Blog: Dean BestA day discussing innovation

Dean Best | 11 April 2011

just-food is in the picturesque UK town of Windsor today (11 April) to hear the UK food industry discuss the trends affecting innovation in the sector.

At the Food and Drink Innovation Dialogue event, presentations from the likes of industry analysts Mintel, dairy giant FrieslandCampina and ketchup-to-soup maker Heinz have discussed subjects as varied as NPD, reformulation and packaging.

Mintel analyst David Jago discussed how NPD had been affected by the economic downturn and, among his conclusions, he said some of the categories seeing the most innovation had included the more "indulgent" sectors of the food industry.

Notably, Jago said that ethical and environmental claims made on new products - which had proved relatively robust during the downturn - had shown the first signs of levelling off.

And, in recent years, manufacturers' claims around health and wellness had moved from diet to a more "holistic" focus to food makers emphasising the "natural" properties of their products, he said.

Crtically for brand-owners, Jago argued that brands were being "reassessed" by consumers, with shoppers becoming less loyal and a only a minority of consumers believing brands were "better" than own-label.

The day has also taken in the issues of clean label and the trend to food manufacturers launching more 'natural' products. Delegates also heard about Heinz's moves to reformulate its product portfolio, while FrieslandCampina discussed its packaging innovation.

Over the next few days, just-food will be bringing the news and views from the event so keep your eyes peeled on our pages.


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