Trends Spotted in the Netherlands

Trends Spotted in the Netherlands

Ever wonder what the inside of a shop inside Amsterdam looks like? Now you can get a little taste! Our intern Sydney took a trip to the Netherlands recently, and she took some snaps of awesome packaging that she saw. Here are a couple trends she spotted abroad. JUST ADD ______   There were a lot of pre-packaged goods that combined ingredients for ready made drinks and snacks. Teas with sweetener loaded onto a spoon waiting to be mixed into a cup of hot water were a favorite. “Festival in a Bottle” was an innovative way to add some excitement to a plain bottle of liquor with dehydrated fruits and spices. And for a delightfully simple mix-it-yourself refreshment, there were kits that included everything you’d need for a fresh gin & tonic.     QUITE THE CHARACTER The Dutch are embracing bright and bold colors, in contrast the modern packaging we typically see in the States. These eye-catching hues were seen in shelves all over stores. There were chocolate bars that sported vibrant, contrasting patterns that worked together in perfect chaos. In addition, there were a lot of whimsical illustrations and characters – even in products that aren’t necessarily marketed toward children. The shifty eyes on bottles of Karma Kombucha couldn’t be ignored when walking past the refrigerated section!      IN THE SPIRIT OF TRANSPARENCY One trend that’s clearly a hit across cultures is transparency – both in the literal, visual execution of packaging solutions, but also in the key messaging that brands are sending. The desire to eat “clean” has spurred a movement that pushes companies to lay everything out on the table – particularly ingredients. It...
Interact Category Specialists: Cereal & Granola

Interact Category Specialists: Cereal & Granola

Just when consumers are beginning to feel they have seen it all in the cereal and granola world, brands, as well as celebrity chefs, are coming out with new ways to flip the category on it’s head. Certain brands are making strides toward healthier options, ingredient transparency and the use of food byproducts as part of their formulations, while others are actually amplifying these traditional breakfast foods to be more indulgent than ever. (Kashi) TRANSPARENCY Cereal and granola don’t have the best reputation when it comes to a clean ingredient list, especially relating to sugar content. However, brands such as Kashi, and RX Bar are on a mission to prove that they aren’t afraid to show what their products are made of. In a recent redesign, Kashi decided to use close-up photos of their cereal and granola bars on their boxes to show how real their products are. Additionally, their granola bars are wrapped in a clear sleeve so the individual ingredients can be seen through the window on the front of the box. Aside from visually highlighting the product to relay ingredient transparency, boldly listing the individual ingredients can instill confidence in consumers that they can trust what they are eating. RX Bar utilizes a straightforward list of ingredients on their packaging to show consumers how clean and simple their products are. The last line of every list states “No B.S.”, which is one additional way of communicating their clean formulation.   (Regrained) FOOD BY-PRODUCTS As the concern surrounding food waste continues to grow, a few young brands have begun to play their part in utilizing food byproducts...
The Growth of Nut and Seed Butters

The Growth of Nut and Seed Butters

Peanut butter is a classic protein packed snack that’s versatile enough to be combined with just about anything. For a long time, it was the only kind of nut butter that people knew of. With constantly evolving consumer dietary needs, we’ve seen a boom in “butters” made from all kinds of different nuts and seeds. Here are a few aspects of this growing category that brands are taking into account: Source PRESENTATION The demand for peanut butter alternatives has resulted in an influx of “butters” made from ground almonds, cashews, pistachios and more. Often at a higher price point, it is common to see companies touting the healthy benefits of their product. Nutraw’s pistachio butter features packaging that is more elevated than what you might associate with a typical peanut butter jar, reflecting the minimal ingredients (stripped down to just pistachios, coconut oil and vanilla). Similarly, butters are increasingly being made from seeds – even ones you may not have ever thought to eat. Sunflower and pumpkin seed butters have been heralded as friendly options for consumers with nut allergies. Watermelon seed butter is unconventional yet intriguing. Sakara’s version appeals to consumers based on its aesthetic alone. The cream colored product is complemented by equally clean packaging, suggesting its simplicity and quality. Source INCLUSIONS Inclusions and unique flavors set brands apart in this ever growing category. Sesame seed butter is traditionally known as tahini, a main ingredient in hummus, but it’s making its way more and more into the butter category. Ilka’s Chai Sesame Butter appeals to create a more memorable and unique experience when spread over toast or fruit. Big Spoon Roasters also offer various nut butter flavors, like Espresso and Vanilla...
Organic Snacking Reaches New Heights

Organic Snacking Reaches New Heights

Organic is a term synonymous with fresh, high quality foods that are free of harmful additives. Over the last twenty years, the consumer demand for organic foods has steadily increased, and thus the range of available options has grown exponentially. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry, with sales growing from $3.7 billion in 1997 to more than $43 billion in 2015, according to a recent report by the The Environmental Working Group. The fresh food spaces like dairy and produce have contributed quite a bit to this, because they are staples we can easily imagine making that “farm to table” transition. Yet, one of the most highly demanded organic categories right now is snacks. Lots of on-the-go snacking options are highly processed – the ingredients required to preserve, color and flavor them are often a far cry from natural, let alone organic. However, busy lifestyles with a health conscious mindset have set the desire for quick and healthy food options at an all time high.   Ahead of the Game The organic snacking movement gained a lot of its momentum in the form of small companies with big personalities, often breaking away from their conventional competitors with unique offerings.  There continues to be a huge space for these types of brands. Hippeas are satisfyingly crunchy and savory snack featuring an unconventional chief ingredient: chickpeas. Similarly, Barnana pushes boundaries with good-for-you indulgence in the form of “upcycled bananas”. Both are focused on sustainability and conscious eating. By consistently finding ways to bring unique options to the table, companies are keeping organic as fresh...
Trend Watch // Healthy Rainbow Food

Trend Watch // Healthy Rainbow Food

There’s something magical about adding some vibrant color to the foods we eat every day. Though we may now realize that artificially colored and sugar packed cereals are not the greatest choice for breakfast, we can still choose health conscious options with a little whimsy sprinkled in. Enter Vibrant and Pure’s Unicorn Toast. At first glance, it’s a slice of bread adorned by food colored cream cheese applied in a dreamy, painterly fashion. Upon learning more, we find out that those colors are derived from natural ingredients, like beets, tumeric and chlorophyll. These combinations of ingredients might not sound appealing by the sound, but it is truly a treat to look at. The End in Brooklyn, New York is serving up unicorn “lattes” – colorful concoctions that give a natural and healthy energy boost. These drinks get their beautiful blue hue from spirulina extract, which is known for its health-giving phytonutrients that stimulate the body and mind. While being vegan-friendly and containing nutritional powerhouses, these drinks have some serious appeal Is this simply a passing food fad, or is it the start of a long lasting trend? We could see this spilling over into the cold pressed category, and definitely the healthy snacking spaces for kids and adults alike. What do you think? Email us at blake@interactonshelf.com   Cover image source: Vibrant and...
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...