NY Times Prediction: Healthier Food in 2006
The New York Times writer Kim Severson says the big food trend of 2006 will be toward healthier food.
...one food trend rises above all others. With an aging population, an obesity crisis and a growing appreciation of bolder flavors and artisanal ingredients, American consumers increasingly want products that are perceived as natural, authentic and healthy, food consultants say.
"The move to 'real' food has legs and will be around for quite a while," said Marc Halperin, director of the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco, where major food companies turn for trends and recipe development.
Interest in healthier, fresher food is in part a function of demographics. Aging baby boomers with palates seasoned by travel and fine dining are looking for food that not only tastes good but might ease their aching joints and weakening organs...
Consumers regard healthy as synonymous with natural and authentic, so the category of fresh, minimally processed and organic foods will continue to grow. But just because a food may have organic ingredients doesn't necessarily mean it has health benefits. Cheetos, for instance, now come in a "natural" version, made with organic cornmeal...
Grocery chains like Whole Foods and the growing network of farmers' markets, of which there are now 4,000, are the new theaters of this handmade indulgence.