A. Elizabeth Sloan

Americans are thinking healthier and taking unprecedented action to improve their health. This year, for the first time in food history, health will rival convenience as the most important new food product attribute.

The NPD Group reports that French fry orders at fast-food restaurants fell 11% last year and main-dish salads jumped 12% (NPD, 2003a). Only 11% of restaurant dinners and one in seven in-home suppers now include a dessert (NPD, 2003b).

Snacking during the evening hours has declined, wh…

Fig. 1—Concern with prevention of disease/health issues among households shows decline, while treatment increases. From NMI (2003).

Fig. 2—Consumers continue to look for positive health benefits in a strong and stable nutrition market. Percentage of general population stating types of foods they have used in the past year. From NMI (2003).

Fig. 3—Riding the trend to healthier foods are sauces and condiments such as those from Annie’s Naturals.

Fig. 5—With brown-bagging rising again—in the name of health—Fantastic Foods’ new low-carb soups are right on target.

Fig. 7—Amerifit Nutrition’s brightly colored gumballs with the nutritional power of a vitamin pill represent the epitome of healthy, convenient, kidfriendly foods.

Fig. 8—WaddaJuice’s conveniently packaged water and juice are “pediatrician friendly” and deliverless sugar, along with 100% of vitamin C and 10% calcium.

Fig. 9—With heart disease and risk factors projected to grow substantially this decade among women, gender-specific products aimed at women’s heart health will gain in popularity. Bars show projected growth 2003–2013. From MSI (2004).

Fig. 10—Consumers are interested in more information on a wide range of functional ingredients. From HealthFocus (2003).

Fig. 11—With new mid-calorie options now available, fortified juice will have an even greater opportunity to lure health-conscious customers. Bars show percentage of wellness consumers who would consider purchasing various beverages. From Hartman Group (2003b).

Fig. 14—Probiotic soy milks, such as Silk aLive, are the latest innovation in the fast-moving soymilk category.

Fig. 15—Forkless Gourmet’s new all-natural bun meals provide a healthy ethnic twist to America’s mostpopular hand-held foods.

Fig. 16—Almonds, which are among the nuts approved for a heart-healthy claim, are now also trendy for their oils and butters.

Fig. 17—Interest in vegetarian products continues to increase as consumers increase their efforts to eat “meatless” on a more-regular basis. From NMI (2003).

Fig. 18—Yogurt tops the list of new dairy product entries in Europe, with many making a claim about health or appearance. From Innova (2003).

Fig. 19—Dannon’s new DanActive probiotic drink in “little bottles” is the first U.S. food product specifically geared to improving digestive health and the first to appear in the trendy “daily dose” format.

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