Beer is healthy, ugly is beautiful and frozen food is sexy. Confused? Compelo has identified four of the top food trends you don’t know you want yet, expected to announce themselves in 2017.

1)  Ugly food

40% of fresh fruits or vegetables get excluded from shops, estimates The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

Why? They do not meet industry cosmetic standards - In other words, they’re ugly!

Marketers are waking up to the waste issue with a new generation of products made with visually imperfect produce. Uglies potato chips – made from rejected potatoes – will hit US stores in 2017. Furthermore, in France, Intermarche’s Ugly Vegetables line offers canned peas, carrots, green beans and spinach at a 30% discount.

2) Sexy ready meals

Blank-slate brands are equally about the present and future, and resonate with young consumers. According to a survey, 59% of 25–34-year-olds say they buy foods or drinks that reflect their attitudes or opinions. A stark contrast compared with just 44% of over-55s.

Kraft Heinz’s new Devour frozen meal brand targets millennial males with the sexually suggestive tagline “Food you want to fork.” In contrast, that phrase could be toxic for an existing brand.

3) Alcohol-free beer

Alcohol-free beer is a rising global force.

AB InBev expects one fifth of its total beer volume will be no-alcohol or low-alcohol by the end of 2025.

Also, alcoholic seltzers and sparklers inspired by bottled water could create a new category of low-calorie flavoured alcoholic drinks as the industry tackles issues like calorie content and sweeteners.

4) Clicks to bricks

2017 could be a big year for ‘clicks-to-bricks’ innovation. Snack-box pioneer Graze in the UK and US online razor seller Harry’s have proved that e-commerce brands can succeed in stores.

Unilever’s purchase of internet razor retailer Dollar Shave Club suggests that packaging giants are watching the ‘clicks to bricks’ trend. Of course, e-commerce-only brands are able to understand customer purchasing patterns better than makers of packaged goods sold through stores.

The expert view: The grocery shelf as confessional? Thomas Vierhile of GlobalData Consumer looks at the mislabelling controversy.

“Grocery store shelves are looking more like confessionals as packaged goods brands ‘come clean’. Environmental group Oceana used DNA analysis to find that a third of every fish evaluated in the US had been mislabelled. In addition, the ‘fake farm’ fiasco in the UK has only added fuel to the fire.”

For the full innovations list and more in-depth analysis check out the latest editions of Packaging & Converting Intelligence as well as Beverage Packaging Innovation and Ingredients Insight.

Read more here:

“SORTEDfood has become a movement of people”: The YouTube business that’s changing an industry