Transparency, convenience, sustainability and organic are among the top key words in today’s cold food industry, followed by Millennials, Gen Z and Baby Boomers. Yes, demographics are considered trends too, and they’re transforming the way cold food processors innovate and market new products.

To keep up with these ever-changing trends, food manufacturers continue to grow, build and expand, create new product lines and extensions, revamp packaging, become more environmentally friendly and exercise extreme food safety measures.

They’re also re-shaping the future by investing in robotics, automation, Internet of Things, supplier sourcing technologies, cloud-based software solutions and more. They’re going green not just plant-wide, but company-wide. They’re implementing safeguards that protect—and prevent—recalls, food fraud and other supply chain threats. And, they’re bringing consumers along for the ride.

I call it The Retail Evolution.

E-commerce and mobile couponing are changing the way consumers shop. Today’s shoppers want simplicity.

Yet, sustainability still sells.

Consumers want fresh ingredients, bold taste and customized options, all wrapped up in recyclable and portable package.

They buy brands they love and trust, and aren’t afraid to brag about it on social media.

This year’s State of the Industry report reveals the trends and challenges impacting each cold food and beverage channel.

For more on these and other trends, go to And, go to for exclusive online-only content, such as Top 10 charts and more.

And, more importantly, go out there and grocery shop. Keep the evolution of retail grocery shopping in motion.