LONDON (Commodity Online): Tate & Lyle, world-leading renewable food and industrial ingredients company, has identified four major trends for food industry in USA for 2010 that covers private labels, environmental conscious purchasing, dining in-house and gluten content.

Trend 1: Private Label Upgrade
Formerly considered the generic step sister of national brands, private label products are stepping into the spotlight with innovative premium options that are competing for long-term share of wallet.

Mintel's Februar. 2008 Private Label Foods study reports that 78 percent of U.S. adults say private label products offer the same quality at a lower price than their branded counterparts. In a new report, Private Label 2010: Redefining Meaning of Brand, The Hartman Group says that 47 percent of consumers have switched from a favorite national brand to a store brand.

With more than 4,000 private label products introduced in 2009 and the fluctuating economy prompting consumers to continually restructure their budgets, premium private label manufacturers are positioned to attract shoppers in 2010.

Make it work for you: With 57 percent of consumers actively looking for ways to eat healthier and consumer willingness to pay at least 5 percent more for foods made with fiber, formulating premium private label products with the highest quality ingredients, such as PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber, can help add sales to P&L statements. Manufacturing with sweeteners such as KRYSTAR Crystalline Fructose or a zero-calorie sweetener with strong brand equity, like SPLENDA®Sucralose, can help reduce the high cost of sugar and slash production costs without altering the taste of the product.

Trend 2: Green Nutrition and Production
From reducing greenhouse gases and packaging materials to purchasing locally grown produce and foods sourced from renewable crops, Americans are displaying a greater interest in foods promoting environmental credentials.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association partnered with Deloitte Consulting to conduct the Finding the Green in Today's Shoppers study featuring nearly 6,500 American shoppers. The study found that 95 percent of shoppers would buy green and 63 percent are looking for green. The study also identifies green consumers as routine, weekly shoppers who are less sensitive to price and more likely to repurchase products once they've adopted them.

As Americans become more sensitive to the impact of their choices on the environment, they are displaying their social conscious by purchasing more environmentally responsible products.

Make it work for you: Scrutinize the origin of your ingredients and use ingredients that are sourced from renewable crops like corn and cane sugar. Also consider how ingredients are manufactured and transported. Partner with suppliers, like Tate & Lyle, who promote low water usage and energy efficiency, have biodegradable offerings, and recycle materials, such as steam, in their manufacturing facilities.

Trend 3: Cocoon Carryover
In-home dining continues to be in season as consumers become more skilled in personalizing their nutrition. According to Mintel, consumers are seeking convenience foods such as meal kits, microwaveable meals, affordable and nutritious meals, and meal tie-ins with celebrity chefs. Dinner, the leading meal occasion for healthy eating as reported by the Hartman Group's Reflections on Food, present opportunities for food manufacturers to innovate their convenience offerings across a wide range of categories.

Make it work for you: Use unique and ethnic flavors to enhance the taste of convenience foods, and a variety of starches to achieve familiar and new textures.

Trend 4: Gluten-free 911
Gluten-free products are consumed by many Americans not living with celiac disease.
According to The Hartman Group's Gluten-Free: Context, Insights and Predictions, U.S. consumers are purchasing gluten-free products for well-being, digestive health, weight loss and nutritional value.

With more than 4,000 products touting a gluten-free label now, tapping into the gluten-free market can spell additional sales growth for companies. SPINS report that the gluten-free segment is more than a $900 million business, with dollar sales escalating by 16 percent in 2008 versus the prior year.

Make it work for you: Look for manufacturing partners with gluten-free ingredients and R&D teams knowledgeable of formulating gluten-free products. Experiment with taste and use gluten-free starches to deliver mouthfeel and textures offered by conventional food products.

Tate & Lyle is a world-leading renewable food and industrial ingredients company, serving a global market from more than 45 production facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and South East Asia. Our efficient, large-scale manufacturing plants turn agricultural products, corn and cane sugar, into valuable ingredients for our customers. These ingredients add taste, texture, nutrition and increased functionality to products that millions of people around the world use or consume every day.

Tate & Lyle is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TATE.L. American Depositary Receipts trade under TATYY. In the year to March 31, 2009, Tate & Lyle employed 5,718 people in its subsidiaries and joint ventures, and sales totaled $6.4 billion (£3.55 billion).