IRI predicts CPG trends for 2008

CHICAGO Information Resources, Inc. on Wednesday released its annual forecast of emerging consumer trends affecting the CPG industry—Consumer Trend Watch 2008.

According to the report, foods delivering specific health and wellness benefits, including disease management and prevention, will drive sales growth in 2008. “Food as health solution” items primed for exponential growth include those containing digestion-aiding probiotics, immunity-boosting ingredients and antioxidants. Energy enhancement is also a consumer-valued attribute IRI reports is positioned for an increased stake in overall market share. From caffeine-infused snack products to natural herb-formulated foods and beverages, such as Diet Pepsi Max, to breakfast cereals providing complex carbohydrates, new energy delivery systems will be the hallmark of new product growth across numerous categories.

Other emerging product trends IRI anticipates will play significant roles in 2008 include:

  • Sustainability-Driven Consumers: Growing consumer awareness of the environmental and social impact of their purchases will drive “green,” organic, fair trade and eco-friendly packaged product innovations and assortment options.
  • Multi-Tasking Products: With the mass expansion of product choices, consumers will be on the look out for items that cross categories and “do it all,” such as multiple ailment-treating medications and all-purpose household cleaning products.
  • Redefining Fresh: Consumers are broadening their definition of fresh at both ends of the spectrum, with some placing heavier restrictions on fresh to include only local produce and others considering frozen foods “as good as fresh” in taste and nutrition due to new steam-cooking technology and premium ingredients.
  • Natural Beauty: Cosmetic and skincare innovations will expand further into all-natural ingredients, offering chemical-wary consumers non-synthetic alternatives across multiple product lines.

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