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food&drink towers predicts ‘mood foods’ will experience a surge in popularity in 2012 and beyond

food&drink towers predicts 10 Top Trends for 2012 food&drink industry
Sixth annual edition of the Ten Top Trends Report will be published this week – and it is free to everyone!

The Ten Top Trends For 2012:

1. Regional producers get a boost
The food&drink towers Ten Top Trends for 2012 Survey identified that authenticity; provenance and ‘localness’ will be very important (19%) or important (51%) next year. Closely aligned to the sustainability benefits of ‘going local’, reducing the environmental footprint and increasing sustainability will be important to more than half of respondents. Despite this, ethical consumption including organics is expected to decline in importance in 2012, according to the food&drink towers survey.

2. Uplifting food and drink to improve our moods
Depression, which affects many people within society, stands out as a major area for development in the mood foods category. 25% say there is strong growth potential and 51% average growth potential for NPD in 2012. There are increasing links between nutrition and depression. Serotonin is a brain chemical believed to promote calmness and ease depression. Foods themselves don't contain serotonin but what you eat may be able to tip the balance in favour of increased serotonin production in the brain.

3. Packaging innovations to provide the answer
As costs are being cut across the food&drink industry supply chain, packaging will become a focus for brand owners keen to improve margins from production to market. Reducing packaging weight/size, also known as lightweighting, is not only an environmentally-friendly move, but it can result in cost savings over the long term.

4. Learning to…grow your own, bake your own, make your own
How much influence do cookery programmes such as Masterchef and Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers have on consumer shopping habits in general? According to food&drink towers’ Ten Top Trends for 2012 Survey, 23% say they’re hugely influential, 66% believe them to be influential and just 11% say they are not influential.

5. Foraging for truffles, mushrooms, wild berries and edible mini-beasts
Courses are available nationwide teaching people how to forage, what to look for, and then turning their discoveries into three-course meals. This is the ultimate in foodie heaven for those who enjoy getting stuck in! Innocent Smoothies sent five of its team to a 12-hour foraging course in Kent recently, and foodie magazines regularly feature celebrity chef recipes including wild mushrooms, truffles and wild berries.

6. Going beyond the dinner party – at-home dining occasions become more regular
People will invest a little more time and effort (but not necessarily money) into meal times on a more regular basis to cheer themselves up, entertain and add some fun to ‘just another working week’. Original recipes and unusual ingredients will be the focus for home-cooks who will be influenced by television programmes, foodie magazines, websites, social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and Smartphone apps.

7. Dusting off the recipe books and cooking from scratch
food&drink towers forecasts 2012 will be known as ‘the year of austerity’. As a nation we’ve spent a ridiculous fortune on recipe books over the years, many of which have been left on the shelves to gather dust. In 2012, people are expected to return to their cookery books (and other resources) to get a return on their investment, get more out of their kitchen gadgets and get more creative with their cooking.

8. Food on the go gets a facelift
As impulse sales are forecast to continue to rise in 2012 (albeit not into double figures), brands must work harder for their share of the grab and go market. Convenience will remain a priority, but health is also becoming an influential factor. People are looking for quick fixes for specific lifestyle issues such as fatigue and concentration. People are also looking to top up their vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and omega-3 intake in a convenient format.

9. Megatrends…on a budget
The food&drink towers Ten Top Trends for 2012 Survey showed that health on a budget will be hugely important (47%), followed by indulgence on a budget, convenience on a budget and premium indulgence.

10. Original food and drink pairing: inspiration for the nation
Companies such as French Bubbles operate Champagne pairing events, matching bubbly with sushi, chocolate and cheese. Restaurants are showing greater interest in providing wine, beer, cocktail and spirit matches to certain items on their menus.

food&drink towers will publish its sixth annual edition of the eagerly anticipated ‘Ten Top Trends for 2012’ report on Thursday 15th December 2011, and it will be available free of charge to all members of www.foodanddrinktowers.com. Advanced press copies are available now upon request – helen@foodanddrinktowers.co.uk.

Helen Lewis, managing editor/founder of www.foodanddrinktowers.com and freelance food journalist/consultant, says: “This ‘Ten Top Trends’ report provides a timely insight into the state of the UK food and drink market and makes predictions for the year ahead. At a time when investment in NPD, marketing, branding and advertising continues to be restricted by global economic turmoil, the food&drink business must now, more than ever, carefully consider its next moves to the advantage of the shareholders, the consumers and the retailers.

“Next steps in terms of new product launches, line extensions, packaging changes, marketing campaigns and expansion into new markets must all be carefully considered in line with the cost of development to the company, the brand’s integrity and image, loyal consumers and the environment. There are so many points to consider in today’s food and drink market, and the voice of the industry must be heard clearly amidst the fog and confusion of recent years. It is for this reason that food&drink towers has conducted an online survey of its 4,000+ members (representing the industry, PR specialists, journalists and consumers) especially for this report.”

171 people responded to the survey, conducted in November and December 2011, by Helen Lewis at food&drink towers. The full results will be made available for members of food&drink towers and upon request from Helen@foodanddrinktowers.co.uk in January 2012. As in previous reports, the ten top trends have been selected by Helen Lewis, managing editor and founder of www.foodanddrinktowers.com, who has worked as a freelance food journalist since 2004 and has supported numerous food and drink companies with their product launch, marketing, PR and branding strategies. To support the analysis, the online survey results are weaved into the report.

Extract from the report:
food&drink towers predicts ‘mood foods’ will experience a surge in popularity in 2012 and beyond, which is confirmed by the industry opinion survey. 44% believe they will increase in market value. A further 41% believe there will be stagnant market value for mood foods that make us feel better, such as food with added vitamins B and D, chocolate and energy drinks, which are a huge part of the functional food and drinks market. Only 3% predict a fall in market value in 2012.

Happiness and stress have been identified as the two ‘mood food’ areas that hold strong potential for growth in 2012 at 45% and 39% respectively. Energy, the biggest sub-category within the functional food and drinks market, continues to offer growth potential. 38% of respondents to the food&drink towers survey predict energy will show strong growth potential, and 41% agree it will offer average growth potential. Sleep/fatigue, one of the ten food&drink towers top trends for 2011, also shows good growth potential.

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Notes to editors:
If you would like a copy of the 2012 trends report, please contact Helen Lewis at helen@foodanddrinktowers.co.uk. Press copies are available ahead of publication upon request. You are welcome to reproduce the report for your publication(s) – please note that all references must be attributed to Helen Lewis, managing director of food&drink towers, unless otherwise stated. The report is ultimately the copyright of Helen Lewis at food&drink towers.

Registered members of food&drink towers can download the report, free of charge by logging on to www.foodanddrinktowers.com. A link to the report will be sent to all registered members on Thursday 15th December 2011. It is free to register at www.foodanddrinktowers.com if you have not already done so.

Background to food&drink towers:
food&drink towers was launched by Helen Lewis in October 2006 to increase communication within the food and drink market, and open opportunities for small and start-up companies. The site enables PRs, journalists, businesses and consumers to interact and increase their knowledge of the industry. Since October 9, 2006, more than 1300 news stories and features, and 3,600 press releases have been published; all of which are freely available online, and regularly accessed by journalists.

There are almost 4,000 subscribers to food&drink towers, who have access to the free daily news service including regular features. The light-hearted and informal news pages are packed with inspiration for journalists, updates on the latest trends for foodies, and insight into the important issues for those within the industry.

PRs can upload press releases, free of charge, for online publication (usually within 24 hours). Hundreds of journalists have registered to access the press release archive from trade magazines to online news sites, national and regional newspapers and consumer food publications.

We also offer an entry-level, bespoke PR service—you tell us what you’re looking for and we can help. We offer realistic prices and work with you as part of your team. We also offer a tailor-made photography package. Email: helen@foodanddrinktowers.co.uk for more details.

To upload a press release, you just have to register (it’s free) and then go to http://www.foodanddrinktowers.co.uk/press_upload.php. Press releases are published online as soon as possible. We also offer a Press Release Distribution Service, for just £20 per mailing, and there are various packages available to suit your budget – from freelancers to multinational PR companies.

About our report sponsors…

AOk Drinks
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Press enquiries to helen@aokdrinks.com / 07904801669.
Sales enquiries to stuart@aokdrinks.com.

Beet It Juice & Stamina Shots by James White Drinks / http://www.beet-it.com)
Based in Suffolk, James White press and bottle a wide range of apple juice and increasingly vegetable juices including Beet it our organic beetroot juice. James White also makes Big Tom spicy tomato juice - a fabulous bloody mary mixer and the Thorncroft range of botanical cordials including the original Elderflower, traditional Nettle, Rosehip and Pink Ginger and the well being range including Kombucha, an oriental revitalising drink and Detox.

Media and retail enquiries to: Lawrence@jameswhite.co.uk; 01473 890111.

Honeybuns
"Honeybuns is a small multi-award winning artisan bakery based on a farm in the heart of Dorset. Using natural and impeccably sourced ingredients, locally wherever possible, this little company has wowed food critics and customers alike with their range of delicious cakes, cookies and savouries, most of which are gluten free and some dairy free. Over half the range has won Gold at the prestigious National Great Taste Awards. The small bakery team make everything by hand in small batches, baking everything slowly in their vintage oven."

Media and retail enquiries to www.honeybuns.co.uk; thebee@honeybuns.co.uk; 01963 23597.

Oatly oat drinks
Suitable for vegans and vegetarians, Oatly oat drinks come in four long-life varieties: Chocolate, Enriched and Organic in one litre packs and Organic Dairy-Free Alternative to Cream in a handy 250ml carton. All Oatly oat drinks are lactose, milk protein and soya free so they’re great for anyone who suffers from milk protein allergy, lactose intolerance and/or an allergy to soya.

Oatly oat drinks are a tasty, refreshing drink on their own and also make a great low-fat addition to a fruit smoothie. And Oatly is heat-stable, so it is also ideal for use in cooking and baking instead of dairy milk or cream. Everyone can enjoy the great taste and health benefits of Oatly. Naturally low in saturated fat and containing soluble fibre, Oatly helps lower cholesterol levels as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle: just one 250ml glass of Oatly provides a third (1g) of the daily requirement of beta-glucan (soluble fibre) for cholesterol reduction.

Oatly long-life oat drinks are available from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, ASDA and EH Booths stores as well as Holland & Barrett and independent health stores: Oatly Organic and Oatly Enriched cost around £1.39 for a 1 litre pack, Oatly Chocolate is around £1.55 for a 1 litre pack and Oatly Organic Dairy-Free Alternative to Cream is around 82p for a 250ml pack. Oatly stays fresh for 4-6 days in the refrigerator after opening.

Further information about Oatly and a range of recipes can be found at www.oatly.co.uk. Retailers can contact Oatly’s importers Wassen International on info@wassen.com, 01372 379828. Please address media enquiries to Grand Union PR, philippa@grandunionpr.com, 01442 824844.

Oxwich Communications Ltd
PR, Marketing and Copywriting services
Oxwich Communications Ltd is a boutique PR agency offering a range of public relations, marketing and copywriting services for businesses, products and events. From new product/line launches and sampling events to supermarket and restaurant openings, our food and drink PR experience includes: Delia Smith for Delia’s Canary Catering Food and Wine Workshops and Yellows Diner Restaurant opening, Chef and Author Alex MacKay, Chilford Hall Vineyard and Conference Centre and Langley Larder Catering Services.

Contact: Laura Hazell, Managing Director, Oxwich Communications Ltd
0845 226 7469 info@oxwichcommunications.com.

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