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Current trends in consumer taste in food

From: Quality Assurance & Food Safety magazine

As consumer food purchase and consumption trends continually shift, the following are a few of the latest trends being seen around the U.S.

  • Butter: Americans are forecast to eat about 8% more butter than last year, reaching 940,000 metric tons, almost the weight of three Empire State Buildings. That’s the most since at least 1967, USDA data shows. US Foods Holding Corp., where butter sales jumped almost 7 per cent last year even as overall revenue fell slightly.
  • Bottled water: An industry tracker sales bottled water overtook soda as the No. 1 drink in the U.S. by sales volume last year. Bottled water has been enjoying growth for years, while sales of traditional sodas have declined. Research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp., says Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016, and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.
  • Oranges: USDA projects the 2016-17 orange crop at 67 million boxes, down 18 per cent from the previous season and a 70 per cent decline since the 2005 arrival of the fatal bacterial disease citrus greening. Although OJ imports will increase 23 per cent in 2016-17, larger than originally projected, it will have little impact on the total impact on the total amount of orange juice available to sell in the U.S. at 1 billion gallons, down 11.2 per cent from the 2015-16 season. In addition to fewer oranges and grapefruit for processing, the production of orange and grapefruit is declining because processors are squeezing less juice from this season’s fruit.
  • Non-dairy creamers: Manufacturer sales of plant-based alternative creamers grew 14.2% year-over-year, according to data from Technomic’s latest Volumix Beverage Creamer Report, while total volume increased 13 per cent. This is in contrast to the decline in total sales and nearly flat total volume growth for dairy-based creamers.
  • Avocados: An increasing number of shoppers are opting for the convenience of bagged avocados. The volume of bags that Del Rey Avocado Co., produces has doubled over the past five years from 5 to 10 per cent and Index Fresh sells about 35% of its avocados in bags, up from about 15 to 20 per cent five years ago. Bags are also popular for retailers because they present another way to move volume.