By Jeff Pieters, The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Locally made and healthier than before — those are some of the food trends identified by Nestle in its 2013 forecast published this week.
Consumers are more health conscious today than ever before — for themselves and for their children, the company says in introducing its predictions.
Among the expected trends:
- Food companies will invest more in local and regional production of frozen and prepared foods to offer fresher choices.
- Bottled water will take market share away from soda and other carbonated soft drinks. In fact, bottled water may even outsell soda in grocery stores in some parts of the United States.
- Food trucks for dogs will be an emerging business — and in fact, Rochester already has one: Bone Appetit Canine Bakery, a gourmet bakery with a mobile store that visits local parks and special events.
- Ethnic foods will emerge as more than half of the U.S. population growth is non-white.
- Vegetables will gain prominence as a main course alternative to meat.
Nestle is not the only company making food forecasts.
Baum & Whiteman, a restaurant consulting firm, predicts a rise in lawsuits spawned by falsely labeled nature, local or organic brands, and more pop-up restaurants to capitalize on a consumer trend toward more snacking between meals.
Sterling-Rice Group, another consultant, predicts a flavor trend moving from sweet, salty and fatty to tart, acidic and bitter, and away from bacon and toward beets.
Like Nestle, Sterling-Rice predicts a rise in vegetable consumption, but adds that popcorn will be “the snack of 2013.”