Market Research Logo

Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2009

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

The dramatic economic events that unfolded on the world stage in 2008 were accompanied by fear, sheer panic and the realization that it is impossible to isolate serious problems on Wall Street from those on Main Street. With this as the backdrop heading into 2009, perceptions of the health of the overall economy and personal financial security will have a major impact on what consumers will eat and drink, both at home and away. The focus of this report, as in years past, is to highlight the flavor and ingredient trends anticipated in 2009 along with valuable insights relevant to the foodservice and retail markets.

In this edition, Packaged Facts takes a look at seven key categories that will drive flavor and ingredient trends in the coming years. To gauge how trends are (or are not) moving forward, we’ve included our expectations for last year, along with predictions for 2009 for each of the following categories:

  • Global Flavors
  • Sustainability
  • Local & Organic
  • Imports, Food Safety
  • Health & Wellness
  • Savory Selections
  • Sweet Salvation

Read an excerpt from this report below.

Report Methodology
The information in Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2009 is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved on-site examination of the retail place, interviews with marketing, public relations and industry analysts within the food market and consultants to the industry. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature and blogs.

What You’ll Get in this Report
Food Flavors & Ingredients Outlook 2009 makes important predictions and recommendations on the key drivers that will affect the food industry in 2009. Those drivers that will impact flavors and ingredients for foodservice and retail heading into 2009 include the recession, food inflation, health and wellness, and heightened consumer awareness and interest in environmentally friendly consumption decisions.

No other market research report provides the comprehensive analysis that Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2009 offers.

How You Will Benefit from this Report
Any food/beverage company that markets its products in the United States will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight on the changing nutritional mindset and the consumer palate not offered in any other single source. The fifth edition of Packaged Facts’ annual view into the food industry’s crystal ball analyzes how changing consumer preferences are affecting top ingredient trends, highlights what's hot and what's not, and discusses how flavor trends are moving through the retail and foodservice arenas.

Market Insights: A Selection From The Report

Local, Organic Evolve

2008: It was expected that the major food trend of the year would be local food and the associated notions of 100-mile menus, food miles, country of origin labeling (COOL) and concern about carbon footprint. It was anticipated that organics would become secondary to buying locally produced foods for many consumers. Increased use of farmers’ markets and home vegetable gardening were predicted to be on the rise along with artisanal chefs who grow their own food. A growing backlash against the use of bottled water was anticipated for environmental reasons.

2009: In 2009, Packaged Facts predicts that organic food purchases will be more selective and focused on fresh meat, dairy and produce, primarily for cost reasons. Consistent with 2008, use of more home vegetable gardening, community supported agriculture programs and farmers’ markets are expected to rise. There is likely to be more thought around executing local and seasonal menus, and how feasible it is to do so and still satisfy restaurant patrons. Social and ethical concerns, especially fair trade, are expected to take on greater importance, extending beyond coffee, tea and cocoa, particularly in the United States.

Sweet Salvation

2008: Last year Packaged Facts predicted that both dark chocolate and bite-size desserts would be the hottest sweet items in 2008 with savory and sweet combinations continuing as an important trend. Cheese courses and cheese plates were expected to become more common along with blurring of meal courses. More ethnic desserts and cobranded desserts were also anticipated.

2009: This year Packaged Facts expects bite-size desserts to become a permanent part of nearly all dessert menus, if not the only type available at some restaurants. Given that the primarily health-related preoccupation with dark chocolate has peaked, more moderate focus on chocolate is expected overall, with slightly more milk chocolate emphasized. The chocolate covered pretzel fad will start to die down while ethnic frozen desserts will gain greater appeal. Consumers will hear about, see and try more sweeteners positioned as natural, both caloric and non-caloric, including stevia and agave, and specialty yogurts will gain more of a foothold in the U.S. market.

In the News

Latest Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook Pegs Key Market Drivers

New York, February 2, 2009 - In the fifth and latest edition of the highly successful annual Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook series, market research publisher Packaged Facts investigates the key drivers expected to impact flavors and ingredients for foodservice and retail throughout 2009. Drivers identified include the recession, health and wellness, and heightened consumer interest in environmentally friendly consumption decisions.

For instance, using coupons, eating fewer meals out, preparing more home cooked meals from scratch, and substituting private label products for leading branded items are a few strategies Packaged Facts expects consumers to increasingly employ to combat the recession.

“It’s almost certain that the recession will continue through 2009, and that is motivating consumers to buckle down and embrace the new reality,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Being in the grip of recession has not deterred the growing interest in products that promote good health. Many consumers are concluding that spending a bit more on food products touting health benefits may serve as a form of affordable insurance to help avoid stratospheric medical bills later.

Meanwhile, the idea to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” is motivating consumers to indulge in environmentally friendly behaviors that are also easy on the wallet. Packaged Facts expects that substituting tap water for bottled, cloth napkins for paper, eating more leftovers, and consuming locally produced foods will become more commonplace.

Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2009 provides comprehensive information about the changing consumer nutritional mindset. Examined are seven key categories that will drive flavor and ingredient trends in the coming years: Global Flavors, Sustainability, Local & Organic, Imports/Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Savory Selections, and Sweet Salvation. The report also analyzes how changing consumer preferences are affecting top ingredient trends, what's hot and what's not, and how flavor trends are moving through retail and foodservice.

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


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope
    • Report Methodology
    • Key Drivers
      • Culture of Responsibility Heralds Consumption Aversion
      • Tradeoffs
      • Food Inflation
      • Health
      • Save Money, Save the Earth
      • Simple Pleasures
    • A Look Back and Ahead
    • World of Flavors
    • Health
    • Local, Organic Evolve
    • Cross Over Flavors
    • Savory Selections
    • Sweet Salvation
  • World of Flavors
    • Diverse America
    • What Comes After Chinese, Italian and Mexican?
      • Table Non-traditional Ethnic Foods Consumption by Age, Percent consuming twice a month or more
      • Looking Ahead
    • Rustic French
      • Charcuterie
    • Asian Always Appeals
      • Japanese Still Leads
      • Korean Gains
      • Pan-Asian More Popular
      • Ingredients Headed Mainstream
    • Mediterranean More Ubiquitous
      • Time for Spain to Shine
    • Persuasive Peruvian
    • Newcomers
      • Laos
      • Algeria
      • Kosher More Mainstream
    • Ethnic Foods at Retail
      • For the Masses
      • Targeting the Foreign Born
      • Looking Ahead
  • Sustainability - Center Stage
    • Sustainability, Society and Economics
    • Truly Green or Greenwashing?
    • Back to Basics: The 3 Rs
      • Reduce
      • Reuse, Recycle
    • Bag the Plastic
      • Or Break It Down
    • Fair Trade Sells
    • Ethical Sustainability - Sustainable in a Down Economy?
    • Battling Bottled Water
  • Local, Organic Evolve
    • Seasonal Menus: Aspiration, Reality or Mandate?
      • The Chain Challenge
      • New Kitchen Required?
    • Organics Stall
      • Consumers Less Committed
      • Retailers Feel the Pain
      • Pressure on Producers
      • Ethical, Fresh and Quality Also Compete
        • Table Importance of Various Labels When Selecting Foods and Beverages (percent)
    • Restaurants an Exception
    • Local vs. Organic: A Clear Winner?
      • Table Why Consumers Order Local and Organic Foods at Restaurants (percent)
      • Looking Ahead
    • Natural & Organic Regulations: Worth the Wait?
      • Questionable Certification Standards for Seafood
  • Imports, Food Safety Convergence
    • COOL Rules
    • Food Safety Concerns Increase
      • Consumers Lack Confidence
      • Salmonella Scapegoat: Tomatoes
      • Cutting Out the Middlemen
      • Bad Beef
      • Problematic Pork
      • China - Big Red Flag?
        • Table Select Agricultural and Seafood Imports from China (2006 vs. 2007) (in metric tons, thousands of dollars, and percent change)
      • The Melamine Crisis - Where Next?
        • Table Imports of Chinese Dairy Ingredients and Products (2007, YTD 2008) (metric tons)
      • Foreign Fish
      • Other Import Fears
  • Trend-watching
    • Trend #1: Comfort Foods
    • Trend #2: Store Brands Now Hip
      • Coupon Use At A Good Clip
    • Trend #3: More Brown Bag It
    • Trend #4: Dining Deals
    • Trend #5: Eating At Home: More Popular Than Cooking There
      • Supermarket Take-Out Still Growing
      • More Take Than Make
      • Frozen Pizza Heating Up
      • Kitchen Basics
    • Trend #6: Crossovers & Flavor Profiles Reach Out
      • Savory into Sweet: More Intermingling
      • Herbs
      • Bacon
      • Mojito
    • Trend #7: Breakfast is Back
    • Trend #8: Occasional Vegetarians on the Rise
    • Trend #9: Small Plates Still Big
    • Trend #10: Restaurants Go Under…Ground
  • Health
    • Obesity Still Weighs Heavy
      • Fewer Calories Count More
      • Small Plate Movement
    • Simplifying Nutrition Labels - Without the FDA
    • Digestive Health - Easier to Swallow
      • Good Bugs Lead the Way
      • Care and Feeding of Friendly Bugs
      • Fiber
    • Antioxidants Dominate
      • Table New Product Introductions With Select Superfruits (2004 - 2008) USA (average annual percent change)
    • Omega-3 Mainstream: DHA Breaks Out
    • No, No, No
      • Table New Product Introductions Carrying Select Avoidance Claims (2004 - 2008) USA (average annual percent change)
      • Trans Fat
      • Artificial Colors
      • Gluten
      • Lactose
      • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
    • Glycemic Index
    • Potassium
    • Beauty Doesn't Happen Overnight
  • Savory Selections
    • Eco-Friendly Seafood - Awareness Spreads but More Endangered
      • Sushi Scrutinized
      • Wake Up Call for Retailers
      • Hi Tech and Cheat Sheets Mean Smarter Choices
      • Top 10 Seafood Picks: Eco-Friendly or Not
        • Table Top 10 U.S. Seafood Consumption by Species (2005 - 2007)
    • Artisanal Cheese
      • Mass Appeal
      • Passion Reaches New Depths
      • American Cheese Redefined
    • Restaurants Redefine Protein
    • Meat & Poultry: Top and Tough
      • Economy Beef: Big on Flavor, Lower in Price
      • Upscale Burgers for a Growing Appetite
      • Beef for Hispanics
      • Beyond Beef
    • Chicken Clucks Along
    • No Barriers for Brown Rice
    • Venerable Vegetables
  • Sweet Salvation
    • Outlook Sweeter, But Less Sugary
      • New Era of Beverages: Natural AND No Calories
      • Sweetness, Pure and Simple
      • So Long, Sugar
      • Hello, Honey…. Agave and Maple
    • Small Desserts - No Big News
    • Non-Dairy Milks: Watch Out Soy
    • Yippee for Yogurt
      • Healthier Snacks and Desserts
      • Texture Adds Interest; More Filling
      • New Styles: Beyond Greek
      • Yogurt's New Shop Culture
    • Too Much Of A Good Thing?
      • Cupcakes Road Trip, Party On!
      • Chocolate -Taste Still Dictates
        • Table Number of Reports of New Chocolate Product Introductions USA (2004 - 2008) (average annual percent change)
    • Fruity Favorites
    • Fun and Fanciful
      • Gourmet Popsicles and Novel Frozen Treats
      • Sweet Treats Get More Personal
  • Sushi Pocket Guide
  • Seafood Pocket Guide

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

Share this report