitive function;
  • Technology – QR codes, vending, digital storytelling, GMO;
  • Consumers – Newism, deal chic, recession rejection, health centric, green grows up;
  • Travel – Arctic, extreme Asia, island travel, digital detox;
  • Beverage – Cocktails, specialty ice, smoke, textures, bitters, tea;
  • Food & Flavor – Edgy, seasonal, daypart disintegration, pickled, wildcrafting, global comfort, Nordic, Low Country, regional Latin America, kids, fin to tail, noodles, smoked, wild game

For more information about purchasing "Top 10 Trends Analysis — Shifting Sands 2013," email or visit

Read more about food trends.

Topics: Food & Beverage , Trends / Statistics

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