Monday, December 29, 2014




1.       Grazing Golden-Agers: Ninety-one percent of people say they snack daily, according to Nielsen. While snacking is on the rise among all ages and genders, research shows that snacking among consumers over the age of 65 could contribute to additional years with a higher quality of life. We’ll see more boomers – those raised in the “three square meals a day” era – employ a “grazing” approach to eating next year.   When boomers snack, they’ll focus on foods rich in nutrients like protein, fiber and Omega3s that can help promote bone health. Other popular snack choices include plant-based proteins and whole grains, like DAVID® Sunflowers Seeds and Orville Redenbacher’s® Gourmet Naturals made with with 100% whole grain popcorn.

2.       Same-Day Delivery Not Just for City Clickers: Grocery Shopping Goes 24/7: Online grocery shopping and delivery has become a crowded space, with a host of services competing for consumer attention. This trend allows everyone who sells food and beverages to be in the same-day delivery business without having to add additional operational infrastructure. Once considered a luxury for those living in metropolitan areas, revenue gains among food and beverage e-commerce/delivery service indicate the trend will expand to mainstream consumers living in both urban and rural areas next year. Previously, major e-commerce players like Amazon would only deliver non-perishable items, but Peapod, Fresh Direct, Amazon Fresh and Instacart make it possible to have perishables like Healthy Choice® Café Steamers delivered to your door in less than two hours. With this in mind, products will evolve and become catered to online shoppers. More brands will bundle multiple SKUs to create meal kits or offer pre-packaged sets of multiple products.

3.       Everything Smoked: Just when you thought the bacon trend had cooled off, restaurateurs and at-home cooks are continuing to turn up the heat. The demand for smoked foods has risen as chefs begin to apply smoking and grilling to add some sizzle and impart new flavor to other proteins and alternatives like vegetables, butters, and even cocktails. And, with smokers gaining in popularity in backyards across America, at-home cooks are also experimenting with smoking non-traditional foods.  The increase in smoked foods is sparking an increase in enjoying that smoky flavor year-round. For example, tomatoes are one of the most popular non-meat items, and that fresh-from-the-grill smoked flavor can now be found in Hunt’s®Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. In 2015, look for even more smoked flavors to emerge into your favorite foods found in the grocery aisles, menus and recipes.

4.       The Rise of Fermented Foods: 2015 will be the year fermented foods – foods like yogurt, tempeh and sauerkraut take center stage. These foods contain live cultures, or are preserved in liquid so their sugars and starches can become bacteria-boosting agents. After multi-year growth of gluten-free foods and probiotics, many consumers have found their digestive health improved. In fact, a survey from ConAgra Foods found that nearly 50 percent of Americans have changed their diet to help improve digestion, with nearly 20 percent doing so in the past year.   In 2014, we saw an expansion of gluten-free beyond the one percent of the population that has Celiac Disease. This will continue but also evolve into an increased focus on the consumption of fermented foods as people continue to look for ways to aid digestion. Increased knowledge about the impact foods have on our digestive health will lead to significant changes in the way consumers prepare food in 2015. Once toppings or side items, fermented foods will become commonplace in meals throughout the day.

5.       Gen Z: Chefs Everyday: Millennials’ passion for food-related adventures is undeniable, but Gen Z, the demographic group born after Millennials (1995 to present day), brings an entire new set of food values to the kitchen table. Exposed at a young age to more flavors and variety than previous generations, Gen Z’s collective attitude toward food is simplicity and health. They tend to use stove tops rather than microwaves for cooking meals and fresh ingredients to prepared foods. Research by NPD Group indicates some of their favorite foods to cook include eggs/omelets, hot dogs, potatoes and chicken, which they can “dress up” with their own unique touch.  In 2015, look for even more brands to offer simple ideas to elevate everyday foods. For example, breakfast goes up a notch when replacing basic eggs with frittatas and quiche made with EggBeaters® and fresh herbs and produce.

6.       Craft Foods Make its Way into Kitchens Everywhere: Typically associated with foods made in small batches with specialized, local ingredients, major companies are finding ways to produce craft foods in larger quantities. The phenomenon of craft beer brought new excitement, flavors and sales to the struggling beer industry: MillerCoors® and Anheuser-Busch InBev are two examples of major companies that have made the jump to more locally produced, limited distribution and sub-brands.
In 2015, look for this trend to extend to other beverages and food, as Millennials in particular continue to seek unique tastes and foods with authentic origin stories. Marie Callender’s® Razzleberry Pie, made with whole Oregon Marionberries and North American red raspberries, is an example of a food that looks and tastes homemade but is found in freezer aisles nationwide.

7.       Nutrition Labels: No Longer Just on Packaged Foods: As consumers want more information about their foods, innovative devices like Prep Pad will soon offer this information instantaneously. The Prep Pad pairs with an iPad app to calculate the exact nutritional content of your meals, including the carbs, fats, protein and calories by scanning the bar code of food packages used as ingredients or the items on your plate. Information about a food’s ingredients, chemical makeup or nutritional values will become more readily available and commonplace in the supermarket and our kitchens.

8.      Supermarkets Convert into Socializing Spaces: Supermarkets have evolved from straightforward centers where consumers could buy groceries to purveyors of lifestyle. Present day supermarkets are developing a variety of services that help set them apart and establish each outlet as an ambassador of niche lifestyle trends.  In the near future, we can expect supermarkets to further specialize in order to present their customers with a unique experience that showcases their personality and philosophy toward foods – instead of presenting themselves solely as vendors of goods.

A desire to be “all things food” to their customers, especially singles, is positioning them as head to head competitors with chain and local restaurants. Retailers today will build full-service high quality restaurants as part of their brick and mortar operations. Experienced culinarians, usually CIA trained chefs with many years of experience, are offering unique dishes, local foods and beverages. Cooking classes, events and seminars are giving consumers reasons beyond a grocery list to step inside their neighborhood store. Sampling is no longer a cracker or potato chip on a napkin; stores have advanced and now have chefs like George Duran cooking up Hunt’s® signature recipes for shoppers.

Known as The Supermarket Guru®, Phil Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. He is one of America's leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts, serving as a spokesperson for ConAgra Foods and making regular appearances on NBC News' Today show and ABC's The View. Lempert offers thorough food ratings, analyzes trends in food marketing and retail and features health advice, unique recipes, nutrition analysis, allergy alerts and many other resources for consumers. Learn more about Phil Lempert at

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged food companies with branded and private branded food found in 99 percent of America's households, as well as a strong commercial foods business serving restaurants and foodservice operations globally.
Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's®, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim®, Snack Pack® and many other ConAgra Foods brands, along with food sold by ConAgra Foods under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club and drug stores. Additionally, ConAgra Foods supplies frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to commercial and foodservice customers. ConAgra Foods operates, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with easy dinner recipes and more.




Three of the nation’s most influential wine magazines have awarded Washington State with top accolades for 2014. Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits have recently released their “Top of 2014” lists which include 37 wineries and 35 different wines from Washington State. These recognitions further cement Washington State’s reputation for crafting wines that rank among the world’s best.

Throughout the year, these publications each score and review approximately 18,000 submissions from around the world and then name their most celebrated wines in the following categories: Top 100 Best Buys, Top 100 Cellar Selections, Top 100 Values, Top 100 Most Exciting Wines, Top 100 Wines of the Year and the Top 100 Wineries of the Year.

“Washington achieves consistency across a range of varieties, with value opportunities encompassing styles from crisp, juicy Rieslings to bold, fruit-forward Merlots,” said Wine Spectator Copy Editor Keith Newton in the magazine’s December 31, 2014 issue. “Top producers hit the sweet spot of quality and price."

Wine Enthusiast named Washington State 27 times to its three Top 100 lists: Top 100 Best Buys, Top 100 Cellar Selections and its most acclaimed, Top 100 Wines of the World. Of the named 27 wines, Washington State landed in the top 10 of each list.

Two Washington State wines made Wine Spectator’s Year’s Most Exciting Wines, and seven additional wines were listed on Top 100 Values. In a collection of producers from around the world with the most exceptional track records in the magazine’s blind tastings this year, Wine & Spirits nodded to six Washington State wineries on its Top 100 Wineries of Year.

“It is an honor, and no surprise, to see our wines listed among the best from around the world,” said Steve Warner, president of Washington State Wine, the organization which represents all wineries and growers in Washington State. “2014 has been an exciting year for us, both as a vintage and now with this recognition. Look for more great things to come from Washington wine.”


Tickets to the 18th annual Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event, are now on sale. This four-day extravaganza takes place March 26-29, 2015, at various venues throughout Seattle. Activities include the signature Grand Tasting featuring more than 225 Washington State wineries and food from more than 70 top Pacific Northwest restaurants; a series of educational seminars on wine and cider led by the country’s top sommeliers and beverage writers; and the Red & White Party, an elegant, upscale evening with Washington State’s celebrated wineries pouring special selections from large-format bottles.

Ticket prices for the Grand Tasting at CenturyLink Field start at $90 for a one-day general admission pass. Seminars, to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, are $38 to $89. Topics range from “Washington vs. the World,” a blind tasting of the state’s finest Bordeaux-blends against some of the best the world has to offer; to in-depth explorations of the exciting wine-growing regions of the Columbia Gorge and Red Mountain. Tickets to the exclusive Red & White Party, which will be at AQUA by El Gaucho, are $175 per person.

To buy tickets or for more details on winery participation, featured chefs and seminar topics, visit Taste Washington is produced by Visit Seattle in partnership with Washington State Wine.

About Taste Washington:
 Taste Washington is the largest single-region wine and food event in the United States, featuring more than 225 Washington State wineries and more than 70 Pacific Northwest restaurants. The 2015 Taste Washington welcoming sponsor is Alaska Airlines; the premier sponsors are Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, Muckleshoot Casino, Seattle Met and Total Wine & More; and the event feature is Stella Artois. Taste Washington attracts more than 5,000 wine and food enthusiasts to the Seattle area. The Washington State Wine Commission launched Taste Washington in 1998 and is now produced by Visit Seattle. For more information, visit

About Visit Seattle :
Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as Seattle/King County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region. For more information, visit

About Washington State Wine:                                                                                  
Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSW provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit