Food Trends Impacting the Cleaning Industry

Food Trends Impacting the Cleaning Industry

Before the clean eating movement, food production was motivated by what created the best flavor. And more often than not, that was achieved by using artificial flavors and colors. Now, as we see consumers favoring brands that are natural and organic over conventional, million dollar brands are left playing catch up. Big food is realizing that they need to offer more organic options to compete in the same space.   This movement has trickled into the cleaning product industry too.  This effect began with food (with consumers voicing concern about what they’re putting in their bodies), to cosmetics (what’s being put on the body) to cleaning products (what’s around the body). It’s had enough of an effect that Clorox removed its brand name altogether in favor of a new brand, Greenworks.   There’s an increasingly amount of food motifs emerging in cosmetics and cleaning products. Culinary flavors like thyme with fig leaf and lemon ginger are being applied to household items like dishwasher detergent pods and floor cleaner. The USDA certified organic certification is even being sported on non-edible items like laundry detergent! Packaging design of conventional cleaning products has traditionally been loud and colorful, accented by visual elements like bursts and gradients which reinforce how well they clean. In contrast, natural product design often features white or transparent structures and simple color palettes.   At Expo East, we discovered a lot of new cleaning products that are challenging the category in different ways – be it by reinforcing efficacy, leaning on nature’s beauty or making brand promises. These trends in cleaning products are not only challenging the category,...
The State of Snacking in 2017

The State of Snacking in 2017

Snacking has evolved to be a more frequent occasion, with an increase in consumers snacking 5 times or more per day. The driving factor behind this is both for the sake of indulgence, and consciously seeking out health benefits. Both areas are growing, but indulgent snacks are still in the lead. Though the choices are becoming increasingly abundant and descriptors for categories are blurred, there are some growing categories of note. PROTEIN POWER Greek yogurt is a high protein option, and Chobani Flip combines it with other diverse ingredient mix-ins.   FARM TO YOU Quinn Snacks “Farm to Bag” model appeals to consumers looking for authenticity in food sourcing.   SNACK BOXES Lunchables aren’t just for kids anymore – there’s a surge in snack boxes that offer sweet and savory bites to tide an appetite over.   RESEALABLE PACKAGING Eat some now, save some for later – these multi serving packs are easy for on-the-go snacking   FRUIT & NUT MEDLEYS  Getting your daily servings of fruit in is now possible in a multitude of ways, going beyond the traditional bar. TAKE A DIP Dipping options both sweet and savory are popping up in convenient packages. Credit: Sweets and Snacks: 2017 State of the Snack Food...
Adaptogens on the Rise

Adaptogens on the Rise

We’re seeing lots of products that tout the magic of adaptogenic herbs springing up in 2017.   Some of these herbal concoctions are designed to ease stress. And some are meant to stimulate cognitive function.   They include various combinations of plants known to aid wellbeing, even CBD cannabis oil.   Companies are getting innovative with the ways that adaptogens can be delivered.   And while many are positioned for health benefits, some are marketed specifically for beauty regimens. A line of RTD beverage options are available in stores nationwide.   With increasing popularity and strong health product positioning, we could see this trend move beyond the beverage category and begin to manifest in snacks like crackers and fruit snacks, and even ready to eat meal options that are enhanced with adaptogenic herbs in the near future. We’re keeping our eyes peeled!...
The Future of Synthetic Food

The Future of Synthetic Food

We’re in a time and place where nut milks and natural sweeteners are the norm. Born out of the desire for alternatives, the food system is constantly being pushed forward by innovations. Synthetic is on the opposite side of the spectrum from organically grown, but there’s enough drive behind some of these products to shift perceptions about these man-made foods. Meat alternatives have been on the rise, showcasing largely unheard of ingredients that rival the texture of meat, shoving aside the soy laden options that dominated pre-prepared vegan fare for so long. Yet, there hasn’t been a bonafide replacement for the taste and texture that natural meat offers… Until now. Enter “clean meat”. Memphis Meats Inc. is by stepping the need to raise and slaughter livestock by creating a meat with cell cultures. Producing this at a mass scale would mitigate the issues that the current meat industry struggles with today, such as energy and water usage, as well as food safety. This new meat is slated to be similar in cost to traditional meat. Wine is an ancient and beloved drink. Today, its scale of production taps into a lot of precious resources to grow the grapes from which it is made. Ava Winery is producing synthetic wine that comes with all the fragrance and alcoholic buzz as your favorite wine, but that uses a fraction of the resources that natural wine does. The company advocates for transparency, sustainability and cost efficiency. While synthetic food businesses are seeing a bright future, companies are experimenting in other innovative ways to shift what food can do. Miso paste is traditionally...
The Double-Edged Sword of Natural

The Double-Edged Sword of Natural

Since the dawn of man, we’ve been obsessed with food, and if you need evidence in this day and age, look no further than a millennial’s Instagram. Food has and will always be a means of survival, but for many, foods role has evolved from sustenance to enjoyment. Prominent trends such as Transparency, Veganism, Mindfulness, Freshness are at the forefront. One Master Trend overrules them all simplicity in food. We all win… Or do we? We’re in a race to the bottom of an ingredient list. We are removing as much over-processing as possible. These are all good things, but… In the process, an important equity has been lost – taste differentiation. Which is something Big Food always benefitted from.     And for decades, Big Food has built brands on the pleasure of taste… irreproducible, proprietary, unnatural but ultimately delicious taste. A locavore or organictarian, with a gun to its head, would choose an Oreo over a private label knockoff, no questions asked. A Dorito over a cheese flavored tortilla chip. A Coke over cola. Intensive food science, heavy processing and laboratories that double as “kitchens” gave way to these patented, competitive brand advantages. These fabricated flavors turned products into household names, and ultimately billion-dollar brands. Yet the same practice that built Big Food up, is now responsible for its demise and vilification. Less Ingredients + Less Processing + Less Engineering = Commodities. So the natural foods industry is now faced with answering the tough question of how do you democratize natural food without falling victim to the dreaded C-word; commoditization? How do you build a meaningful brand without the type of flavor differentiation Big Food benefitted...
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...