Shoppers want transparency, FMI Trends report reveals

In a food supply chain that is rapidly undergoing upheaval, retailers that can meet a comprehensive shopper demand for transparency can win, Food Marketing Institute revealed in its 2017 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report, published Monday. According to FMI, “U.S. grocery shoppers want more than just information they desire transparency that engages them, offering assurances of food safety, the pursuit of health and wellness, the appetite for discovery and a closer connection to food.” The report was prepared by FMI and the Hartman Group and based on qualitative research fielded in the last quarter of 2016 and quantitative research conducted in the first quarter of 2017.


SPECIAL REPORT: Consumers and 'clean' food: Where is the clean label trend going next?

To the casual observer, ‘cleaning up’ our food sounds like an eminently sensible thing to do. But where is the clean label trend going, and is ditching every ingredient you can’t pronounce really the key to fixing the ‘broken’ food system (as Panera implies in a recent ad) or improving the health of people and the planet? Many food scientists – and dietitians would clearly beg to differ, and have been calling for a more nuanced debate on ‘chemicals’ in food for years. But the momentum behind the clean label movement is such that this is a bandwagon that no serious food marketer can afford to jump off, says Hartman Group SVP Shelley Balanko, PhD. “It’s about maintaining relevance for your target consumer," she tells FoodNavigatorUSA. "There was a time – probably a decade ago – where you could probably still say to a large mainstream brand, don’t worry about clean labels, but in a fairly short period of time, that sentiment [towards clean labels] has become mainstream. “This is the food culture now, so if you want your brand to stay relevant, to have a future, this is the direction you’ve got to go."

Healthy and handcrafted beverages add to appeal of fast casual dining

Purchases at fast casual chains have been on the rise while visits to traditional sit down restaurants have declined, according to The Hartman Group. “Fast casual represents fresher, higher quality, less processed, open production, all of those things that consumers have been saying they want and haven’t been able to get from traditional sit down or QSR,” Melissa Abbott, VP of culinary insights at The Hartman Group, told BeverageDaily. “It doesn’t matter how evolved the consumer is in terms of their health and wellness practices,” Abbott said. “When they’re going out for that grass fed burger or artisan pizza, they’re going to be looking for that housemade and housecrafted beverage.”




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