They say food brings people together and IFT 2018 did just that! With more than 1,200 exhibitors and 100 technical sessions, the Chicago show had something for everyone. Over the last several years the expo has greatly expanded. This year’s event grew into both the North and South halls of McCormick Place to provide room for more exhibitors and varied presentations on new products, industry trends, and insights.
The newly added North hall hosted a new exhibitor pavilion, a China pavilion and even an Organic pavilion where suppliers from around the globe could showcase the latest products and trends. Across the concourse, in the South hall, it was more of the same: manufacturers, suppliers and research experts offering attendees the most current food industry developments.
True to their reputation, Innova Market Research hosted hourly presentations that provided “hard-hitting data,” on the latest consumer trends impacting the food industry. They identified the Top Ten Trends for 2018 as:
1. Consumers are making more conscious food choices with ethical standards and sustainability on deck.
2. Fresh iterations on healthy eating drive lighter choices: whether in alcohol content, sweetness, flavor, texture or portion size.
3. Consumers seek assurance on processing techniques. Some manufacturers see opportunity in more Explanation.
4. The circular economy is taking hold in food. Being resource smart is a must.
5. Coffee and tea are being reinvented to appeal to Millennials and Generation Z demographics.
6. Sharing food through social media becomes more important. Impactful foods with funky colors are thriving.
7. Consumers seek restaurant quality food at home, pushing more innovation in consumer goods that tap into this need.
8. Changing meal times propel convenient, healthy, more satisfying and sustaining snacks.
9. Nutrient-dense marine products are finding their way into a variety of new food and beverage products. 1
0. Brands driving the consumer emotional bond propel more creativity and innovation to match needs and tastes.
Manufacturers are Meeting the Trends
Staying ahead of market trends is the name of the game. Ingredient manufacturers were on hand to present the latest ingredients that meet consumers’ demands. Kalsec highlighted their Durabrite natural colors. Kalustyan focused on organic offerings. Ingredion offered Chicago-style vegan sausages that featured their new Vitessence Pulse Pea Proteins and their Versasweet 1524 products. The list goes on and on. At every turn, the top suppliers focused on their solutions that answer the highest demands in the food industry.
Skidmore representatives are long-time attendees of the show and are already looking forward to IFT 2019 in New Orleans. Jim McCarthy, Skidmore President explained, “The IFT Annual Meeting and Expo is an event we look forward to each year. Both our suppliers and customers are there. It’s a time for us to reconnect with past colleagues, connect with potential customers, strategize with our current customers, and learn about the newest innovations our suppliers offer – all under one roof! The learning tracks are highly educational for our employees. We look forward to being actively involved for many more years.”
Watch for more updates from the manufacturers mentioned in upcoming Skidmore newsletters.
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Learn more about Innova Market Global Consumer Insights here.