‘Mindful Choices’ tops food and drink trends for 2018

Bakers Journal
November 14, 2017
Written by Bakers Journal
Consumers want to know and understand the ingredient list of the food and drinks they choose, says a new report from Innova Market Insights.

The increasingly thoughtful and mindful consumer will continue to inspire changes in the way companies produce, package and label their products, according to a news release from the research firm, which analyzes food and drink launches and consumer research to highlight the trends likely to impact the industry. More conscious than ever about making responsible food choices, four in 10 U.S. and U.K. consumers increased their consumption of “healthy foods,” seven in 10 want to know and understand the ingredient list, half in the U.S. are most influenced by “real” ingredients, and ethical claims on packaging are top of mind.

In response, manufacturers are launching more products with better-for-you claims. Such products have increased their market penetration from 42 per cent in 2012 to 49 per cent this year to date.

“Today’s consumer displays a high level of mindfulness about well being and the environment. So it is no surprise that consumers are becoming increasingly mindful in their food choices, wanting to know what is in their foods in order to make decisions about health, sustainability and ethical issues,” reports Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation for Innova.

“Mindful Choices” leads the list of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2018:

1. Mindful Choices: Consumers are more conscious than ever about making responsible food choices, and increasingly want to know what is in their food and how it is produced. Research data indicates that half of U.S., U.K. and German consumers read ingredient labels often and that seven out of 10 U.S. and U.K. consumers want to know and understand ingredient lists. At the same time, rising levels of interest in ethical issues have resulted in the use of ethical claims for food and drink new product development soaring in recent years. See an infographic illustrating the trend.

2. Lighter Enjoyment: As consumers continue to look for ways to eat and drink more healthily, lightness in terms of alcohol content, sweetness, flavour, texture or even portion size is increasing its appeal, although definitely not at the expense of a familiar, high-quality and indulgent taste profile.

3. Positively Processed: As consumers become more concerned about naturalness and minimal processing techniques, the industry is reviving traditional processes such as fermented foods and cold brew tea and coffee, alongside the development of new ones.

4. Going Full Circle: The notion of closing the circle is increasingly taking hold, with greater consumer expectation that companies and brands will be more resource-smart via developments such as tip-to-tail eating, innovative uses for food waste and more biodegradable and renewable packaging.

5. Beyond the Coffeehouse: While coffee is clearly trending among Millennial and Generation Z consumers, tea is also seeking to reinvent itself among the younger generations. With the taste and experiential associations of coffee and the healthy image of tea, the industry is increasingly using coffee and tea as ingredients and flavors outside the hot drinks and iced tea and coffee sub-categories across a wide variety of products as varied as energy bars, yogurt and jam.

Rounding out the top 10 trends are Say it with Color; Dining Out, In; From Snacks to Mini Meals; Ocean Garden; and Bountiful Choice.

All 10 trends will be presented by the firm at a live webinar on Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. CET/10 a.m. EST.

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