Food trends are constantly evolving as customers become increasingly discerning and begin to demand more from food manufacturers and retailers. This industry is subject to trends like any other, and the current move towards “free from” foods is certainly a fascinating one that is potentially set to stick around for a long time.
A decade ago, the only real movement of “free from” food was calorie or fat-related, with growing lines of diet and slimming products that were often aligned to branded slimming programmes.
Today, however, “free from” food can relate to all kinds of speciality lines, often related to common allergens. For example, gluten-free food is a booming market, with many consumers keen to keep away from gluten for health and allergy reasons in addition to weight-related concerns. Sugar-free products are increasingly in demand as the awareness of low-sugar diet benefits begins to filter through. Low-fat and fat-free food is also a popular choice for health-conscious consumers.
“Free from” foods are also essential for those who have serious allergies, and modern food labelling indicates when food may contain risky foods such as nuts. This is vital for reducing public health risks and a valuable development in labelling and production.
It can certainly be said that this improved food labelling and awareness about allergens and “problem” foods, along with the increase of healthy foods that are free from damaging ingredients such as sugar and gluten, can only be a good thing for today’s busy customers, who may not always have the time to cook entirely from scratch every day. In such instances, this clear labelling gives people confidence when purchasing and helps consumers to buy appropriate products easily and quickly.
Non-processed food growth
At the same time, however, another trend is emerging. Home cooking and more natural foods are being embraced by those who want to avoid the risks associated with food additives and potential allergens. Used food machinery from retailers such as http://www.clarke-fussells.co.uk/ is consequently higher in demand, allowing caterers and individuals to create meals from scratch using fresh and pure ingredients that are often locally sourced and possibly organically grown.
It will be interesting to see what happens next in the world of evolving food trends and what customers want to see in the future.