In its new report, A Look into the Future of Eating, The NPD Group, a leading market research company, forecasts that “better for you” foods, such as consumer-spend-insightsorganic and light or low-calorie foods and beverages, will be among the fastest growing food trends over the next decade. Restaurant meals eaten at home and appetizers eaten as in-home main meals are also expected to be among the fastest growing food trends, according to the report. The new report provides a ten-year forecast of eating trends based on generational influences, population, and trend momentum gathered from NPD’s 30-years of tracking America’s eating patterns. The report covers a broad spectrum of food and beverage categories, preparation methods, meal situations, and other food-related behaviors. “As the population ages, levels of concern regarding food and nutrition are expected to rise,” says Ann Hanson, author of A Look into The Future of Eating and director of product development at NPD.  “For this reason, ‘better for you’ food options are forecasted to grow strongly over the next ten years.” The NPD report also identifies the foods that will be declining over the next ten years. Among the foods forecasted to decline are quick assembly lunch/dinner foods, which are dominated by sandwiches; certain breakfast foods; and side dish breads. “NPD has been continuously tracking eating habits in the U.S. since 1980, and now we’ve taken the next step and looked at what Americans will be eating in the future,” says Hanson. “The study’s findings have major implications for food companies in terms of long-term product and packaging innovation, distribution, and recipe development.”

Eating Behaviors to Grow More Important During the Next Decade
Organic 41%
Restaurant meals eaten in-home 20%
Light/lite/diet/low calorie label 18%
Salty/savory snack foods 16%
Easy meals, e.g. fruit, snacks as meals, yogurt, bars, etc. 16%
Appetizers eaten as in-home main meals 16%
Leftovers as end dish foods 15%
Fresh as end dish foods 14%

Source: “A Look into the Future of Eating,” conducted by The NPD Group, July 7, 2009. Website: www.npd.com.