6 Tasty Trends from the 2017 Fancy Food Show

6 Tasty Trends from the 2017 Fancy Food Show

Interact hit San Francisco last week to check out the latest and greatest in specialty food. We geared up with visits to the ferry building, the farmers market and the Good Food Awards before ending up at the 2017 Winter Fancy Foods Show. We had a great time hanging out with clients, industry friends and thought leaders! Here are our insights into what food trends will take prominence this year.   REDEFINING DIET While dietary trends are embracing fat these days, there is still a demand for nutritionally lighter foods. Brands are angling products in more creative ways to communicate them as lower calorie alternatives that still satisfy cravings.   Salami is not typically categorized as a “diet food”, but Meat Crafter’s Skinny Salamis sells itself as such with callouts for high protein and a lower calorie count.   The term “crisps” is being used as both a product identifier and a description of texture to convey a lighter snacking option. Cello Whisps are also calling out protein content and ingredients on package.   Urban Food’s integration of natural, nutrient rich foods in a bite sized snack is another way we’re seeing diet foods evolve.   SWEET MEETS HEAT Consumer palates are opening up to new taste experiences. Riding the coattails of the Sriracha boom, more spicy foods are emerging – but with the intriguing addition of sweeter flavors.   This spicy-sweet treat from Little Bird Curious Confections is perfect in place of traditional simple syrup to add a kick to your coffee and cocktails.   Any of Spice Mama’s complex yet balanced flavored chili sauces can easily stand in as a dip or...
2017 Packaging Trend Predictions

2017 Packaging Trend Predictions

We were fortunate to be asked by Bevnet to contribute to their Industry Voices piece discussing design and packaging trends for 2017, their impact in the non-alcoholic beverage category, and how they will evolve over the next year. You can read that piece featuring our creative director Fred Hart here. Our design team had some more to offer on the subject, so check out Interact’s additional up and coming trend predictions. CUSTOM STRUCTURES Brands are beginning to recognize the value of unique structures, and are more willing to incur additional costs if it means their product will stand apart from others in their categories. Alcoholic brands have been embracing specialty packaging for a long time, and non-alcoholic beverage brands are starting to echo this mentality. Simplistic products like bottled water have a major prospect to gain attention by using unique structures. This can also give them the opportunity to elevate to a higher price point.        PRINTING TECHNIQUES We saw a rise in CPG brands beginning to utilize different printing techniques such as spot matte & gloss in 2016, and we feel that will only continue to grow in 2017. The snack and beverage categories show the most potential to see experimental printing techniques in use.     TEXTURE Textured packaging has also made its way into the market, creating a different sensory experience for consumers. More beverages are featuring embossment, textured printing techniques, and unique materials.          CONCEPTUAL ILLUSTRATION Illustration can be huge part of making a brand stand out on shelves. It’s become one of the most popular ways of establishing a unique brand voice. A new wave of illustrators have been brought...
Hungry for Pasta Alternatives

Hungry for Pasta Alternatives

Innovation is a leading factor in the rise of functional foods. Consumers looking for alternatives to their favorite foods are becoming increasingly open minded to unconventional ingredients. “Milks” made from soy, nuts and even peas have stormed the market in the past ten years. These alternatives offer a variety of health benefits without the saturated fat and carbohydrates that can be associated with cow milk, and are among a slew of products making it easier to choose more plant-based options. This has helped to create a new platform for alternatives of dietary staples, from milk to meat to pasta.     While pasta is a hugely popular comfort food, its high carbohydrate, sugar and calorie counts are unappealing to modern health conscious audiences. Typically made from refined flour, “pasta is regarded by many as nothing more than a low-in-nutrients-but-high-in-carbs vehicle for tasty sauces” (Simon Baroke, Euromonitor). Whether motivated by food allergies, dietary choices or weight management, consumers are looking to upgrade their favorite foods to better suit their lifestyles – without having to forgo them entirely. Thus, the availability of pasta substitutes is expanding to accommodate this growing demand.     Pasta is most often purchased dry and uncooked, but products made from refined flour are making room in the aisle for a myriad of new vegetable based noodles. Legumes are a highly favored ingredient, with several brands introducing alternative pastas in this space over the past few years. Explore Cuisine offers a wide selection of bean-based pastas varying from black beans, adzuki beans, edamame, and mung beans. Similarly, Pedon’s More Than Pasta line boasts red lentil, green pea and chickpea varieties. While these alternatives may not stand up to traditional pasta in terms of flavor...
Press // Doctor D’s

Press // Doctor D’s

“The Doctor is in! Doctor D that is. This sparkling probiotic beverage is packed with live probiotics along with lactobacillus, digestive enzymes, and amino acids to support digestive health in a crisp, refreshing way. Doctor D’s partnered with fellow Colorado-based studio, INTERACT Boulder, to breathe new life into their brand and packaging. The objective was simple: increase visual impact in a chaotic kombucha/probiotic category, increase memorability and simplify the experience.”   We’ve been recognized by some great packaging design blogs for our work on the Doctor D’s probiotic drink rebrand. Check it out! The Dieline World Packaging...
Expanding Taste Palates at an Early Age

Expanding Taste Palates at an Early Age

Kids can be fickle eaters. Parents who have personally experienced this are often at the helm of food companies that specifically cater to introducing unique flavor profiles into youngster’s diets. The children’s food category is inundated with bland purees, snacks and meals, but establishing bolder flavors earlier on can mean that they will be more likely to become adventurous eaters.   The target audience for these products are generally millennial parents, catering to convenience and a desire for higher quality ingredients. The Little Foodie, an LA-based baby food delivery company, offers levels of foods that gradually introduce children to bold flavor combinations from infancy to toddlerhood. As a subscription service, it promises a stress free experience for the parent unsure of how to raise an adventurous eater. With vibrant and friendly packaging, it appeals to parents and their little ones alike.   Culture takes a leading role in the Latin Baby, which uses Latin herbs and spices to liven up vegetable purees. The company also brings West Indies Pumpkin (Calabaza) into many recipes. The product line is intended for babies 7 months and older, easily opening itself as a snacking possibility for all ages.   Squeeze pouches are hot in the kid’s food category for their ultra-convenient and eco-friendly packaging, and yet there seems to be little innovation in the development of flavors. Piccolo takes a leap away from the traditional with their Mediterranean inspired line of blended fruits and vegetables. Similar to other “junior foodie” geared companies, they offer varying stages of foods for different ages. With pureed meals like three-grain vegetable risotto, kids can to transition to solid...