Global consumer research provider Mintel has released its predictions for the ten key trends that it believes will shape the consumer packaged goods industry in the coming year, suggesting that responsibility, to the environment, supply chain and consumers, will shape the actions of companies in 2007.

According to Mintel, companies are likely to concentrate on sustainability, embrace more age-specific product launches and technology-savvy marketing initiatives. The research group also said that it expects a rejuvenation of the breakfast segment. 

“The overall theme of responsibility – to the environment, to growers, and to one’s well-being — can be seen throughout many of the year’s upcoming trends,” said Lynn Dornblaser, director of Mintel Custom Solutions. “Manufacturers are offering consumers more opportunities to support causes or to participate in sustainability and conservation. In addition, we are seeing increased targeting of both younger consumers and older consumers, addressing the needs of the two largest consumer groups. 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.”

Mintel said that “the Amazonia movement”, which highlights products featuring plentiful indigenous resources from the Amazon rainforest, will continue to grow in 2007, reflecting increased interest in natural products and exotic ingredients.

Consumers will display a deeper commitment to ethical products throughout next year, Mintel predicted, with fairtrade and sustainable ingredients expanding further into mainstream product groups. This, Mintel said, will help highlight local and seasonal products and speed a return to fresher produce.

The impact of products on the environment, including an increase in biodegradable and refillable packaging will also regain popularity, Mintel claimed.

Simplicity will be key, with companies focusing more on clean lines and streamlined packaging, the research group foresaw.

Technically advanced packaging, promotion and consumer tracking are also likely to make a mark in 2007, with radio frequency ID (RFID) expected to have a significant impact on consumer packaging procedures. 

The Internet, Mintel suggested, will continue to build on its reputation as a marketing medium and more companies will join the blogging revolution, online sweepstakes, giveaways and other online initiatives.

Now that the Baby Boomers are rapidly moving into retirement, Mintel said it expects to see more initiatives combating the senior stereotype, while mainstream products will see more modifications as companies try to design packing with easier accessibility for this age group.

Mintel also predicts that breakfast will continue to see new innovation and development. Beyond convenience, companies may find themselves looking for ways to bring more traditional aspects of the meal back into play.