Food Flavor and Ingredients Outlook 2010, 7th Edition

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

While Wall Street claims that the recession has ended, Main Street will continue to face financial challenges through most, if not all, of 2010. Frugal behaviors consumers adopted in 2009 are becoming engrained and reflect a new normal when it comes to shopping, dining and eating preferences for the foreseeable future. What constitutes value is being redefined and consumers are starting to make different choices than in years past that will drive their food and beverage purchases. Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2010 describes the trends that Packaged Facts predicts will influence the flavors and ingredients that will drive food and beverage selection at retail and in restaurants and other foodservice establishments in the coming year and beyond.

The 2010 edition of this annual report (which was first published in 2004) includes coverage of eight primary focus areas impacting flavor and ingredient trends. To assess the shift in trends over time, predictions for last year are summarized along with Packaged Facts’ expectations for 2010 in relation to:

  • International Flavors
  • Redefining Healthy Eating
  • Local Food Production and Sourcing
  • Reenacted Flavors
  • Savory Trends
  • Sweet Trends

Read an excerpt from this report below.

Report Methodology

The information in Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2010 is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research included interviews with the Hartman Group, the Kruse Company and the Center for Culinary Development in addition to firsthand examination of the retail marketplace. Secondary research involved gathering data from various trade, business and government sources, including company websites and Internet blogs.

What You’ll Get in This Report

Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2010 highlights predictions for the key drivers that will affect the U.S. food and beverage industry in 2010 including strategies to increase financial breathing room in tough economic times, redefining value, simplification, coping with and embracing change, anticipation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the heightened attention to eco-friendliness and all things green.

As compared with previous editions, this year’s report provides a separate chapter dedicated to local food production and sourcing given its growing importance. Coverage of sustainability has been expanded due to the increased market focus on this topic. An insightful discussion of ten key trends impacting food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators sheds light on how these areas are likely to unfold in the coming year.

Benefits of This Report Include:

  • Comprehensive coverage of the food flavors and ingredients trends expected to impact consumer food and beverage choices in 2010 contained in a single source
  • Insight into how flavor and ingredient trends are moving through the retail and foodservice arenas
  • In-depth assessment of how consumers, retailers and foodservice operators are redefining value
  • Reference citations provided for secondary research sources throughout the report

Market Insights: A Selection From The Report

Redefining Healthy Eating

2009: For 2009, Packaged Facts predicted that digestive health would be the number one health and wellness concern, with probiotics, prebiotics and fiber all increasing in importance. Development of portion controlled packages with ever decreasing calorie counts were expected to be a major focus area, along with establishment of front of the pack nutrition information without FDA involvement. Considerable effort was expected to be deployed against eliminating unnecessary and undesirable ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Enhanced waters promoting beauty from within, including mental well being, stress reduction and enhanced relaxation, were predicted to grow in popularity.

2010: Packaged Facts predicts that health and wellness topics in general will receive a lot of attention in 2010 due to the expected release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans late in the year. Most notably, sodium reduction and development of sodium reduced foods will be a focal point in 2010, along with the possible corollary recommendation for consumers to consume more dietary potassium. The amount of sugar, particularly in foods and beverages designed for children, will be scrutinized and there will be a bit of restraint when it comes to manufacturers making claims in relation to the benefits of pre and probiotics based on recent FDA action. Front of pack nutrition labeling will likely stall in 2010, as the FDA insists on taking time to study its options. Drinks promoting relaxation will continue to become more popular and more beverages intended to boost cognitive function (without claiming it) can be expected to gain a following.

French Food Still Alive

Well before the August release of Julie & Julia last year, Packaged Facts anticipated an increase in the prevalence of rustic French cuisine and charcuterie in 2009, based on consumer desire for more satisfying and authentic simplicity. (Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2009, Feb. 2009) The huge spike in sales of the Julia Child classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking brought about by the film could not have been anticipated. The cookbook buyer for Barnes & Noble indicated that seven times as many copies were sold in the month following the movie release than normally sell in an entire year. For the first time ever since its original publication in 1961, the book debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list on August 30, 2009, in the Advice and How-To category. (New York Times, Aug. 24, 2009)

Packaged Facts expects heightened interest in classic, rustic, and evolved, lighter French cuisine to continue well into 2010 thanks, in large part, to the renaissance brought about by the film. Its release on DVD shortly before Christmas 2009 will add momentum. Watch for more at-home dinner parties and numerous cooking classes featuring the traditional, butter-laden recipes for classic French dishes that made Julia famous, and some that demonstrate a bit more improvisation, and less fat.

In the News

Frugal Behaviors Adopted During Recession to Impact
Food and Beverage Trends in 2010 and Beyond

New York, January 27, 2010 — The frugal behaviors adopted during the recession are becoming engrained and reflect a new normal regarding consumer shopping, dining, and eating preferences.  What constitutes value is being redefined and consumers are making different choices than in years past that will drive their food and beverage purchases for the foreseeable future, according to Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2010, the sixth edition in an annual series by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

“The outlook for 2010 is best viewed with guarded optimism.  Consumer food and beverage choices will reflect the latest social and demographic trends, while also continuing to show financial restraint when it comes to where consumers shop for food and drink, where they dine, and the item and meal selections they make,” says Packaged Facts Publisher Don Montuori. 

Retailers, manufacturers and foodservice operators are expected to continue to appeal to the lingering thriftiness, capitalizing on recession-induced developments such as the surge in popularity of food trucks, which several high-end restaurants have used to introduce less expensive versions of existing menu items from their sit-down establishments and which increasingly feature gourmet cuisine prepared by chefs with impressive credentials. Meanwhile, the prevailing barrage of dining deals, dollar and value menus, and a sense that everything is on sale will likely continue at least until unemployment rates decline and the housing market shows significant signs of recovery late in 2010 or into 2011.

Packaged Facts predicts that one of the more enduring trends coming out of the recession will be simplification in all facets of life, food included.  In the coming year, more food and beverage manufacturers are expected to jump on the product reformulation bandwagon, offering new products with a reduced number of ingredients and substitutions that look less like chemicals and more like ingredients that convey the message that the products are healthier, fresher, more natural, and better tasting.

Consumer preference for healthier, more natural cuisines at affordable prices will shape food flavor and ingredient trends for the year. Japanese food made with sustainable seafood varieties will join the increasingly popular assortment of Korean fare in leading the way when it comes to Asian cuisine with a more mainstream focus.  Packaged Facts also predicts that sodium reduction and the development of sodium reduced foods will be a focal point throughout 2010, along with the possible corollary recommendation for greater consumption of dietary potassium.  And paralleling predictions in the 2009 edition of the report, stevia and agave are expected to gain momentum as alternative sweeteners that find their way more frequently into retail products.

Food Flavor and Ingredients Outlook 2010 highlights predictions for the key drivers that will affect the U.S. food and beverage industry in 2010, including strategies to increase financial breathing room in tough economic times, redefining value, simplification, coping with and embracing change, and the heightened attention to eco-friendliness and all things green.  To assess the shift in food flavor and ingredient trends over time, predictions for last year are summarized along with Packaged Facts’ expectations for 2010 in relation to: International Flavors, Redefining Healthy Eating, Local Food Production and Sourcing, Reenacted Flavors, Savory Trends, and Sweet Trends. 

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products.  Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.


Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Key Drivers
Financial Breathing Room
Value Redefined
Appetite for Change
Anticipation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines
Going Really Green
A Look Back and Ahead
International Flavors
Redefining Healthy Eating
Local Leads
Reenacted Flavors
Savory Sensations
Sweet Stuff Sells
Chapter 2: International Flavors
Asian Influence Grows
Korean and Korean Fusion Steal the Show
Japanese Here to Stay
Asian Sandwich Shops - The New, New York Deli?
New Horizons for Latin Food
Ethnic Retailing Trends
Hispanic Brands and Ingredients
Indian Brands
French Food Still Alive
Classes and Parties
Fear of Butter
American Southern Earns Its Place
Keeping Kosher - Commitment Continues
Unified Mediterranean Goes Mainstream
Chapter 3: Sustainability the World Can See
Big Box Drives Sustainable Product Index
Step 1: Supplier Assessment - 2010 Focus
Step 2: Lifecycle Analysis Database - Will it Take a Lifetime?
Step 3: Sustainability Ratings Everyone Will See
Waste Matters More
Ecological Worthiness - Checking the Score
Bigger Battles Ahead for Bottled Water
Consumer Tastes, Priorities Change
Local Communities Gain Clout
Fair Trade Flourishes
Who’ll Be Stuck Holding The Bag?
Bribing Consumers to Use Reusables
More Support for Banning Bags
Paper or Plastic - Taxing Either Way
Next Crackdown - Produce Bags
Make Room for Compost
Cities Get Serious
Foodservice Operators Out in Front
Manufacturers Join the Pile
More, More, More…Recyclable, Biodegradable, Compostable
Less, Less, Less….Packaging Material
Chipping at Shipping
Starbucks Outlets to Get Eco-Friendly Designs
Chapter 4: Local Leads
Farm to Table Movement - New Ideas to Cover Less Ground
More Thoughtful Mergers of Farming and Dining
Farmers’ Markets - Increasing, and Not Just Produce
Figure 4-1: Number of Operating Farmers Markets USA, 1994-2009
CSAs Go Hog Wild
Retailers Showcase Local Producers
Even Fresher When Home Delivered
Local in the Lunchroom = Healthier State Economy
National Brands Promote More Local Ingredients
Restaurant Chains - Will they Follow Chipotle’s Lead?
Eliminate the Local Farmer - Grow Produce at Home
Canning - Putting a Lid on Local
Chapter 5: Organic and Natural - A Fresh Perspective
Organic, Natural Sales - Proven Recession-Proof, What’s Next?
Shopper Strategies
Whole Foods Promotes Value
Compelling Organic Categories
Not More Nutritious, but So What?
USDA Definition - Hurry Up and Wait
Chapter 6: Food Safety for the 21st Century
Riskiest Foods
Table 6-1: CSPI Top Ten Riskiest Foods
Eggs and Produce in the Spotlight
New Legislation to Modernize & Enhance Food Safety
Provisions Added by the Senate
Industry Initiatives to Streamline Safety Efforts
Getting the Word Out
Reportable Food Registry - Another Way for FDA to Keep Tabs
Just How Cool is COOL?
BPA Debate Continues
Chinese Imports - Growing, Yes, but Safer?
Table 6-2: Select Agricultural and Seafood Imports from China, 2002 vs. 2008
U.S. Import Refusal History - Shaking a Scary Past
Fish and Shellfish - Continue to Lead the Way
Watching Out for Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Other Items
Chapter 7: Trends to Watch 2010
Retailers and Consumers Redefine Value - The New Normal
Store Brands - Quality Counts
What’s Next?
One-Stop Shopping - Hiatus or History?
Foodservice Winning Combo - Dining Deals AND Innovation
Serving It Up on Retail Shelves
More Food Trucks Get Rolling
New Meaning to Dining In or Out
What’s For Lunch?
Media Magnets, Social and Otherwise
Less Is More
More Like Homemade
Cinema Eateries - More Showings
Novel and Reenacted Flavors Grab Attention
Black Garlic
Crazy for Coconut Water
Fermented Food Fascination
Food Vetting
More Trading Up on Downscale Favorites
Burgers, Burgers, Everywhere!
Beyond Burgers - From Ordinary to Extraordinary
Chapter 8: Redefining Healthy Eating
Consumers More Aware of Impact of Food Choices on Health
Table 8-1: Consumer Awareness of Health-Benefit Pairings (%)
Nutrition Label Makeover - Front AND Back?
Attack on Obesity - Keeping it in Balance
Obesity Crackdown in Schools
Local Battles Needed
Calories: Counting, But is Anyone Cutting?
Kids’ Cereals Still Fun, But Not as Sweet
Aroma, Vinegar - Secret Weapons in War on Obesity?
Speculation Increases Over New Dietary Guidelines
Sodium - How Much is Too Much?
Potassium - A Magic Bullet?
Sugary Sodas Take a Hit
Saturated Fat Limit Too High?
Trans Fat - Get It All Out!
More Omega-3
Probiotics - Bad Turn for Good Bugs
Time to Relax - Energy Drink Backlash
Brain Food - Boosting Cognitive Function Without Claiming It
Chapter 9: Savory Sensations
Meaty Musings
Local Producers Spawn New Era of Butchering
Creative Uses for Offal
Lamb - Reenacted for the Recession
Poultry Pleasers
Fried Chicken - The Next Burger?
Grilled AND Fried
Can’t Get Enough Chicken!
Eggs Are Hot
Sustainable Seafood - Consumers More Caught Up
Small Solutions for a Big Problem
Once Committed, Say So!
Going Exclusively Sustainable
More Interesting Carbs
Grits Go Upscale
Quinoa Goes Mainstream
More Ancient Grains Add Variety
Flatbreads More Mainstream and Ethnic
Vegetables More Trendy
Sweet Potatoes Still Appealing
Kale - The Next “It” Vegetable?
Brussels Sprouts Still Trendy
Winter Squash - More Versatile and Mainstream
Vegetable Ceviche Heating Up
Chapter 10: Sweet Stuff Sells
Sweeteners to Watch
Schizophrenic Sugar
Full Steam Ahead for Stevia
Agave More Mainstream
New Directions for Beverages
Niche Soft Drinks Add Fizz
Big Brands Go Retro
Specialty Iced Teas Still Steeping
Coffee Battle - No Cooling Off Yet
Single Serve Brewing Still Hot
Phenomenal Fruit
Rediscovering Blackberries
Superfruit “Bashing” Tempers Excitement
Superfruits More Exotic than Nutritious
Ice Cream Goes Gourmet & Retro
Back To the Future
Sensational Sandwiches
Desserts - Retro and Comfort Lead the Way
Passion for Pies
Breakfast for Dessert
Appendix: Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation - Participating Companies

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook