December 15, 2011, 11:15 am

The free, sixth annual edition of the Ten Top Trends Report will be published this week.

In the report, the top ten food and drink trends for 2012 have been predicted.

The report looks into mood enhancing food and drink as well as the increasing popularity of regional producers and at-home-dining.

The Ten Top Trends For 2012:

1. Regional producers get a boost
The food&drink towers Ten Top Trends for 2012 Survey identified that authenticity; provenance and ‘localness’ will be very important (19%) or important (51%) next year.

Closely aligned to the sustainability benefits of ‘going local’, reducing the environmental footprint and increasing sustainability will be important to more than half of respondents.

Despite this, ethical consumption including organics is expected to decline in importance in 2012, according to the food&drink towers survey.

2. Uplifting food and drink to improve our moods
Depression, which affects many people within society, stands out as a major area for development in the mood foods category.

25% say there is strong growth potential and 51% average growth potential for NPD in 2012.

There are increasing links between nutrition and depression. Serotonin is a brain chemical believed to promote calmness and ease depression.

Foods themselves don’t contain serotonin but what you eat may be able to tip the balance in favour of increased serotonin production in the brain.

3. Packaging innovations to provide the answer
As costs are being cut across the food&drink industry supply chain, packaging will become a focus for brand owners keen to improve margins from production to market.

Reducing packaging weight/size, also known as lightweighting, is not only an environmentally-friendly move, but it can result in cost savings over the long term.

4. Learning to…grow your own, bake your own, make your own
How much influence do cookery programmes such as Masterchef and Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers have on consumer shopping habits in general?

According to food&drink towers’ Ten Top Trends for 2012 Survey, 23% say they’re hugely influential, 66% believe them to be influential and just 11% say they are not influential.

5. Foraging for truffles, mushrooms, wild berries and edible mini-beasts
Courses are available nationwide teaching people how to forage, what to look for, and then turning their discoveries into three-course meals.

This is the ultimate in foodie heaven for those who enjoy getting stuck in!

Innocent Smoothies sent five of its team to a 12-hour foraging course in Kent recently, and foodie magazines regularly feature celebrity chef recipes including wild mushrooms, truffles and wild berries.

6. Going beyond the dinner party – at-home dining occasions become more regular
People will invest a little more time and effort (but not necessarily money) into meal times on a more regular basis to cheer themselves up, entertain and add some fun to ‘just another working week’.

Original recipes and unusual ingredients will be the focus for home-cooks who will be influenced by television programmes, foodie magazines, websites, social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and Smartphone apps.

7. Dusting off the recipe books and cooking from scratch
food&drink towers forecasts 2012 will be known as ‘the year of austerity’.

As a nation we’ve spent a ridiculous fortune on recipe books over the years, many of which have been left on the shelves to gather dust.

In 2012, people are expected to return to their cookery books (and other resources) to get a return on their investment, get more out of their kitchen gadgets and get more creative with their cooking.

8. Food on the go gets a facelift
As impulse sales are forecast to continue to rise in 2012 (albeit not into double figures), brands must work harder for their share of the grab and go market.

Convenience will remain a priority, but health is also becoming an influential factor.

People are looking for quick fixes for specific lifestyle issues such as fatigue and concentration.

People are also looking to top up their vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and omega-3 intake in a convenient format.

9. Megatrends…on a budget
The food&drink towers Ten Top Trends for 2012 Survey showed that health on a budget will be hugely important (47%), followed by indulgence on a budget, convenience on a budget and premium indulgence.

10. Original food and drink pairing: inspiration for the nation
Companies such as French Bubbles operate Champagne pairing events, matching bubbly with sushi, chocolate and cheese.

Restaurants are showing greater interest in providing wine, beer, cocktail and spirit matches to certain items on their menus.

food&drink towers will publish its sixth annual edition of the ‘Ten Top Trends for 2012’ report on Thursday 15th December 2011, and it will be available free of charge to all members of

Helen Lewis, managing editor/founder of and freelance food journalist/consultant, said:

“This ‘Ten Top Trends’ report provides a timely insight into the state of the UK food and drink market and makes predictions for the year ahead.

“At a time when investment in NPD, marketing, branding and advertising continues to be restricted by global economic turmoil, the food&drink business must now, more than ever, carefully consider its next moves to the advantage of the shareholders, the consumers and the retailers.

“Next steps in terms of new product launches, line extensions, packaging changes, marketing campaigns and expansion into new markets must all be carefully considered in line with the cost of development to the company, the brand’s integrity and image, loyal consumers and the environment.

“There are so many points to consider in today’s food and drink market, and the voice of the industry must be heard clearly amidst the fog and confusion of recent years.

“It is for this reason that food&drink towers has conducted an online survey of its 4,000+ members (representing the industry, PR specialists, journalists and consumers) especially for this report.”

171 people responded to the survey, conducted in November and December 2011, by Helen Lewis at food&drink towers.

The full results will be made available for members of food&drink towers and upon request from in January 2012.

As in previous reports, the ten top trends have been selected by Helen Lewis, managing editor and founder, who has worked as a freelance food journalist since 2004 and has supported numerous food and drink companies with their product launch, marketing, PR and branding strategies.

To support the analysis, the online survey results are weaved into the report.


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