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Healthier food, more nutraceuticals and everything greener; this is what characterises the consumer trends in 2012.  The food industry constantly faces new challenges. It is necessary to be open to influences and transpose them into attractive consumer products.

Changing demographics have a major impact in the development and variety of food products. Consumers are becoming older but still want to feel young. They are attracted to ”clean”, naturals foods of premium quality but which are still available within a much smaller budget. Consumers also want to buy ”green” and local when possible.

Scientific health claims

They also want food and drink that is rich in protein and with health claims based on scientific findings. We are living longer and spending even more time in the workplace. This means that an ageing population will influence the array of products on the shelves in the food stores. These food products will contain more additives coupled with more health claims according to the British Leatherhead Food Research organisation (www.leatherheadfood.com). Expect to see more products which contain glucosamine and enriched with omega 3 which is good for the brain and the heart. Other products which contain, for example artery-cleaning additives are waiting in the wings to achieve success on the food market.

”Free Products”

In addition younger consumers who are sensitive to certain foods will increase the demand for gluten, nut and dairy free products during 2012. Interestingly in this context there are a growing number of consumers who are not diagnosed with food allergies but believe that their general health will improve if they do not consume certain substances such as wheat or gluten. Nutritional claims will become ever more important especially with regard to products aimed at children.

Leatherhead has also predicted that 2012 will also be the year when an increasing number of food and drink products will become available which improve health and general well being. These will contain less salt, fat and sugar and improvement in health advantages in food products. Consumers concern over their health and wellbeing will be high on the agenda. Coupled with this is the continuing economic uncertainty which surrounds and influences both the industry as well as the consumer resulting in a tightening of consumer consumption.

Quality at a low price

This means that even the low price chains will demand products of high quality in combination with an attractive price level. Even flavour development is affected by worldwide events. At the moment, robust ethnic flavours are popular with consumers. As far as seasonings are concerned, ”old is new again” and this, together with an increased interest in using root vegetables in cooking. Overall, naturalness and well being are key words when discussing food in 2012.

Casings with opportunities We represent PlanetPac which manufactures a variety of casings for the food industry. PlanetPac specialises in producing individually tailored special products based on the customers’ own special seasonings.

PlanetPac was founded in 2001 in Barsbüttel, Germany. This is a strong partner for both the national as well as international meat industry through their manufacture of varies net casings, seasoning casings and foil packets.

Tailor-made products

The company’s specialises in tailor-made products based on the specific requirements of the customer. Advantages to the products offered by this company include placing the seasoning directly inside the casing. During the actual drying and, in some cases, cooking process the seasonings stick directly to the product. This means that the casing can be removed when the product is ready. The seasonings are equally distributed over the product. The casings offer a bacterial advantage as they do not require additional coating. These casings are well suited to products which are sliced but and can be used with almost all types of seasonings and herbs. Some products are also smokeable. Suitable products are:

Cooked ham
Cooked sausages
Semi-dry sausages
Cured sausages
Soft cheese

For more information about PlanetPac, their products and opportunities click on to the link below or contact us and we can tell you more.