The year 2017 will be one of extremes, from ‘ancient’ products including grains, recipes, practices and traditions to the use of technology to create more and better tasting plant-enhanced foods, according to Mintel.
The company expects to see a rise in both ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ claims, as well as more products designed to help people calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest.
It says they are opportunities for more products to leverage the reputation of the tea category and use chamomile, lavender and other herbs in formulations as a way to achieve a sense calm before bedtime.
There will also be more of the unexpected, including fruit snacks made with ugly fruit and mayonnaise made with the liquid from draining chickpeas, which has been dubbed aquafaba.
Global food and drink analyst Jenny Zegler shares the following trends that will impact global markets:
1. In tradition we trust
Consumers seek comfort from modernized updates of age-old formulations, flavors and formats.
They are seeking the safety of products that are recognizable rather than revolutionary.
Manufacturers should look to the past as a dependable source of inspiration such as ‘ancient’ product claims including ancient grains and also ancient recipes, practices and traditions.
Potential also exists for innovations that use the familiar as a base for something that is new, but recognizable, such as cold-brew coffee.
2. Power to the plants
The preference for natural, simple and flexible diets will drive further expansion of vegetarian, vegan and other plant-focused formulations.
There will be more products that emphasize plants as key ingredients.
More packaged products and recipes for home cooking will leverage fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, botanicals and other plants as a way to align with consumers’ nearly omnipresent health and wellness priorities.
Technology will play a part, already we have seen one company use artificial intelligence to develop plant-based alternatives to animal products including milk, mayonnaise, yogurt and cheese.
3. Waste not
The focus of sustainability zeros in on eliminating food waste.
More retailers, restaurants and philanthropic organizations are addressing the sheer amount of food and drink that is wasted around the world, which is changing consumer perceptions.
In 2017, the stigma associated with imperfect produce will begin to fade, more products will make use of ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste such as fruit snacks made from ‘ugly’ fruit and mayonnaise made from the liquid from packaged chickpeas, and food waste will be repurposed in new ways, such as power sources.
4. Time is of the essence
The time investments required for products and meals will become as influential as nutrition or ingredient claims.
Time is an increasingly precious resource and multitasking lifestyles are propelling a need for short-cut solutions
that are still fresh, nutritious and customizable, already we have seen so-called ‘biohacking’ food and drink that offers complete nutrition in convenient formats.
In 2017, the time spent on – or saved by – a food or drink product will become a clear selling point, inspiring more products to directly communicate how long they will take to receive, prepare or consume.
5. The night shift
Evening is tapped as a new occasion for functional food and drink formulations.
The increasingly hectic pace of modern life is creating a market for food and drink that helps people of all ages calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest.
Products can leverage the reputation of the tea category and use chamomile, lavender and other herbs as a way to achieve a sense calm before bedtime, while chocolate could be positioned as a way to wind down after a stressful day.
Ahead, there is potential for more evening-focused innovations formulated for relaxation, satiety and, taking a cue from the beauty industry, food and drink that provide functional benefits while the consumer sleeps.
6. Balancing the scales: Health for everyone
Healthy food and drink are not ‘luxuries’.
Inequality is not just a political or philanthropic issue — it also will resonate more with the food and drink industry.
Many lower-income consumers want to improve their diets but the access to — and the cost of — healthy food and drink is often an impediment.
More campaigns and innovations are to be expected that will make it easier for lower-income consumers to fulfill their healthy ambitions, including apps to help people make use of ingredients that are on sale and, in a tie-in with Mintel’s 2017 Global Food & Drink Trend Waste Not, a value-priced box of ‘wonky’ vegetable.