Top 10 Trends For 2007

It’s that time of year when research firm Mintel International takes its annual stab at predicting the future. Mintel has announced 10 key trends that will shape the packaged goods industry in 2007.
The trend list reflects an overall theme of responsibility that relates both to social and personal responsibility as well as a focus on two seemingly contradictory trends —simplicity and technology.
Lynn Dornblaser, director of Mintel Custom Solutions, explains the apparent contradiction in this way. “While most of the key trends for 2007 focus on simplicity, we will see creative uses of technology, aiming to make the lives of consumers easier,” she notes.
The key trends, with brief explanations per Mintel, are as follows.
1. Welcome to Amazonia. The Amazonia movement highlights products that feature indigenous resources from the Amazon rainforest. This trend is closely tied to increased interest in natural products and exotic food ingredients.
2. Committed to ethnical products. Fair trade products and those made with sustainable ingredients will continue to make their way into mainstream product groups.
3. Revisiting refills. Mintel sees great potential for refillable products as consumers seek out opportunities to save natural resources and manufacturers respond with products that reflect their environmental concerns.  
4. Natural beauty. Products that are all natural and have not been tested on animals will appeal to more purchasers of cosmetics products.
5. Keeping it simple. Products that deliver basic value and convenience as well as streamlined packaging will find favor. Also hot: traditional ingredients and recipes.
6. Tech-advanced packaging, promotion and consumer tracking. This trend reaches into many areas and ranges from broader RFID packaging applications to the use of technologies that monitor product freshness and prevent over-cooking.
7. Internet marketing prevails. Brand-based blogs will become more frequent and Web-based marketing initiatives will continue to chip away at more classical consumer marketing budgets.
8. Blooming boomers. Boomers may be headed squarely in the direction of senior citizen status, but savvy companies will introduce marketing initiatives that combat this stereotype, not to mention easily accessible packaging.
9. Looks and tastes like teen spirit. The research firm has identified a missed opportunity when it comes to snack products for teens and predicts the advent of a new focus on efforts to convert teen users into loyal adult purchasers.  
10. A fresh start for breakfast. Beyond convenience, marketers may begin focusing on products that bring more traditional aspects of the meal back into play, Mintel predicts.
New Addition at Hershey Headquarters
New on the Hershey, Pa., campus of The Hershey Company is the Global Customer Innovation Center, a state-of-the-art facility designed for strategic customer planning sessions. The center provides a destination for strategy sessions, brand building and program development with retail customers. “Our customers are now able to see, touch, taste and experience our latest benefit-driven new product innovations, global brands, chocolate and cocoa technology, and merchandising strategies,” said Dan Vucovich, vice president, chief customer officer, The Hershey Company.
NPD’s “Snack-Fact”...What were consumers giving as gifts during the Winter Holidays?
NPD’s SnackTrack Holiday Profiles offer insights to promote understanding of the consumer attitudes and behaviors that drive sales and consumption of snack foods during the major U.S. holidays (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas).
Understanding consumer behaviors during these holidays can help a company develop and identify new products or packaging, help create holiday-focused advertising and consumer promotions, identify opportunities for channel-specific strategies and position products more effectively for the holidays.
For more information on this report and how your company can benefit, contact Kevin Zieziula at The NPD Group, Inc., kevin_zieziula@npd.com, (847) 692-1815.
Are people giving food items as gifts?
YES 60%      NO 40%
67% of those giving food as a gift report giving a ‘holiday version’
44% report giving food in a holiday package
58% report adult family members as the recipients
42% report getting ‘gift food’ from supermarket/grocery stores
18% report giving a non-food item as well, most frequently alongside microwave popcorn, chewy candy and cheese
Source: Snack Track, 2005 Winter Holiday Report

What are the top foods given as gifts?
Food Item% of Respondents
Chocolate Candy31.5
Cookies30.6
Other Food16.4
Nuts12.6
Hard Candy10.3
Fresh Fruit9.1
Chewy Candy7.8
Cheese7.4
Brownies6.0
Source: Snack Track, 2005 Winter Holiday Report

Wrigley Buys Russian Company
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. has inked a deal to acquire an 80 percent interest in A. Korkunov, a leading premium chocolate maker in Russia, with the remaining 20 percent to be acquired over time. Founded in 1999 by two Russian entrepreneurs, A. Korkunov is the seventh-largest player in Russia’s $3.7 billion chocolate category. Wrigley has been eyeing the chocolate market for some time and already has strong gum distribution in Russia. Korkunov has a manufacturing facility located just outside of Moscow.