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Understanding how food and drink trends move—and what makes them move—can help identify nascent trends and evaluate whether they will grow or fade. 

Here, Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago, Directors of Innovation & Insight at Mintel, identify 10 of the world’s most innovative new food and beverage products and share their thoughts on what makes them so revolutionary…

Company: inSpiral Visionary Products

Country: UK

Product Description: Inspiral Kale-Os Sweet Chilli & Mint Kale Crisps are described as organic green kale leaves with fresh mint, cayenne chili and olive oil dressing. The snack raw is dried at low temperatures and made with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. It is free from nuts, gluten, trans fat, and acrylamide, contains no pesticide residue as it is totally organic, and features a lighter crisp. The snack provides one of the five-a-day portions of vegetables and is suitable for vegans, paleo diets and is made using 100% renewable electricity.

This raw snack consists of flavored dried kale leaves. They are flavored with fresh mint, cayenne, and olive oil, and is positioned as providing one serving of vegetables. In addition, the bag is compostable.

Company: Organic Health

Country: Finland

Product Description: Wild Thing Luomu Raaka Paleopatukka Marjat Ja Siemenet (Berries & Seeds Organic Paleo Raw Bar) is described as a pure, healthy and delicious snack. The raw vegan product is gluten-free.

Raw foods continue to appear in the marketplace. Here, raw is combined with Paleo values, providing a vegan, gluten-free snack bar.

Company: Kraft Foods Group

Country: US

Product Description: Maxwell House House Blend  Iced Coffee Concentrate is a kosher product that consists of a coffee drink mix; it’s made with coffee and contains caffeine.

As cold coffee drinks continue in popularity, it is not surprising that one of the biggest coffee brands would introduce a shelf-stable coffee concentrate that can be squirted into a glass of water, or even milk.

Company: La Maison Le Grand

Country: Canada

Product Description: Le Grand Classik Hummus is a vegan product made with natural ingredients and contains no gluten, GMO, added sugar, cholesterol or preservatives.

Here, hummus appears in a package that is unusual for the category — a flexible stand-up pouch. The product itself has no added sugar or preservatives.

Company: NightFood

Country: US

Product Description: NightFood Midnight Chocolate Crunch Optimized Nighttime Nutrition Bars satisfy after-dinner cravings, helps keep diets on track, supports better sleep, and are a good source of protein and fiber. The kosher certified product is specifically formulated for better evening snacking with fewer calories.

While it is common to see snack or nutrition bars positioned for breakfast, lunch, or anytime, it is less common to see them positioned for before bed. These bars claim to satisfy after-dinner cravings and support better sleep.

Company: Barilla

Country: US

Product Description: Barilla Pronto Penne is an enriched pasta that claims easy preparation with one pan, no waiting for water to boil and no draining required. The kosher product is said to provide “Al Dente” perfection in minutes.

This pasta does not require a pot of boiling water for prep—consumers add the dry pasta to a skillet with liquids and other ingredients, and simmer briefly. The water is absorbed and the pasta cooks in the pan. It is a concept that was originally developed for the Chinese market.

Company: H-E-B

Country: US

Product Description: H-E-B Souper Fruit Sea-Buckthorn, Apricot & Apple Cold Soup is made with whole berries. This vegan product is gluten- and sodium-free and low in fat. This cold fruit soup has light sour rustic berry note and an apricot and sweet apple finish. It is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C.

This cold soup could also be seen as a fruit flavored smoothie drink. Several flavors are offered; they often use fruit combinations more likely to be found in Scandinavia. The drinks are imported from Finland.

Company: Frucor Beverages

Country: Australia

Product Description: Suntory Ovi Hydration Peach Flavored Tea Infusion is a delicious infusion of water, fruit juice, honey and natural minerals with antioxidants from green tea. It contains no artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives or flavors.

We continue to see products that blur categories, such as this one, which combines juice and tea, and is positioned as a hydration beverage.

Company: Entoma

Country: France

Product Description: Jimini’s Le Criquet Poivre & Tomates Séchées (Pepper & Dried Tomatoes Flavored Crickets) can be eaten whole or without the head and the wings. The crickets were raised in Europe, prepared in France, and are described as crispy and crunchy.

Although most CPG products made with insect protein use insect flour, we do see some branded products that leave the insect intact. This line of flavored crickets also includes a secondary line of flavored mealworms.

Company: Fairlife

Country: US

Product Description: Fairlife Whole Ultra-Filtered Milk has 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and 50% less sugar than ordinary milk. The ultra-pasteurized beverage contains vitamins A and D and comes from cows that have not been treated with rBST. The grade A, kosher certified product is homogenized and lactose-free.

The company says the filtration of this 100% dairy milk removes all of the lactose and reduces both fat and calories, resulting in a high-protein dairy milk. It represents a new technology that likely could be expanded beyond only drinkable milks.

David Jago has over 20 years research experience in the food industry, covering markets, consumers and innovation. As Mintel’s Director of Innovation & Insight he is responsible for providing tailored research and analysis to a broad range of food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and retailers across the EMEA region.

Lynn Dornblaser brings more than a quarter century of product trend knowledge to Mintel, serving as Director of Innovation & Insight. She applies her unique perspective on the Americas markets and new product development to tailored client research and extensive public speaking.