Opinion: Six New Trends Shaping the Global Consumer Landscape

Mintel has recently revealed six key consumer trends impacting industries and markets around the world and identified how they will play out in the years to come. In 2019 and beyond, the global consumer landscape will evolve like never before, driven by themes of privacy, individuality, wellness, convenience and connectivity:

  • Total Wellbeing: Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs.
  • Challenge Accepted: A growing momentum to take on new challenges is driving consumers to reach new heights and uncover new passions.
  • Rethink Plastic: While not inherently bad, the throwaway use of plastic is driving consumers to review their own behaviours to prevent plastic pollution.
  • On Display: Consumers and brands are becoming more aware that they have a digital persona to nurture and grow, creating tension as everyone fights for attention and nobody is safe from scrutiny.
  • Social Isolation: Constant digital connectivity, where physical interactions are replaced with digital updates, can increase feelings of loneliness, social isolation and depression, creating a demand for products and services that help consumers learn to disconnect.
  • Redefining Adulthood: The concept of what it means to be an adult has changed beyond recognition and consumers are adapting to lives that don’t fit the mold.

Here, the global Mintel Trends analyst team explores how these trends are set to shake up markets around the world, including implications for both consumers and brands.

TOTAL WELLBEING

“In 2019 and beyond, growing consumer curiosity with the microbiome shows no signs of abating. From gut-friendly fermented foods to probiotic skincare, consumers will demand products that balance and boost the natural bacteria found in and on the body.”

“Consumers are looking externally to their surroundings and internally towards their physical and mental wellbeing, expecting holistic approaches to wellness. Across the globe consumers are increasingly seeking personalisation and in the UK, as many as 42% of British consumers are interested in a personalised diet based on their genes/DNA. Developments in health monitoring, such as skin sensors or ingestible capsules, will satisfy consumers’ demand for this personalised approach, while also building on scientific research in these emerging fields.”

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

“As appetites for adventure grow, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”

“Social media inspiration is blurring the line between reality and #lifegoals, opening consumers up to a whole new world. In fact, a third (32%) of Canadian consumers who have attended a live event say they learn about live events from social media. It may be fuelling a love of adventure, but social media is not without its pitfalls and in the years to come, companies and brands should proceed with caution.”

RETHINK PLASTIC

“When it comes to recycling, well-meaning consumers are desperate to do the right thing but often simply don’t know how or where to start. As consumers continue to challenge brands over the perils of plastic waste, the development of recyclable products and packaging that are convenient for consumers to separate will be critical. But equally as important will be creating incentives and initiatives; in China, 58% of Mintropolitans* are willing to pay more for ethical brands.”

“In 2019 and beyond, expect to see more sponsored ‘reverse’ vending machines and bring-your-own-mug schemes. But it takes more than any one individual or brand to save the world; the future will be about working together. Companies and organizations should look to partner in order to create or crowdsource ideas that will make innovative and disruptive changes, such as the development of biodegradable materials, the search to enhance the recyclability of plastic or the cultivation of a better waste management system.”

ON DISPLAY

“Consumers and brands have come to accept and nurture their digital personas, perfectly curating their online identities. But even among the most carefully crafted feeds, one misguided post can lead to intense scrutiny and public backlash. In the US, 16% of Hispanic social media users have boycotted brands based on things they learned on social media.”

“Now more than ever, it’s crucial for companies and brands to have social media strategies in place and to train employees about company morals and etiquette, so that when (not if) they are faced with a sensitive issue, they know how to handle it in a timely way. While it is important to balance the cycle of ‘negative exposure’ by sharing good, positive stories, it’s equally important to promote critical thinking and dissent. This will help brands align with consumers’ defiant side and break through their filter bubbles.”

SOCIAL ISOLATION

“Technology can make the world a lonely place. Consumers increasingly live their lives through smartphone screens and, although connected electronically, they are becoming isolated from each other both physically and emotionally. It seems there are countless reasons why consumers may feel they never need to leave their homes, with 34% of Brazilian Millennials (aged 19-35) saying they prefer to contact companies/brands online rather than in-store or over the phone. And smart home technology and delivery services make it easier than ever for consumers to feel they have everything they need under their own roof.”

“Facilitating connections and creating unique spaces where communities can be built is the next stage in cultivating customer loyalty. Brands who position their physical and virtual ‘space’ as places for consumers to meet while also eating, shopping or taking part in a leisure activity will lead to a boost in not only engagement, but revenue.”

REDEFINING ADULTHOOD

“With experiences over material things being a key priority for consumers, companies need to focus on campaigns and opportunities that focus on making life memorable. Taking a technology-first approach could be the answer, as more and more consumers are commonly relying on technology to manage their everyday ‘adult’ tasks. In fact, a third (33%) of US consumers agree they would rather interact with people online than in-person.”

“Despite more convenience and opportunity, the challenges of adulthood have not disappeared. Those looking to capitalize on this will serve as a resource for these hurdles by making responsibilities feel more manageable and even fun (sometimes). Flexibility is the name of the game. With a growing remote workforce, consumers’ daily lives are fluid and brands have to adapt to lifestyles no longer defined by 9-5 work cultures.”

*Mintropolitans are broadly defined by Mintel as those who represent a significant, sophisticated consuming group (aged 20-49) who pursue quality of life rather than just wealth, are well educated, and are the potential trendsetters.

Source: Mintel

Opinion: 7 nutrition trends you’ll see in 2018

Christy Brissette wrote . . . . . . .

Last year was all about plant protein, sprouted foods and healthy fats. My prediction is that 2018 will be focused on eating to prevent and manage health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and boosting digestive health.

This year’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo was held in Chicago and brought more than 13,000 nutrition professionals together to learn about food and nutrition research and innovation.

Here are the top food and nutrition trends you’ll see in the year ahead.

Omega-9s

Why it’s a trend: Healthy fats are in, and in 2018 we’ll home in on omega-9s (also known as monounsaturated fats) for their potential to regulate blood sugar levels and promote a healthy weight.

Where you’ll see it: Algae has been touted as a superfood in its own right, but the newest use for algae is in the production of ­omega-9 cooking oil. The process doesn’t use genetically modified organisms or chemical extraction, further broadening its appeal. Thrive algae oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. It has a high smoke point of 485 degrees, which means you can use it in baking, roasting and sauteing.

So what does algae oil taste like? It’s completely neutral and odorless, so you can use it in any recipes where you want healthy fat without changing the flavor of the food.

Plant-based probiotics

Why it’s a trend: Probiotics have been a hot topic in the nutrition world for several years. They’re bacteria that provide health benefits such as better digestion and a stronger immune system. With plant-based eating becoming increasingly popular, people are looking for probiotic sources beyond yogurt and kefir.

Where you’ll see it: GoodBelly dairy-free probiotics come in tasty shots, juice, infused drinks and bars so you can get your daily dose of good bacteria any way you like. All GoodBelly offerings feature bacteria strain Lp299v, which has been scientifically proved to survive stomach acid and arrive safely in the intestines, where it can colonize in the gut. In other words, these probiotics go beyond “live and active cultures” — they survive and thrive to give you health benefits.

Chicory root fiber

Why it’s a trend: It’s fantastic to introduce healthy bacteria into your digestive tract, but you also need to provide the right fuel to help those good bacteria thrive. That’s where prebiotics come in.

Chicory root fibers (inulin and oligofructose) are the only scientifically proven plant-based prebiotics with proven health benefits such as weight management, improved calcium absorption and digestive health.

Where you’ll see it: Expect to find chicory root fiber in a variety of foods, including nutrition bars (ThinkThin), yogurt (Oikos Triple Zero), smoothies and oatmeal. You can also find it as a powder (Prebiotin) that can be added to your food and beverages.

Eating for ‘Type 3’ diabetes

Why it’s a trend: Alzheimer’s disease is now being referred to as “Type 3 diabetes” and “brain diabetes,” as both conditions involve insulin resistance and deficiency. In 2018, we’ll be focusing more on the importance of eating for brain health.

Where you’ll see it: A randomized control trial of the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay) diet is looking into the benefits of a nutrient-rich diet emphasizing foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and berries in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Frozen blueberries are being given to participants because they are rich in antioxidants that may be beneficial for the brain, particularly when it comes to memory loss in aging.

Recent research published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that daily consumption of the equivalent of one cup of fresh blueberries, given as 24 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder, showed positive changes in cognitive function in older adults over a placebo.

Expect to see blueberry powder as a supplement and blueberries being used to create condiments and sauces in savory as well as sweet dishes.

Pseudograins made convenient

Why it’s a trend: Getting healthy whole grains on the table has always been a challenge because of longer cooking times. That’s why food companies are coming up with ways to bring us whole grains and pseudograins (seeds that are served as grains) much more quickly.

Where you’ll see it: Fast and portable amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa in single portions such as Ellyndale Q Cups in low-sodium flavors like Savory Garlic & Mushroom. They’re ready in five minutes; just add boiling water and steep and you’re ready to eat.

Stevia 2.0

Why it’s a trend: Stevia continues to rule as the sweetener of choice for people wanting to cut down on sugar or calories. As the demand for stevia grows, so do the product offerings.

Where you’ll see it: Look for stevia as an ingredient in more beverages, baking mixes and condiments as consumers look for calorie- and sugar-reduced versions of their favorites.

Stevia will be mixed with brown sugar, cane sugar and honey by companies such as Truvia to make lower-sugar and lower-calorie options. Because these stevia products are naturally sweeter than sugar, you need to use only half the amount.

Cottage cheese, the new Greek yogurt

Why it’s a trend: Cottage cheese used to be only for dieters because it was seen as plain and, let’s face it, lumpy. Now it’s becoming more popular because we’re all obsessed with finding more ways to pack protein into our meals and snacks. This cousin to Greek yogurt is slightly higher in protein and is mostly casein, a protein that can help you feel full longer.

Where you’ll see it: Brands such as Muuna make cottage cheese with a texture that melts in your mouth and is sweetened with real fruit and no artificial flavors. Plus it’s low in sugar, with only four grams in the plain version.

Source : The Washington Post

Food Trend: Campbell Soup Joins the Plant Based Foods Association

Deena Shanker wrote . . . . . . .

American shoppers have made their preferences clear over the past decade when it comes to too much sugar and too much salt, and the food industry has been doing its best to keep up.

Campbell Soup Co. has gone further than most. In 2012, it acquired Bolthouse Farms, which sells bagged carrots and salad dressings, and in 2015 bought salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet. This summer, in perhaps its boldest move yet, the maker of Prego sauces, Pepperidge Farms cookies, and those iconic red and white soup cans left the industry’s top trade and lobbying group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Campbell cited the lobbying group’s opposition to labeling whether food contained genetically modified ingredients.

On Monday, another shoe dropped. Campbell Soup announced it was joining the Plant Based Foods Association—a major gesture by an industry giant acknowledging retreating consumer demand for meat and dairy heavy food.

“We are committed to providing our consumers with food choices that meet their nutrition, well-being, and lifestyle needs,” said Ed Carolan, president of Campbell Fresh, the division that includes both the Garden Fresh Gourmet and Bolthouse Farms lines. “Working together with the Plant Based Foods Association, we can advance our shared goal of bringing more plant-based foods to consumers.”

Although Campbell’s departure from the GMA means leaving the company of Kraft Foods, Cargill, and Coca-Cola, its new friends include such companies as the Tofurky Company, Daiya Foods, and Beanfields Snacks. The soupmaker stressed that its decision to part ways with the GMA wasn’t linked to its decision to join the PBFA, and there’s no indication that its soups and other products, including meat and dairy, will change. Rather, the company hopes the partnership with PBFA will help it expand access to its plant-based offerings.

In an emailed statement Monday, GMA spokesman Roger Lowe said the group regretted Campbell Soup’s departure, though he added that “it was GMA’s leadership that helped achieve passage in 2016 of a national standard for GMO disclosure.”

“Plant-based foods and proteins are not exclusive to vegetarian and vegan households any longer”

For the PBFA, Campbell’s membership is a coup. While it counts more than 80 companies as members, Campbell Soup is by far its largest. “We’re thrilled that they’re the first major [consumer packaged goods] company,” says Michael Lynch, a PBFA board member and vice president of marketing at Daiya, a dairy-free cheese maker. Although he wouldn’t specify which other companies PBFA is eyeing, he said it’s in talks with “a number of large CPG companies.” (Nestle announced last week it would follow Campbell in leaving the GMA.)

Ultimately, both Campbell’s and PBFA have the same goal: sell more products. The market appears to be ready. Some 22 percent of meat-eating consumers said they’re trying to eat less meat, says Isabel Morales, consumer insights manager at Nielsen. The $3.1 billion plant-based food market increased 8.1 percent in the last year, while total foods sold in the same supermarket aisles, including deli, dairy, and frozen, declined 0.2 percent, according to data from Nielsen commissioned by the PBFA and the Good Food Institute.

“Plant-based foods and proteins are not exclusive to vegetarian and vegan households any longer,” Morales said.

Although the focus for PBFA and Campbell’s is on increasing consumer access and sales, their policy concerns dovetail, too. The PBFA has been actively opposing the Dairy Pride Act, a dairy industry effort to keep nondairy products from using such terms as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Even prior to Monday’s announcement, Campbell’s in-house counsel had worked with PBFA on that effort, which makes sense: Bolthouse launched its Plant Protein Milk line in September.

Despite the well-worn stereotype of the proselytizing vegetarian, though, Lynch says the PBFA isn’t trying to take the chicken out of chicken soup or the beef out of beef vegetable.

“We’re not trying to make the whole world vegan,” he says. “All we’re doing is trying to make plant-based products available to more people.”

Source : Bloomberg

New Fancy Food Trend

Leanne Italie wrote . . . . .

Water that packs a hydrogen punch, snack bars as sticks and confections more savory than sweet are among innovations to emerge from hundreds of purveyors at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

The annual showcase hosted by the Specialty Food Association wrapped Tuesday in New York after three days and more than a little sampling of the artisan and high-tech bites and beverages from more than 1,200 companies.

Phil Kafarakis, president of the trade group, said in a recent interview that his industry is booming to the tune of $127 billion a year, including the retail and food service markets. The consumer has really changed the dynamic, he said.

“Everybody keeps talking about the Millennial, but it’s not just the Millennial. GenX and NextGen and even Boomers, when you think about health and wellness, are looking for authenticity in products,” Kafarakis said.

Denise Purcell, head of content, offered these observations gleaned from the food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs who peddled their wares:

SPECIALTY WATERS

Over the last couple of years, Purcell said, something has happened to water. Companies are playing with its natural properties to claim added benefits.

“Water is up 75 per cent in dollar sales from 2014 to 2016. Separately, there’s a lot of interest in functional beverages, so what we’re seeing right now are enhanced waters,” she said.

There’s a company called HFactor Hydrogen infusing its pouched water with molecular hydrogen, reportedly to boost anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also claims of an additional energy boost, all with no added chemicals or magnesium.

And there’s Formula Four Beverages’ OXiGEN water, infused with molecular oxygen, so not the O2 kind. Specifically, the company said it uses 1,000 parts per million of bio-available oxygen per 20 ounces in a bottle, compared to between five and 40 parts per million in tap or other bottled water.

Why? Well, according a study cited by Formula Four, all of that helps clear lactic acid, making for a faster recovery after exercise. It also claims a boost in endurance, stamina, mental clarity and, wait for it, decreased hangover effects.

There’s also a shot format with five times more oxygen than the bottled product, Purcell said.

Another company is doing enhanced waters with pomegranate seed oil, reportedly good for inflammation and to help with digestive health, Purcell said.

Another company took an entirely different twist on water and it’s not necessarily to sip or improve health.

It’s from Rogers Collection and it’s called Oak Smoked Water, made from Welsh oak chips smoked by the folks at Halen Mon. The water has actually been on the market since 2013 and is pretty much what it claims to be, with smoking done over four days without additives for use in soups, risottos and casseroles as a way to add depth.

It can also be frozen into ice cubes for cocktails.

SNACK BARS THAT AREN’T BARS

Purcell has been watching this market segment for a while.

“They, too, have grown a lot over the last couple of years. Snack bars are up about 50 per cent since 2014 and they’re forecast to grow even more. They hit on a lot of macro-trends like snacking and portability and good for you.”

Among recent innovations: A company called Aunt Dottie’s mixes together salad ingredients — greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits — and condenses them into a bar.

What’s interesting to Purcell is a variation on the bar, the snack stick.

There’s one company, Vivify, doing energy snack sticks in interesting combinations of nuts, quinoa and seeds like flax and sunflower. There’s a chia-pistachio combination and a quinoa and toasted coconut combo.

PLANT-BASED FOODS

For the first time, the Specialty Food Association asked members if they plan to expand out in this market category.

“A third of them said they’re planning innovation around that, and it’s cutting across all different categories, so there’s cheese and meat and dairy alternatives but also condiments, frozen desserts and water again.”

The show included a plant-based water made from hemp. Cashew sauce was offered as a cheese sauce alternative in a handy add-hot-water format.

For dessert?

“We are seeing a lot more vegan-friendly desserts, whether it’s frozen ice creams or sorbets. Alternative milks, nut milks, are becoming very popular,” Purcell said.

COFFEE AND TEA

“This is another area where we’re seeing a lot of innovation, especially refrigerated and ready to drink varieties. Those have exploded. They’ve been up 114 per cent between 2014 and 2016,” Purcell said.

A company called Sunup uses unroasted green coffee beans in a bottle drink, offering tea-style flavour with a full caffeine kick.

Another company, Afineur, claims to have customized the natural fermentation process to eliminate the undesirable characteristics of coffee and enhance the goodness. The resulting coffee is less bitter and easier to digest, Purcell said.

Camille Delebecque, the CEO and co-founder of Afineur, has a Ph.D. in synthetic biology.

SAVORY AND SPICY CONFECTIONS

Chocolate went peppery a while ago. Now the artisans are having fun with other flavours.

“Spices, they’re going to a new level in confections,” Purcell said.

One company, Rumi Spice, was founded by a group of U.S. military veterans who source saffron from sustainable farms in Afghanistan for its Saffron Gems, a gummy bite-size treat with threads of saffron visible in the rich-tasting golden candy.

MilkBoy chocolates out of Switzerland offers bars of 60 per cent cocoa infused with pine tree oil

Source: Toronto Sun

The New Summer Food Trends

Saffron Alexander wrote . . . . . .

Summer is officially here and that means we all have weeks of alfresco dining and BBQ smoke staining your clothes ahead of us. But what will you be serving your friends and family this year?

To keep you ahead of all the latest trends guaranteed to make a splash on social media, social media site Pinterest have revealed its Summer Entertaining Report, offering its projections for the season and helping to give you all the ideas you need to make your barbecue or picnic memorable this year.

Decorative ice

Long gone are the days when ice was added to drinks to keep it cool. Nowadays, ice can serve as a way of livening up your glass simply by adding some fruits or herbs to your ice tray.

If fruits and herbs aren’t your thing, consider adding some food colouring to your trays to create a multi-coloured, Instagram perfect display in your glass.

For those with small children, the same can also be done with homemade ice lollies.

According to Pinterest, photographs of decorative ice are up 82 per cent across the site.

Edible flowers

Up 31 per cent this year are edible flowers. According to the experts at Pinterest they’re key to making “your guests feel extra special” this summer.

And, if that fails, at least you can guarantee your dishes will make both a tasty and eye-catching centrepiece on your table.

No more buns

The reign of the brioche bun is finally over, with bunless BBQ’s seeing an increase of 52 per cent on the site this year.

These days your favourite meats at being served straight from the grill and into a bowl. This often works out easier for the chef and it’s healthier for the guests (your gluten-free friends will thank you for it too).

Farewell BBQ sauce

There was once a time where BBQ sauce reigned supreme at garden parties all over the country, but not anymore. Pinterest has seen a 55 per cent increase in sauces with Middle Eastern flavours and claims Harissa and tzatziki are the new staple barbecue condiments this year.

Harissa is a hot chilli pepper paste made from red, Baklouti and serrano peppers and a variety of spices and herbs including coriander seed, saffron and caraway. It is most commonly found used in Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco.

Tzatziki is made using salted strained or diluted yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt and olive oil and is usually served with grilled meat or as a dip.

Smoked everything

And we mean everything.

According to Pinterest, people are “smoking everything from mac and cheese to onion rings and cocktails” and the site has seen a 170 per cent increase of smoked food posts.

Upcycled fruit

The upcycling trend makes its way to the kitchen with Pinterest reporting a 37 per cent increase in upcycled fruit posts.

If you’ve got some watermelon destined for the bin, consider getting creative with it and turning it into a healthy smoothie bowl or even a fruity cocktail.

Source: The Telegraph