In Disruption, Kale, NEXT Concept Lab, Plant-based, Quick Bites

More kale please!

We need more kale. Well, we need more nutrient-rich leafy greens with the same qualities that made kale the poster child of healthy food. Innovators at the epicenter of the natural products movement are constantly on the lookout for sleek new ingredients to usher in better health for people and the planet…. enter, kelp.

Kelp is unique in that it can deliver many ecosystem benefits and nourishment – if it’s sea-farmed the right way – and there seems to be more savvy sea-farmers bringing this trend to market. Unfortunately, these same farmers lack the solid supply chain partnerships and wide-scale consumer acceptance to get this ingredient trend off the (ocean) floor.

The kelp/seaweed trend is still relatively new to consumers. NEXT’s Concept Lab has seen 16 product concepts featuring seaweed, which collectively scored below average for probability of market success (57) and consumer purchase intent (9). On the other hand, the 6 product concepts featuring kelp scored higher on average with market success (71) and purchase intent (11), indicating the kelp concepts have a higher likelihood of acceptance. For reference, the average scores of all Concept Lab products combined is 74 and 12, respectively.

Are you eager to make waves in food innovation? We know consumers want healthier food and more consumers are paying attention to the environmental impacts of the products they buy. Kelp is a perfect marriage of environmentally-friendly and healthy food, but the processing and preferred format that would appeal to consumers still needs to be determined. NEXT’s Concept Lab is the perfect starting point to test your seaweed (or non-seaweed) innovations.