For 2010, new twists on familiar standbys for many packaged goods

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Health, wellness, convenience and sustainability will all be prominently featured in next year's new products, but they'll be getting a makeover as manufacturers give a new twist to familiar items, according to Mintel's 2010 global consumer packaged goods predictions released this month.

Key trends in the forecast that will affect new product development include:

Symbol reduction: Calorie content information on the front of packages could help consumers reduce their intake. Straightforward facts on front-of-pack statements are likely to avoid confusion. Coca-Cola already has calorie information on the front of some of its carbonated soft drinks cans.

Sodium reduction: Reducing salt intake is slated to be the next major health movement but it's now going to be advocated by the food industry itself instead of the consumer, the firm says.

Local will be stretched: Products with recognizable origins and that haven't been shipped across long distances will appeal more to consumers. Local will become redefined by major companies and they will highlight small batches, premium and niche formulations such as Lay's "Classic" Potato Chips.

Simple made special: Chic packaging and premium positioning will make the ordinary stand out.

Color coding: For convenience, manufacturers will color-code their wares to facilitate comparison by label, as well emphasize brands, such as Italy's Topazio line of oils, or Glaceau's Vitaminwater in the U.S.

Kids in the spotlight: Products for children will go beyond licensed characters with new features; infant formula products will extend to children with equal nutritional claims, such as Unilever's Ades Nutrikids drink, or Nestle's Ninho Soleil milk drink.

Multipurpose: Beverages labeled as snacks, and snacks positioned as meals could appeal to consumers who want to make do with less, such as Evo's Nature's Garden Samosas.

"If there's an app for that:" Products with apps will appeal to younger consumers, which will give rise to new advertising formats, such as the Kit Kat Through the Break chocolate bar in Japan.

Fresh/Less Ingredients: Products will boast freshness and fewer ingredients, which can mean "better for you," less additives, less processing and being more natural and authentic, e.g., Haagen-Dazs Five.

Private label: Low-cost and high quality private label brands will thrive as consumers increasingly equate them with their national brands, such as Unilever's Alsa Malin or the UK's Essential Waitrose line. They will also likely remain on the market after the recession, according to the forecast.