Home Health Products 3 Trends That Will Shape Food Products In 2019 – Forbes

3 Trends That Will Shape Food Products In 2019 – Forbes

6 min read

Forecasting food trends can sometimes be a dicey business, as consumers’ fickle palates (not to mention supply and demand) can be hard to predict. Nonetheless, this time of year brings a flurry of trend reports, from manufacturing and grocery stores to high end dining elements. 

One of the earliest reports typically comes from research company Mintel, who recently released its Global Food and Drink Trends 2019 report. 

An increased interest in meal kits and other non-traditional means of dining may be changing the way consumers view cooking and eating in 2019. Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.© 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP

The Circle Of Life

Sustainability, no longer a buzzword and instead a necessity, is pushing further along the supply chain, according to Mintel. “The 360-degree approach reflects the principles of a circular economy, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value while in use and then recovering materials at the end of use,” writes Jenny Zegler, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink.  We’ve already seen previous moves to alternatives for plastic straws in the foodservice segment earlier this year — a shift that seems to be gaining traction in the long term as consumers eschew plastic for paper or even metal straws (or, heaven forfend, go straw-free when drinking an adult beverage). The waste-not aesthetic has even entered the brewing world, with beers made from bread and, in some cases, recycled water, to raise customer awareness of unnecessary use of resources.

Mintel points to consumer education as key to continuing to move the needle on sustainability. According to its research, 53 per cent of US consumers agree plant-based foods are better for the environment than animal-based options. The desire to try meat-free products in quick service restaurants can be seen in the popularity of A&W’s Beyond Meat burger — marketed heavily by the chain in Canada as a seamless substitution for carnivores — or the rise of such products on the manufacturing side. 

Looking Forward

With all the attention on the millennial market in recent years, manufacturers are now turning their attention to another lucrative area — the health halo in the senior segment, already being targeted by the cosmetics industry. “The world’s seniors are a demographic that has immediate need for food and drink that address the effects of ageing. At a time when record numbers of people are living to be 100 years old, food and drink companies are challenged to address the wide variety of health states of consumers aged 55 and older,” writes Zegler. These products can range from the addition of vitamins and supplements to products such as dairy to borrowing functional ingredients from international cultures including ginger and green tea.

Any Way You Want It

Food trends may come and go, but convenience remains key with consumers. According to Mintel, 27 per cent of US consumers surveyed thought that healthy food takes too much time to prepare — and the food manufacturing industry is more than willing to step in. As grocery delivery, meal kits and increasingly sophisticated hot counters continue to blur the definition of a traditional supermarket, today’s diner is used to a landscape that is tailored to their needs, regardless of the time of day. Mintel sees future movement in this segment occurring in three ways: more consumers craving this convenience and driving demand in these products, increased sophistication in the home meal replacement (HMR) products and innovations in technology bringing alternate forms of shopping such as automated convenience stores and mobile options (and who knows, perhaps even a meat vending machine or two).

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