Vegan foods like jackfruit flavored like meats and non-traditional carriers of probiotics like muffins are currently trending.
BALTIMORE — One of the biggest challenges facing the food and beverage industry is identifying which trends in the marketplace have staying power and which are flash-in-the-pan fads, said Eric Pierce, director of strategy for New Hope Natural Media.
“Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, a manufacturer, an investor, a supplier, a retailer or distributor, whatever it is that brought you here today, I imagine the common theme is wanting to know where the next big opportunities are and where you should be placing your bet,” Mr. Pierce said during a presentation at Natural Products Expo East, held Sept. 16-19 in Baltimore. “Further compounding this challenge is the rate at which ideas are scaling and the rate at which products are moving from their early stages of introduction up through specialty markets to conventional and eventually mass markets.
“In the past, that evolution per concept may have taken five, six, eight years or more. Today there are a lot of concepts that are born and in the early stages are moving straight to wholesale or national distribution levels.
“The rate of innovation is increasing, so the job of identifying which opportunity is for you and taking advantage of it when the timing is right has gotten a lot harder because that scaling doesn’t take six years anymore. That scaling takes one or two years if you’re on the right idea.”
Trends in the natural and organic marketplace are influencing the overall industry, he said.