Food trends once primed to focus on families are reshaping as Baby-boomers become empty-nesters, and health-related products are booming worldwide. This is according to this month's issue of Food Technology magazine and its cover story, Top 10 Global Food Trends. Food Technology is published monthly by the scientific society Institute of Food Technologists.

Health became a key driver to the world's food marketplace in 2004 and do-if-yourself doctoring is one of ten major trends shaping today's consumer choices, according to the article. The Top 10 Food Trends are:

1. Quick Fix - Time to prepare food is still at a minimum, so a limited number of side dishes are prepared with entrees and ease of preparation is a major factor in eating at home.

2. Drive-and-Go - Takeout service at full service restaurants is growing, and the combination of stress with a sense of entitlement is leading consumers' drive for more upscale foods.

3. Inherently Healthy - More people are eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and yogurts.

4. Fancy - The premium foods market is projected to grow to nearly $100 billion before 2010. Wine and liqueurs are finding their way into crackers and drinks, and products for cocktails are hot.

5. Farm-Friendly - Foods deemed to be closer to the farm are capturing consumers' dollars.

6. Layered Flavors - Layering flavors is sending sales of food such as cheeses, condiments and ethnic foods soaring. Exotic fruit flavors such as starfruit, dragonfruit and Kaffir lime continue to grow.

7. Grazing - Seven million vending machines are in the U.S. with 100 million daily customers and more healthy fare to choose from. The low-carb snack category is falling, but smaller portion sizes are gaining and gourmet snack selections are strong. Health-oriented fun kid snacks will be well received.

8. Low-, No- and Reduced - With low-carb interest waning, consumers are returning to watching their fat and calorie intake. Low-fat tops the many health claims consumers now seek out.

9. Do-It-Yourself Doctoring - Shoppers are trying to manage or treat conditions through diet. Whey peptides are playing a role in Europe in beverages formulated to reduce blood pressure. IFT's new Functional Foods Expert Report details the promise bioactive components in new products can have on health. (See

10. Global Gangbusters - Convenience and ready-meals are accelerating worldwide. Fresh, chilled, ready-to-eat products are emerging domestically and dominate the United Kingdom, commanding 25% of the food market, excluding beverages. More flexible packaging (e.g. pouches) is appearing. A majority of Southeast Asians eat take-out at least once a week, even more than Americans.

Food Technology provides news and analysis of the development, use, quality, safety, and regulation of food sources, products, and processes. It is accessible online at

Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 26,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues. For more on IFT, see