Weight of food innovation in Europe / Source: www.xtcworldinnovation.com
- In Europe, the search for Pleasure maintains a steady pace, 54% of the innovative food products having been launched in 2011. Sweet and savoury recipes, special ingredients, hot and cold sensations, crunchy effects, etc. as part of the innovation plan, constitute ways of breaking up consumer monotony and respond to the need for novelty.
- We notice that the pleasure of sharing has new standards: the traditional meal being replaced by the pre-dinner aperitif, new cooking experiments (“doing it like a chef”, trying out molecular gastronomy, etc.), events, etc. This new style of sharing the pleasure of eating denotes a new, less individualistic lifestyle.
- Among the “trendy “tastes still on today’s menu, we note: speculoos, wasabi, goji berry, cocktail style, beer, ginger, fruit & vegetable mixtures, etc. In France, the demand for solutions to sophisticate dishes and recipes with the subtle introduction of sweet ingredients such as honey or cooking juices, is observed.
- As regards textures, contrasting effects are part of the model: crispy / fondant, soft / crunchy, etc. with a search for ingredients and new ideas for subtle inclusion (popcorn, pearls, syrup balls, cereals, etc.).
- Sophistication, an essential value for premium ranges, plays on audacity, reinvents classics (savoury macaroons, meat sushi, etc.). Restaurant specialties, bistro recipes and well-known chefs’ recipes also form part of the sophisticated innovative offering.
- We observe a strong demand for local products, using local ingredients, “made in”; meanwhile, the consumer seeks more concrete benefits, beyond simple information about product origin: an uncommon recipe, complete transparency of the manufacturing process, responsible practices, maintaining fair prices, etc.
- Health is also an element of nutrition, which is why consumers feel involved and take their responsibilities. The demand for complete transparency operates on several levels: origin of the ingredients, salt content, calories, labelling, few ingredients (clean label), etc.
- Managing food intolerance, an increasingly frequently identified and common problem, leads manufacturers to provide a “free from . . .” offer: gluten free and lactose free.
- The rise in life expectancy implies new Health concerns: new intolerance, bone health, etc. An unprecedented offer on the market concerns new age categories (post–adult, senior), promoting values of well-being, relaxation, zen, harmony, equilibrium, and inner peace.
- Convenient solutions are also dynamic. The offering responds to the needs arising from new lifestyles: mini format, use of kit to facilitate creative cooking, etc.
Innovation in Europe: 15 most innovative categories
- The success of frozen products is still the order of the day, with a lot of elaborated products, unknown and sophisticated recipes. The offering plays on audacity, notably in France and Spain.
- Dairy products are also dynamic categories, pleasure making a comeback in desserts and yogurts (crunchy textures, work on layers)
- The Meats categories also demonstrate much activity: inclusions, flavours, etc.
- Other dynamic categories are strongly linked to pleasure: ready-prepared meals, biscuits, chocolate products, etc. The offering responds to the new lifestyles: aperitif, nomadic, snack breaks, etc.