Chicago, IL—Market research firm Mintel believes that 2011 will see several small changes to consumer goods industries rather than significant changes in the marketplace. Such trends will continue some of the changing consumer demands that surfaced in 2010.

Mintel identified several “core trends” for this year, which include:

• The “covert” phase-out of unpopular food ingredients like sodium, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, similar to what we saw with trans-fats a few years ago.

• An increased effort to redefine “natural” and other terms that currently do not have an official regulatory definition. Adds Mintel, “Expect to see a new focus on accentuating the positives of what is in a product, rather than emphasizing what is not in it.”

• Increased use of terms like professional-grade, chef-endorsed or salon-quality to emphasize a “skilled” quality in at-home products.

• New twists in the sustainability market may include reduced packaging like bagged, not boxed cereal bars and water conservation.

• Expect to see the re-emergence of retro-looking products and the resurgence of old formulations.

• More “hybrid products” may come to market like snack beverages or homecare products with more than one purpose.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2011