More men shopping, better breakfasts headline 2013 food trends

Aaron Putze

Guest-blogged by Aaron Putze, Iowa Food and Family Project

Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert makes his annual predictions for the world of food.

A renewed emphasis on breakfast, men doing more grocery shopping and food prep and reductions in food waste are just a few of the trends that will define 2013, according to Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert.

The food retailing expert says the most dramatic changes are not what, but how, consumers are eating and who’s doing the shopping.

“Not only will there be an increase in male and Millennial grocery shoppers, but there will be a dramatic shift in the sizes of meals and an emphasis on frozen food,” says Lempert. “Consumers are looking for food to prepare quickly and conveniently while offering fresh, high-quality ingredients and homemade taste.”

Lempert’s top-10 food trends for 2013:

  1. Less food waste. More people are becoming aware of the estimate that 40 percent of food goes uneaten each month in the United States. Lempert says food waste can be reduced by planning meals ahead of time and checking expiration dates at the store.
  2. More snacking and mini-meals. Snacking, says Lempert, has gotten a bad rap and that’s about to change. Replacing a few, large meals with more frequent nibbling may be associated with a more nutrient dense diet.
  3. The story behind our food. “2013 will be a transitional year as on-package claims proliferate and confuse,” Lempert says. Supermarkets will take on the role of gatekeeper and demand proof and transparency of claims before they will permit products to be sold on their shelves. The role of retail dietitians will also increase.
  4. A “silver tsunami.” Nearly 70 million Baby Boomers (1946-1964) are nearing retirement so nutrition and healthy eating habits will be top meal-planning priorities for them. Lempert says to expect more heart-healthy antioxidant-rich foods including oily fish such as salmon, as well as green tea, sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens.
  5. Impact of Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2001): Supermarkets and food companies will cater more toward Millennial consumers with affordable foods that are flavorful and ethnically diverse, says Lempert.
  6. The economy and new proteins: With predicted price increases in beef and chicken, Lempert anticipates more sales of eggs, nut butters, tofu, beans and legumes.
  7. More men in the supermarket and kitchen. Lempert says men and dads are getting more comfortable and powerful in the kitchen and predicts supermarkets will increase their focus on men in 2013.
  8. Frozen food heating up. With a continued decline in the percentage of meals prepared from scratch, more consumers are reaching for frozen foods. That’s OK, says Lempert, as the Food & Drug Administration agrees that there’s virtually no nutritional difference between fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
  9. Smart technology. Smart phones and technology are prevalent in the food industry, but the newest wave of technology includes smart phones that network with kitchen appliances and allow consumers to do everything from checking how much milk they have left in the refrigerator to turning the oven on from another room. Lempert says more mobile apps are on their way.
  10. Breakfast first. Lempert says people will continue to pay more attention to what foods are best to eat for breakfast. He suggests balanced breakfast options like egg white omelets, whole grain bread and Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.

For the complete details, check out Lempert’s Food Trends 2013 summary .