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What might you be asked to produce next year?

19 November 2018

Market intelligence agency Mintel has identified three forward-looking trends which it believes will lead the momentum of global food and drink innovation in 2019 and beyond. 

These include: 

Evergreen consumption: The definition of sustainability is extending to encompass the entire product lifecycle. From farm to retailer to fork to bin and, ideally, to rebirth as a new plant, ingredient, product or package, this 360° approach will ensure resources are kept in use for as long as possible. The movement towards circularity as the new sustainability will require collaboration between suppliers, manufacturers, governments, nonprofits, retailers and consumers.

A seismic shift in how consumers think about plastic is also underway, with bio-based packaging materials set to be a key component to the next generation of responsible packaging. In 2019 and beyond, sustainability efforts will include not only improving access to recycling, but incentivising consumers to recycle packaging and offering upcycled goods. At the same time, efforts to improve air pollution, support plant welfare, restore soil health and embrace regenerative agriculture will emerge as crucial elements of holistic sustainability programmes.

Through the Ages: Consumers are prioritising health and wellness as a holistic, proactive, and ongoing pursuit. Longer lifespans present an opportunity to create products to address the needs of an ageing population through food and drink for medical purposes, as well as products designed for prevention, with formulations that are nutritious, flavourful, and easy to consume. More food and drink will be formulated to address health concerns about bone, joint, brain and eye health.

Elevated Convenience: A new generation of modern convenience food and drink is emerging in response to rising healthy eating priorities, quests for foodie-inspired flavours, interests in personalisation and competition from speedy delivery services. Looking ahead, a new wave of shortcuts will be available, offering new conveniences such as the expansion of individual meal kits sold at retail, foodservice-inspired packaged beverages, and a new generation of prepared meals, sides, and sauces that emulate the flavours and formats of restaurant meals.
  
Looking ahead
Looking ahead, Jenny Zegler, associate director, Mintel Food and Drink, says that issues surrounding sustainability, health and wellness, and convenience will inspire formulation, packaging, marketing and more: She said: “In 2019, support of and demand for more corporate sustainability programmes will grow as consumers better understand what’s required to get closer to achieving a truly circular food and drink economy. These sustainability efforts will include creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance to regenerative agriculture practices in addition to improving access to recycling.

“Expect to also see food and drink manufacturers look to the beauty and personal care industry for inspiration for healthy ageing product development. More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns.

“Finally, we predict the rising segment of consumers who are often on-the-go, yet want to spend more time at home will increase demand for upscale, ‘speed scratch’ solutions and restaurant-quality, ready-to-consume products. As meal kits and foodservice-inspired beverages lead the way, there will also be more opportunities for brands to develop healthy, flavourful, customisable, and quick premium convenience products.”


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