It's a small world
By Elizabeth Louise Hatt
Countries put their best food forward at the 2014 World Tour by SIAL Jury. For two days in April, journalists from 28 countries across five continents convened on Paris for the 2014 World Tour by SIAL event. Previously called SIAL d’Or, the event was modernized and renamed this year to honor the organization’s 50th anniversary. SIAL officials describe it as a “real world tour of major international food trends through the expertise of a network of journalists.” The journalists discussed their nation’s most influential consumption trends, supporting each trend with products that have been proven successful in the market. It was up to the 28 to vote on the three innovations with the most potential for worldwide success. The winners will be announced at the Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire, to take place in Paris from October 19 - 23. After a quick look at the products presented at the World Tour Jury it was clear that there are a number of prominent consumption trends driving sales worldwide. “Convenience” and “health and wellness” were the two most prominent, guiding consumers cooking and eating habits. Around the world consumers are time-pressed—a result of more demanding work schedules and an increase in women working outside the home—and looking for easier ways to put a meal on the table. Ready-to-cook solutions, such as the Eisberg BBQ Grill-Mix from Hungary and the Tyson Pork Shoulder Cook in Bag in the U.S. market, are experiencing tremendous success. Under the health and wellness umbrella, grocery markets worldwide are seeing more demand for free from foods that satisfy dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free and allergy-friendly, as well as healthier alternatives to market staples, like sparkling waters and Greek yogurt desserts. Greek yogurt based products was one of the top trends in the U.S. market. OPA! by Litehouse Greek Style Yogurt Dressing and Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Dips were two products used to support the trend, with the latter taking the win as the “most innovative” of the six products representing the U.S. trends. Other trends with global influence include premium or gourmet products; adventurous flavors or concepts; and functional ingredients delivered in a new way. Locally sourced or produced products, as well as those representing cultural traditions, were also popular. It was evident that the grocery landscape is undergoing a worldwide transition. Many markets are experiencing a brutal price war partially driven by some of the aforementioned consumption trends. Retail concepts like “click-and-collect” and same-day delivery are finding significant success in some markets, and collapsing in others.