Mobile Foods Apps, Transparency in Labeling Among Top Supermarket Trends Predicted for 2011

Phil Lempert, also known as the Supermarket Guru, has predicted some of the top food Trends for 2011.

"The updated USDA dietary guidelines – in conjunction with technological advancements and the First Lady's 'Let's Move' program – will mark 2011 as the year that empowered Americans to make permanent, positive changes in their diets," according to Lempert. "Finally, people will stop lasering in on single nutrients and begin approaching food holistically. As shoppers circle the aisles seeking foods rich in substance, vitamins and minerals, the brands that communicate clearly and genuinely will be poised for success." 

The Top 5 Trends that Americans can expect to see at their supermarket in 2011 include:

  • Big Appetite for Apps: Value and convenience continue to top shoppers' lists, so in 2011, consumers will utilize mobile food applications at every point in the grocery store. Instant messages boasting specials will target shoppers' likes and dislikes and offer savings. In the aisles, a scan of an item's bar code will provide detailed information to inform purchasing decisions, and at the checkout, mobile devices will "talk" to the self-​checkout and download coupons, frequent shopper bonuses and deduct the total bill from the shopper's checking account.
  • Clear Claims: 2010's efforts to slim labels will continue as brands' ingredient statements shrink in length and feature simplified language. In response to shoppers' hunger for food information with substance, the look of the produce department will change dramatically as supermarkets add stickers directly onto pieces of produce to highlight the meaningful vitamins, minerals and fiber contained within.
  • Vitamin D: Driven by research emphasizing vitamin D deficiencies in Americans, look for naturally occurring vitamin D to be touted everywhere, stressing convenient sources of the important nutrient. This will be especially prevalent in the dairy aisle as milk gears up for a big comeback. When it comes to milk, this time around it's all about "white," as flavored, colored and sweet varieties make their way out.
  • Shift from Local to Regional: As consumers and retailers begin to understand that it is impossible to have all food produced within 100 miles of where they live, look for regional to emerge based on the tastes and culture of the areas where they're sold.
  • Big Easy Seafood: As the Gulf repairs itself, anticipate a spiritual and economic rally to support New Orleans and the region's seafood. Retailers will create major themed promotional events that extend well beyond Mardi Gras to position the Gulf Region as the new epicenter for food.

In addition, brands will change the way they solicit meaningful customer input in an effort to offer great value while controlling new product failure rates.   Signifying a shift in in-​store sample strategy, companies will sample innovative products in stores before they hit the shelves as brands prepare to battle it out for shopper dollars.

[Source:  "Supermarket Guru Predicts Consumers Will Adopt Positive Approach to Food in 2011."  Phil Lempert/​ConAgra Foods, Inc.  8 Dec. 2010.  Web.  22 Dec. 2010.]