Hottest Retail Trends in 2010

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BOULDER, Colo.—Men in the grocery ails, pragmatic plates, pint-sized palates, “nonprecious” organic foods, sugar tax and superfoods are among the hottest retail trends in 2010, according to the Fresh Ideas Group’s 3rd Annual Consumer Trends Forecast.

Men in the Grocery Aisles: With more men bearing the brunt of the down economy, and more highly educated women outearning their husbands, men also will be adapting to a new role that may very well include more cooking, shopping and child care.

Pragmatic Plates: Restaurant eaters will continue to trade down from pricey to pragmatic in their dining out choices, making cheap but hearty ethnic eateries and down-home diners more appealing than fancy white tablecloth dining destinations. Look for a proliferation of affordable noodle bowl and tacqueria restaurants and a big push on roving restaurants in Airstreams and former burrito trucks. Grocery grab-and-go choices will expand and grow in both natural and grocery channels as families increasingly dine around the home table, even if the food is microwaved.

Pint-Sized Palates: Kid foodies with sophisticated palates are challenging their parents to keep the menu interesting. FIG predicts product introductions featuring unusual twists on everyday kids' favorites like gourmet PB&Js, Asian-influenced easy lunches, Mexican-themed snacks and beverages and also increased culinary change on the school lunch menu as well.

"Nonprecious" Organic: Organic foods will continue to land and expand on the shelf in mainstream grocery chains from Target to Costco to Safeway while private label organic products in Whole Foods Markets and Trader Joes will make increasing one's organic shopping share more affordable than ever before.

Pass the Soda; Hold the Sugar and the Energy Drinks: President Obama has proposed a "soda tax" on sugar-sweetened drinks, Renegade Lunch Ladies led by Chef Ann Cooper are ousting chocolate milk and high fructose corn syrup from cafeterias, and health-aware parents are reading labels more closely to reduce their children's sugar consumption. FIG predicts a wave of new and reformulated lower sugar products for kids of all ages and believe high fructose corn syrup will soon land in the same place as trans fats, demonized and disallowed.

Supercharged Foods and Calories That Count: Truly nutritionally charged ingredients will be a mantra for 2010. Salba will be the next supergrain, and superfruits like acai, yumberry and mangosteen will jump from the beverage aisle to jam jars and frozen foods. Grams of fiber and whole grains will be the competitive bragging claims for cereals and snack foods.

Health Under the Magnifying Glass: FIG predicts new competitive spirit and reporting on healthiest versus least healthy states, counties and cities. Look for increases in health insurance premiums based on level of healthfulness for employees and employer-sponsored contests to incent healthy habits like quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol levels and maintaining regular exercise.

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