New market insight from Mintel identified key ingredient and food and beverage product trends that will influence the global market over the next year. 2017 will be a "year 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.
Expect 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. Opportunities will exist 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 of calm before bedtime. There also will be a valid excuse for nighttime chocolate indulgence. In 2017 and beyond, expect to see 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.
Mintel’s six top food and beverage trends for 2017 include:
In Tradition We Trust: Consumers seek comfort from modernized updates of age-old formulations, flavors and formats. The trust in the familiar emphasizes the opportunity for manufacturers to 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.
Power to the Plants: The preference for natural, simple and flexible diets will drive further expansion of vegetarian, vegan and other plant-focused formulations. 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.
Waste Not: The focus of sustainability zeros in on eliminating food waste. 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, and food waste will be repurposed in new ways, such as power sources.
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 our multitasking lifestyles are propelling a need for shortcut solutions that are still fresh, nutritious, and customizable. 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.
The Night Shift: 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. There is potential for more evening-focused innovations formulated for relaxation, satiety, and, taking a cue from the beauty industry, food and beverages that provide functional benefits while the consumer sleeps.
Balancing the Scales—Health for Everyone: Healthy food and drink are not "luxuries." 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.