Happy New Year to all of you and welcome back to another Blog post with so much news ahead! We have left behind 2018 that, no doubt, has brought us many advances in the food sector. However, the New Year promises to bring us very innovative trends and for every taste: let’s go discuss it!
This Blog post is based on the review of the Top Ten Trends of 2019 of the FoodIngredientsFirst website, which we attended virtually and the reason why we can make this small summary.
The key idea and first trend on which all the industry plans will be developed is Discovery: the Adventurous Consumer. Since food has become more and more entertaining, colourful and emotional and it influence on how we feel (not only physically but also mentally) the consumer has become more curious about it. Two out of three consumers in the US, UK and China love to discover new items, from flavours, ingredients or textures to new packaging or restaurants that offer an innovative dining experience. We are looking for something new and different that makes us experience emotions. Some examples could be the watermelon ham (totally surprising!) from the Ducks Eatery restaurant in New York, or something more “understandable”, chocolate with chili.
As a second trend we have The Plant Kingdom, which has already been settling for years but which will continue in a very big way next year. It is based on an increase in the natural clean labelling trend, which redefines each year and is becoming more frequent. It represents the idea of the plant-based diet, increasing the fruit & vegetable consumption in terms of health, but with very interesting products to develop and evolve to get better and reach the most traditional consumers. The industry wants to find a way to participate in a new and different manner to get in touch with all kinds of consumers. For example, a balance between real meat hamburgers and vegan-vegetable hamburgers: the Boeuf vegetable Burger by Carrefour (France), with 50% minced meat and 50% coral lentils and pumpkin seeds.
The third trend is based on Alternatives to All: alternatives to bread, meat (meat substitutes have grown by 11%), dairy products (growth of 17%)… in order to improve health or to establish a diet variety, novelty or sustainable. There has been a very fast increase in product launches with a vegan claim, up to 45% of growing between 2013 and 2017, with products like Vegan Ice Cream bar by Magnum. Also other categories like Green Giant’s pizza or pasta alternatives, drink alternatives like Tesco’s low-alcohol Gin Tonic, or protein alternatives like pea or even insect protein.
A fourth trend that is a little further away from food itself, but with great importance is sustainability, the Green Appeal. Sustainability is a goal for all of us and companies must invest and make commitments to sustainability in the short and long term. There are very creative ideas in this matter, such as fighting food waste by taking advantage of manufacturing processes. Even for us in our own houses with the Aquafaba, which make the most of the cooking liquid of beans and other legumes like chickpeas to use it as an alternative to egg whites. As well, creating alternatives to single-use plastics to make biodegradable packaging, such as edible straws or edible seaweed packaging.
The fifth and last trend that we are fully reviewing is Snacking: the Definitive Occasion. Oh, how much we love to snack between meals… We can divide consumers into three target groups:
- Millennials that replace their meals for snacks because they are too busy
- GenX that are cutting out their sweet snack consumption
- Boomers that are making changes to become healthier
For all of them, the companies must focus on how they innovate on snacking occasions. For example, some of the most innovative products are the following: the classic Babybells but this time with crackers, or Pringles into pizza-flavoured sticks. Taking into consideration the participation of vegans, companies have also invested in snacks for them based on fruit, rice, mushrooms, or even roots.
Here we finish the review of the trends for the upcoming months. We hope it provides a general idea of what is to come and we will see if the predictions are fulfilled during this year.
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