It’s impossible for product development teams to grasp hold of every consumer food trend as they develop the next innovation. The key to their success is identifying trends early and adapting to those that directly affect their product line.
Each year, decision makers in the food industry - from ingredient manufacturers to retailers - focus on market research, social media feedback of both customers and consumers, and larger industry trends when predicting the trends that will propel the industry. Many have made their predictions for 2019.
Products with perceived health and lifestyle benefits are at the top of every list. Large Retailers including Kroger and Whole Foods have identified the direction they believe consumers are moving, and their reports share are many common threads: Consumers are gravitating towards more plant-based foods, healthy fats, and the use of probiotics to promote gut heath, while cutting sugar, concentrating on life-style eating (vegan, gluten-free, paleo, etc.) and seeking new flavors with a regional, global and exotic flare.
The Kroger report stated, “Medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems. Our consumers will find a growing number of products rich in probiotics— good bacteria—and flavor.” (https://www.krogerstories.com/krogers-top-food-trends-for-2019/)
The Whole Foods report echoed, “In 2019, expect even more innovative probiotic integrations in food — and not just in the supplement or refrigerated aisles. New strains of probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 are making more shelf-stable applications possible. Wellness-focused brands are making it easier to get more probiotics in your day by adding functional probiotic ingredients to your pantry staples through products like granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups and nutrition bars.” ( https://media.Whole Foodsmarket.com/news/whole-foods-market-unveils-top-10-food-trends-for-2019 )
Retailers are not alone in pointing to foods with functional ingredients as a 2019 trend-setter. In their report: “Global Food & Drink Trends 2019,” Mintel predicts an opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers to utilize functional ingredients, and fortification, as the industry looks to provide more options to address “healthy aging.” Mintel explains, “More food and drink formulations can be developed for people of all ages to efficiently consume vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are potentially beneficial for bone, joint, immune system and brain health. Considerations such as eye health are also growing in importance in our technology-centric culture, which has many consumers looking at screens for the better part of the day.” ( http://www.mintel.com/global-food-and-drink-trends/)
In the same report, Mintel discussed the importance of environmental awareness and increased focus on sustainability, and the opportunity for food and beverage companies to satisfy consumers’ growing demand for ethical, environmentally sound food products in 2019 and beyond, “Like nutrition, sustainability will become an expectation for companies to offer consumers.”
The combined message is that it is evident consumers are driving the industry towards recognizable ingredient labels and choosing products that promote wellbeing and sustain healthy lifestyles.
Skidmore represents the top ingredient manufacturers in the industry; we can help you source the ingredients that meet the latest industry trends and drive your product portfolio. See our suppliers list here.
Contact your Skidmore representative to find the ingredients for your next product innovation.