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2017 Food Trends – What will (should) we eat? by Kristine Østergaard

Mintel report preview-food-drink-2017

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The beginning of a New Year often kicks off with a ‘new me’ attitude among many consumers. It’s always exciting to see what trends are being picked up and which will be left behind. World leading market intelligence agency, Mintel, has revealed its predictions on the six trends we can expect to see in the food industry for 2017, and here at Lucre we’re excited to see how these will evolve.

In Tradition We Trust – More products will specifically link with the past in order to encourage trust among consumers. Rapid change, unpredictability and a tumultuous world are all circumstances said to make many consumers yearn for food with authentic connections to tradition and history to assure some sort of inherent element of trustworthiness. Consumers will therefore seek comfort from modernised updates of age-old flavours, formulations, and formats.

Power to the Plants – Preferences for natural, simple and flexible diets are said to further expand vegetarian, vegan, and other plant-focused foods. A focus on healthier and cleaner lifestyles will motivate consumers to prioritise fruits, vegetables, grains etc in their diets and reinforce the growing interest in vegetarian and vegan products, as well as how to best reap the rewards of these foods. Following this we will see an acceleration in new products that casts plants in star roles and where technology plays a large part to ensure the ample supply of plant-enhanced food that delivers on taste as well as nutrition.

Waste Not! – This year’s focus on sustainability zeroes in on eliminating food waste. Stigma associated with imperfect produce will begin to fade and the consumer’s acceptance of misshapen fruits and vegetables will improve. Attitudes towards waste will change and give way to opportunities to innovate by using materials that would otherwise have been discarded. Attention will thus be focused around innovations commercialising edible food waste and by-products of juicing and other production processes, as well as promoting the idea that inedible production waste can have an afterlife as compost.

Time is of the Essence – Time investments required for products and meals will become as influential as nutrition or ingredient claims. Time is an increasingly precious resource and the time spent on foods that are fresh, nutritious, and customisable will become a clear selling point. This doesn’t mean food always have to be specifically fast, but that healthy products sharing their preparation or consumption time will become popular and find a way into more homes.

The Night Shift – The late evening is tapped as a new occasion for functional food formulations. Technological advances make it harder for people to “clock out” and generates a need for products providing comfort and relaxation to help people calm down before bedtime in order to sleep better, and efficiently restore the body while they rest. We will therefore see more food products leveraging the tea category’s reputation by using chamomile, lavender and herbs in formulations promoted by their use as part of a pre-bedtime routine.

Balancing the Scales – Health for Everyone! Healthy food is not a luxury. Inequality in healthy products is said to persist as lower-income consumers make up a large part of the worldwide consumer base and are at the greatest risk of a food-related health issue, such as diabetes and obesity. As many lower-income consumers already intent on improving their lifestyle, we will experience a greater focus on the affordability of healthy food and more campaigns and innovations concerned with making it easier for lower-income consumers to fulfill healthier eating ambitions.

There are some interesting trends coming through the food industry this year and we’re looking forward to seeing which ones take off and which comes to a grinding halt.

 

 

Source: Mintel ‘Global Food and Drink Trends 2017’ Report

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