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Food Trends 2014

Posted on January 28 2014 | Author: Jessica Bowes

There was more to 2013 than quinoa and Greek yogurt. Consumers around the world voiced their opinions on GMO labeling; the US Food and Drug Administration banned use of trans fats from the American food supply, and; Europe dealt with a horsemeat scandal that left consumers lacking trust in the food industry.  As a result, 2014 will bring more attention to controversial labeling and regulatory debates; new superfoods will breakthrough to mainstream manufacturing and retail, and; a stronger effort will be made to reduce waste across the supply chain. In no particular order, here are a few other trends to watch for this year.

Origin labeling and traceability
Scares like the horsemeat scandal have consumers demanding to know where their food is coming from, so companies will have to work to gain/re-gain consumer trust through origin labeling and traceability programs. According to Innova, this is a major trend to watch for as manufactures actively market this to consumers and as there are more global products launched featuring the word ‘origin’ for claim purposes.

Look out for the small guy
Being connected isn’t just for the consumer. The rapid rise in popularity of social media platforms continues to offer small-scale innovators the chance to realize new business opportunities in both domestic and export markets. This trend speaks to the big-trend potential small manufacturers have through the development of high quality and distinct products for niche markets. 

Nothing beats breakfast
Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. In 2014, consumers will continue to look for more protein in their diets, especially at breakfast. The convenient, protein-rich breakfast food category, which includes products such as breakfast biscuits and ready-to-drink shakes, will continue to grow. Examples of products that are already making a big marketing push include Belvita and Milk2Go Sport.

Bugs, anyone?
As protein remains a strong trend, alternative sources are a targeted need for food manufacturers. Though the US, Canada and Europe have long been adverse to the idea of consuming bugs as a source of nutrition, the rest of the world has been eating insects as a source of unconventional protein. Bugs have a much less of an environmental impact than other animals, they require little to no land, and many species consume waste products therefore eliminating the reliance on feed.  Consuming insects is gaining some interest in the West in forward-thinking countries such as Denmark, but the biggest opportunity involves food security for the impoverished and malnourished communities of the world. Late last year, a team of MBA students from McGill University won the $1M Hult Prize for a project that aims to improve the availability of nutritious food to underprivileged communities around the world by providing them with insect protein infused flour. For more information on this project, click here.

Other trends to watch for:

  • Naturally functional whole food – despite the regulatory minefield that is “natural”, the success of this product category will continue to increase. Maple water has been predicted as the next coconut water in this category by a number of online sources, and experts believe that marketing will be a key component to the success of these products.
  • Weight wellness – Rather than addressing weight management with a specific category of food products, companies will be more successful with a holistic approach to products that touch on trends such as gluten free, high protein, less sugar, and using natural ingredients.
  • Slow energy – Although we tend to think of glycemic index in reference to diabetes, slow or ‘sustained’ energy appeals to the mass market. Product developers are turning to complex carbohydrates such as oats, barley and millet as ingredients, as well as dairy protein’s ability to slow down digestibility, delivering slow energy.
  • Better-for-you snacking – finding the right balance of health and taste will be key for food manufacturers addressing this trend.
  • Interactive packaging – allowing manufacturers to provide more information to the consumer. This could include touch-sensitive elements or more technology.

Jessica Bowes
Senior Business Analyst, Food Nutrition & Health

Food Trend Links:
Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru
Canadian Food Insights

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The “Opt-Out” Button is no Longer Enough

Posted on January 15 2014 | Author: Jennifer Kalanda

As 2014 gets well underway I wanted to write about the new and toughest anti-spam law in Canada.  If you or your organization sends tweets, texts, facebook posts, emails or any other form of electronic communications in connection to ‘commercial activity’, then you may already be aware of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).  If you haven’t heard of CASL yet, then you better keep reading!

CASL is the new anti-spam law that requires all commercial electronic messages (CEMs) within, from or to Canada to have consent from the recipients before sending the message.  This means that just providing the option to Opt-Out or Unsubscribe is no longer an acceptable compliance of anti-spam regulations. 

Consent has been defined by the legislation in two forms.  The best route to obtain consent is directly or referred to by CASL as ‘Express’.  This express consent is best collected in writing, which does include a (unchecked) check box option, but storing the date and time will also be required. 

The other form of consent is defined as ‘Implied’ and considered given under these circumstances:

  • if your organization sends out CEMs in the context of an existing business or non-business relationship
  • if the recipient conspicuously publish their electronic contact information without indicating they don’t want to receive communications
  • if the recipients voluntarily disclose their electronic contact information to the sender without indicating they don’t want to receive communications

Now, assuming that your contact lists have given express consent or you have implied consent, your CEMs must provide recipients with:

  • the name of the person or organization seeking consent
  • a mailing address and either a phone number, voice message system, email address or website where recipients can access an agent for more information, and which remains valid for at least 60 days after the CEM is sent
  • a statement identifying the person on whose behalf consent is being sought
  • the identity and contact information of any third party or affiliate used to obtain the recipient’s consent
  • a free unsubscribe mechanism that takes effect within 10 days maximum giving recipients two ways to electronically opt-out of communications, such as by email or hyperlink
  • the ability to opt-out of all types of communications sent by either your organization or a third-party partner

CASL will take effect on July 1st, 2014 and the penalties for violating the legislation are steep.  Get started and be proactive about obtaining consent.  Once CASL takes effect you will not be able to send CEMs that request consent.  Ensure your communications meet CASL requirements and collect your approved lists now.  Review your database and determine which contacts are CASL-friendly and who will need to be re-confirmed.  And don’t forget that written consent is the most effective way to protect you or your organization from penalty.

For more information about CASL and to ensure you and your organization avoid any violations, please read the documentation below.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation
Industry Canada, Digital Branch, Bill C-28: Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Jennifer Kalanda
Events Coordinator

Image credit: Canadian Boxing Beaver Flag from the Flagshop.com
Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a summary and does not outline all elements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation and should not be treated as the formal guidelines.

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