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Insider View: May 2016

Insider View: May 2016

…..while the market for healthy convenience food gathers pace, there is an increasing spotlight on the fresh produce aisle.

In last month’s introduction we offered our view of the perils of conflicting dietary advice.  It’s an ongoing obsession rarely out of the media. In fact, those giving us their advice are on the brink of falling out altogether. If experts can’t agree then what hope is there for the poor consumer? A leading article in the Sunday Times Business Section[1] in May reflected our concern about the clamour for regulation, attacks on the food industry and the vilification of sugar and gluten. Another article the same weekend[2] lamented ‘wellness’ bloggers who are in danger of promoting disordered eating (a particularly compelling message for weight obsessed teenagers drawn to a diet of broccoli and Quinoa). To add to the confusion, the latest report by the National Obesity Forum claimed that counting calories and eating low-fat options does not help people lose weight and instead it promotes embracing ‘real food’.  The ‘clean eating’ trend has been growing for some time.

This year’s Grocer New Product Awards includes a significant number of new brands, many finding a niche by focussing on their health and nutritional properties.  Fast Foodfax also this month includes healthy convenience foods such as Get Buzzing Nut Free Bars made with dates and seeds, (review 160533), with its “funky” pack design attracting a market beyond those with nut allergies. While Feel Good Drinks’ no added sugar Cranberry & Lime Juice (Review 160535) carries the ‘drink good, feel good’ strap line: a beacon for younger, health conscious, buyers. The fact that the Eat Well section at this year’s BBC Good Food Show covered at least a third of the exhibition space says it all. Showcased new food products include freeze-dried fruit and vegetables for healthy school snacks in amongst the ‘trendy’ super foods such as matcha, birch water and chia. A burgeoning Free From stand boasting a whole host of dairy, wheat, nut and sugar-free products and seaweed – one carb substitute that doesn’t even need spiralising.  For those of us aiming for a simpler, more traditional approach to healthy eating, summer signals a wealth of tempting fruit and vegetables.  Greater choice in fresh produce must surely appeal to all sides of the healthy eating debate and Tesco has this month called on its suppliers to launch a new wave of innovation across its fresh produce offering. Meanwhile shoppers spent £564million on strawberries in the past year – half of all soft fruit sales – and retailers will be aiming for consistency and quality of supply and hoping for a bumper British harvest.

Summer’s here: a time to relax and share good food from the barbecue with family & friends.  A good time for Foodfax Consumer i to conduct consumer research into premium burgers & summer bottle beers….Check out our website to find out who came out top.

  • Asda offers a preparation-free treat for the barbecue: Smoked paprika Chicken and Chorizo Skewers, 45, Review 160505
  • Green Isle Foods introduce an unusual dessert option : a “fun” sweet pizza that proved more than just a gimmick: Sweet Fella’s Chocolate Brownie Dessert Pizza,44, Review 160509
  • Manomasa’s Tapas inspired Manchego & Green Olive Tortillas tasted as exotic as the name suggested. A Taste of Spain that proved irresistible to younger consumers, Review 160526
  • While Wessanen UK’s attempt at making the humble Baked Bean even healthier (Whole Earth Saucy Organic Baked Beans) was altogether too worthy: a step too far from the tried and tested family favourite, Review 160530

[1] By Luke Johnson, Sunday Times 22/05/2016

[2] By India Knight, The Sunday Times Magazine 22/05/2016

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