The WH Asks poll always queries the industry to predict The Next Big Thing. Whether respondents are right or wrong, one maxim always holds true: How quickly the future becomes the past — especially in the food business.
In the first WH Asks poll in 2005, low-carb foods received the fewest votes. It was a year after the diet craze swept America. The top vote-getter was organics, followed closely by trans fats — more than 50% of those polled placed those two concerns at the top of their lists.
In 2007, both retailers and manufacturers agreed (58% and 57%, respectively) that the grocery category will see the most activity in the coming months, with improved ingredient lists, better packaging and new products. Home cleaners also received some support, but to a much lesser degree; only 12% of retailers and 11% of manufacturers think surficants, detergents and related products will sell better into next year.
There was only one category that received no votes, which was something of a surprise, given the consumer buzz around the different types of new products rolling out — baby food.