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An ageing workforce, more men shopping for the family, and whether to cater to obesity or counter it are some of the food trends likely to affect decision-making in the food industry in 2011, according to FoodNavigator.com.

Citing a study by Mintel, the report said those related to demographic shifts are most likely to have a bearing on eating habits.

Mintel’s pricipal trends analyst Richard Cope was quoted telling FoodNavigator.com that as people are working longer into retirement, there is a greater need for products geared towards vitality and health in a more senior workforce.

While retailers may presume they are pitching to women shopping for families, Cope questions whether there is a need for more masculine takes on health and value as there is a trend of women working longer hours, meaning men having to do more shopping.

The report said men may be tempted to buy more products they are interested in. This has already happened in the cosmetics industry, with the emergence of a distinct ‘male cosmetics’ segment. The trend is already apparent in the United States in the food sector with a trend towards ‘macho-cheffing’, involving much meat and alcohol.

One other trend is rising obesity. This may not be new for 2011 but will dictate whether food firms will try to cater to it or counter it with healthier alternatives.

The report quotes saying there is room to experiment with high-end frozen food as consumers become more aware that freezing foods early locks in their nutritious benefits.

While the world is becoming more urbanised, there is also a growing interest in ‘grow you own’, with long waiting lists for allotments in many place and seed sales “through the roof”. While this mainly translates into opportunities for garden centres, at the supermarket level this may mean catering to small gestures towards self-sufficiency, such as stocking herbs for window boxes. – Source: FoodNavigator.com

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