5 Major Trends in the Food and Drink Industry to Follow in 2018!

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  • December 20, 2017

What are the 5 biggest global trends in the food and drink industry for 2018? Based on an exclusive consumers’ research and experts’ analysis, Mintel has recently launched its 2018 trends study around the food and drink industry.

Review the full report here.

Total traceability and transparency

Consumers’ suspicion and mistrust towards large companies is getting bigger following several product recalls and scandals that happened for the past few years. In addition, concerns around health and how food can affect it has been growing significantly.

Full disclosure is now determinant for manufacturers. Consumers need to know product components, origins, effect on health, etc. They have to be reassured on product safety and reliability before consumption. Mintel’s study highlights the need of “natural, ethical and environmental” products as “29% of global food and drink launches from September 2016 to August 2017” are natural product claims (no additives/preservatives, organic and GMO-free).

Manufacturers need to be very cautious on the entire product cycle, from raw materials to finished products including food processing and supply chain. Full transparency is more important than ever to give consumers detailed information: ingredients origin, who have produced it, when and how.

Focus on “self-care” routines

Consumers are looking for ways to evade from their stressful, tiring and way too negative daily life. To balance, taking care of themselves has become a priority. Healthy and organic food, less fat, sugar, and more balanced diets. As indicated in Mintel’s analysis, “Many people who feel overwhelmed are focusing on “self-care,” or prioritizing time and efforts dedicated to themselves. Consumers seeking more routine relief from stress will change the definition of “permissible indulgence” from the rare feast to habitual better for-you treats.”

Nowadays, product origin and effect on health are more important than ever. At the same time, occasional treats are perceived good for consumers’ well-being.  As per Mintel highlights in the report, “52% of Thai, 45% of Australian, and 43% of Indonesian adult metropolitan consumers say managing or releasing stress properly is an important factor for a healthy lifestyle”.

Manufacturers have to be transparent and clear in order to reassure confused consumers. Moreover, they need to think about new products formats like minis, and smaller sized portion to satisfy this new increasing demand.

Looking for new sensations

Consumers are looking for products offering new sensations and especially unusual textures. Mintel explains, “Color will continue to be important, but texture is the next facet of formulation that can be leveraged to provide consumers with interactive— and documentation-worthy—experiences.”

More than just consuming the product, they want to live a full and unusual experience that will make them escape from their life routine. Texture is a good way to differentiate a brand from another and to take advantage of specific events throughout the year.

Several brands have already launched “experienced products”. For example, Nabisco Oreo has launched a limited edition, called “Fireworks”, for the US Independence Day with red and blue popping candy in the cream.

Historically, Asia has been the most innovative continent when it comes to unexpected textures but according to Mintel, “Europe has the largest share of global food and drink launches with descriptions of texture since January 2016”.

Personalized attention

More than only product personalization, consumers are sensitive to preferential treatment when buying a product. It allows brands to create a unique relationship with its customers and improve their experience. According to Mintel, “a new era in personalization is dawning due to the expansion of online and mobile food shopping.” In addition, with the increase of AI, retailers and groceries will be able to send targeted advertising and promotions to a specific audience.

New technologies as Amazon Echo or Google Home will make consumers’ life easier and effortless allowing them to add/delete items from their shopping lists and complete the purchase. As Mintel mentioned, “35% of UK online grocery shoppers who agree the ability to add products to their grocery order through voice command technology is appealing.”

Food from science

Last 2018 trend highlighted by Mintel through this report, is the “science fare”. That involves food designed by science and new technologies. According to Mintel, “a technological revolution is playing out in manufacturing as some forward-looking companies are developing solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products.”

Several businesses have started to design their own food using vegetal ingredients or stem cell cultures and 3D printing and addressing a completely different market like vegetarians and eco-conscious consumers. Surprisingly, Mintel study shows that consumers are not completely against the idea, “26% of Spanish, 13% of Polish, 11% of French, 9% of Italian, and 8% of German consumers aged 16+ agree that lab-grown, cultured, or synthetic meat appeals to them.”


Learn here how Lascom CPG software can help retailers and manufacturers from the Food and Drink industry to face upcoming challenges.



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