What Does The Future of Consumer Trends Hold?
In the food industry, just as in the fashion industry, we constantly strive to stay on top of the latest trends and keep an eye out for the next big thing. We encounter fleeting trends, trends that evolve or come and go, and trends that manage to become permanent fixtures on the scene. Understanding how trends work and what to expect from a given trend can be a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun. Here are a few things we’re looking for in 2020.
The Thoughtful Consumer
Today’s consumer is more aware than ever before about where their food comes from, what ingredients it contains, and how processed it is. People want simple ingredient lists, healthy choices, and locally-sourced options when it comes to the food in their kitchen cupboards and on their restaurant menus. In general, shorter ingredient lists are in, while long, hard-to-read ones are out.
The Adventurous Consumer
Shoppers today are always on the go and always ready to try something new. With the sheer volume of options on the market, manufacturers are working to rise above the noise with unexpected formats and flavors. Good examples of this are the explosion of sweet/savory crossover flavors and hybrid products such as the cronut. Craft and artisanal products are popular with this group. They are less interested in the mainstream and more interested in rarer, more premium items.
The Health-Conscious Consumer
Many modern consumers tend to be much more balanced and health-conscious than ever; of this group, many endeavor to eat less meat. For both health and environmental reasons, plant-based dishes appeal to this category of consumers. These folks lead healthy, active lifestyles and are well-educated about nutrition. They favor fewer sweets and carefully scrutinize food labels. Not only does this type of consumer try to avoid unhealthy ingredients, but they also actively embrace healthy additions to their diets such as increased fiber and protein as well as functional ingredients such as probiotics, prebiotics, botanical extracts, minerals, and fatty acids.
In general, today’s consumer is more connected, educated, health-conscious, and adventurous than ever. We’re seeing many food companies creating new products to directly address these changing needs. You can be sure that these consumer trends will continue to grow. We’re excited to find out how they will shape up in the year ahead.