Innova Market Insights tells us that value redefinition is the main trend in food. The political and economic outlook has put consumer spending under pressure. Consumers want value for money.
Trend 1 - Redefining Value
Consumers think long and hard about the products they will pay more for, now that prices are high, and the political picture is unstable. Research bureau Innova Market Insights tells us that consumers have more money for: 1. Fresh; 2. Local and 3. Health-promoting. They attach a lot of importance to cutting food waste, recycling and products in sustainable packaging.
Trend 2 - Affordable Nutrition
The steep rise in food costs is forcing consumers to choose simple, nutritious and affordable food. That means bulk buying, choosing house brands, cooking at home, buying fewer luxury items and buying less. According to consumers, product development must concentrate on health (say 41% of consumers), affordability (30%) and naturalness (28%).
Trend 3 - Generational Push
Health, affordability and taste are important to all consumers. The order differs from one generation to another. Gen Z values taste over price. As parents, millennials value price over flavour. Gen X and baby-boomers put health above all. Health is important to older generations.
Trend 4 - Plant-Based: Unlocking a New Narrative
The rapid growth of plant-based has run into obstacles. In money terms, the market grew 14% in the 2018-2020 period. Growth of +7% is expected for 2021-2023. The consumer wants flavourful plant-based products with a good texture. Also important are value for money, less processing and fewer artificial ingredients.
Trend 5 - Farming the Future
The modern consumer has a sustained interest in innovative technologies such as vertical agriculture, plant breeding and regenerative agriculture. This positive attitude is attributable to product quality and sustainability.
Trend 6 - Quick Quality
Two thirds of consumers want to obtain their dally food ingredients simply and easily through meal packages. However, this choice is dependent on price above all, followed by freshness and healthiness. The preparation time and method are less important.
Trend 7 - Devouring Digital
Brands are only just beginning to harness the potential of social media by enriching real life through digital experience, on Tiktok and Instagram, for example. This wakens curiosity among 18- to 34-year-olds and can give a youthful feel to a brand.
Trend 8 - Revenge Spending
Small indulgences have a bigger effect on consumers now that expenditure on luxuries is under pressure. The average annual growth in launches of new foods and drinks with a limited-edition claim rose by 30% in the last 3 years.
Trend 9 - Unpuzzle Health
Consumers want to know more from the packaging about the health benefits, ingredients and nutritional value of a product. In Europe, personal research, claims and the opinions of doctors and professionals are the most important sources of information on a product's health benefits.
Trend 10 - Positively Imperfect
Openness about the complexities of sustainability is valued by consumers who do not expect brands to be 100% perfect.
The Draf in Galop project, which began in November 2022, oversees the draff (spent grain) valorisation chain from start to finish. Sustainability is a top priority for the De Leite and Westmalle breweries.
“We have noticed a growing demand for personalised food, fuelled in part by an ageing population. Delicious and customised food is essential at every stage in life”, says Jean de Bethune of the West Flanders Development Agency, co-initiator of a new science centre, the Food Innovation Park.
The food and ingredients industry cannot escape a circular economy. A fact highlighted by the raw materials crisis. Jasper Bloemen of GLIMPS.bio shares his vision. “Corporate economic and societal costs are being addressed.”
There is a trend in which highly active sports people are very serious about the taste of their sports health nutrition and its ease-of-use. “There is a shift taking place.”