What buyers say:
"Despite consumers wanting to spend more time preparing main meals and to feel good about eating better, they are still pressed for time. A ready-to-eat yoghurt saves time as a dessert, or acts as a replacement for those watching their waistline or the clock."
"There needs to be more focus on healthier alternatives in my category, but health credentials are not enough on their own. One 'healthier' product launched in my category this year tasted truly awful. I told the company that it might sell on promotion initially but that, once they'd tried it, the customer would never pick it up again - and I've been proved right."
"Healthier snacking products are the main growth area for the bagged snacks market. You can see it clearly with the products that are forging ahead. But media coverage means producers can get carried away focusing on the better-for-you angle and I have to remind some that there are other key factors to consider."
"Cake producers have really got to embrace health concerns if they're going to survive. There will always
be a demand for indulgence at some level but consumers are increasingly taking a credit-debit approach to their food. There isn't enough innovation in this category to cater for this yet."
"Food is always going to be big news as it affects us all, but the environmental lobby is likely to become more high profile in terms of local sourcing and food miles."
"More focused NPD is a must. It has improved in the past few years - the high cost of bringing a new product to market means companies are more circumspect and think harder about issues such as health before launching. There are fewer new products but better-executed launches."
"More manufacturers are removing transfats, reducing salt and sugar and replacing artificial ingredients with natural versions. This is all good news. I worry, though, that government intervention will push this too far, too quickly. Consumers can take time to get used to changes."