You’ve been working, creating and building a food and drink business so you’d know that being across the latest food and drink trends can be the difference between having an impact or being irrelevant. And then there’s the competition to stay ahead of. Global foodies and consumers are embracing what’s hot, healthy and visibly appealing more than ever.

Females in Food has partnered with food and beverage ingredients company Directus to bring you five core global food and drink trends, that as manufacturers and innovators, you must know about.

1. NaturalnessClean label sales in the US, UK, China & Germany are predicted to reach $112 billion by 2020 and that number is showing no sign of abating. Consumers are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and are demanding “no artificial” labelling on products. Companies like Nestle are already using the de-processing method by utilising ingredients already found in consumers’ cupboards.  And across the board we are seeing language to identify products by the methods used to create them such as HPP, crafted, artisanal, cold brew and cold press.

2. Health and Nutrition – Sugar reduction continues to be a big challenge for big manufacturers. Consumer awareness of sugar and its effects on the body has fundamentally increased the demand for change. According to some, sugar makes the food more desirable so manufacturers continue to seek out ways to make food palatable whilst reducing the sugar content.

One way manufacturers are reducing sugar is by using either silent reduction means (reducing an ingredient without advertising it has done so) or the use of natural sweeteners.

Food as medicinal has been another approach. Food and beverage products are developed and marketed for mental and physical performance, digestion, strength, relaxation and stress relief.

3. Convenience –  Across all consumer products and specifically in the food and beverage space the rise of the middle classes and a growing attitude of disposable income, consumers are willing to spend money in order to save time. According to Döhler, in order to benefit from greater convenience, 41% of consumers are willing to spend money to save time. Giants in the game like Amazon have launched meal kits and  deliverable produce and meals, such as Hello Fresh, are commonplace and now, we also have in-flight grocery shopping to order goods so that they are there when we return home.

4. Multi-Sensory Experience – Did you know that the more senses engaged when consuming a product, the more the consumer will be loyal to you brand?  Think about the sound, feel and texture of your product. How is it satisfying? And since we eat first with our eyes, the colour of the product is a big emotional trigger. Up to 90% of snap judgements are made about a product based on colour alone.

What about these two enterprises who are taking it up a notch in the multi-sensory department; VizEat (new dining out experience app) and Manor (multi-sensory supermarket)?

5. Individualisation – Hearing someone say, “I’m vegetarian”, “gluten free”, “vegan” or “flexitarian” is not unusual. There’s been significant global growth in consumers identifying with a particular way of eating or dieting.  As a result we’re now seeing trends like the dairy alternative market growing to 22.6 billion USD by 2021 and the global meat substitute market is deemed to grow by 7.4% from 2012 to 2022.

“Made for me” products are key to what Gen Z expects individualisation to be.  Driving the  individualisation of products, Gen Z want the options of designing their own packaging though to adding a twist to an ice cream flavour to make it their own.

Keeping on top of global trends is paramount when it comes to building your food and drink business. With consumers’ growing knowledge about what they eat and drink, and their thirst for alternative products, it’s no wonder manufactures are spending more on innovation and product development.

In this blog we outlined what’s trending right now but to stay on top of all the industry news can be overwhelming. Where do you begin to source your knowledge?