November 16, 2012

Data point: America’s changing grocery cart

Posted by: in North America

America’s diet is moving toward ever more convenient and “natural” food, according to research from NPD Group, as published in Ad Age. “We are so obsessed with on-the-go food that even a bowl of cereal is seen as a hassle for some,” notes Ad Age, and so grocery shoppers are continuing to veer away from foods that require prep work at home in favor more portable products. NPD’s research, which looks at which grocery items Americans have been consuming more and less of over the past decade, finds that some of the fastest growing items have been open-and-eat foods like chips and nuts. And plain old bottled water is winning out over soda, milk and fruit juice. For more on food and beverage trends, see our report “What’s Cooking? Trends in Food.”

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    With the coconut water craze going strong, watch for more variations on H2O thanks to consumer interest in more natural alternatives to soda and openness to novel products. Antioxidant-rich maple water (made from maple sap) is gaining attention, while almond water from the startup Victoria’s Kitchen has secured space at Whole Foods and Target. As the AP reports, there’s also cactus, birch and artichoke water—made from either water extracted from the plant or boiled with the ingredient in question—whose makers tout their vitamin and mineral content, as well as their infection-fighting properties. —Allison Kruk

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