Food and Supermarket Trends for 2016
Consumers are the driving force when it comes to trends. In 2016, consumers will be looking for fresh, local and whole foods. They are also going to be looking for specific ingredients such as protein and probiotics. Food manufacturers are trying to keep up with consumer requests for the removal of the many “frees” (Gluten-free, lactose-free, MSG-Free, artificial colour and flavour-free, hormone- free, antibiotic-free, NON GMO etc.) Change is not always due to the evidence or science, it’s about consumer perception. Deeper than that, consumers are also looking for good people making great products that are ethical, sustainable, and local. Consumers want recyclable packaging. Conventional foods are becoming more natural with simple ingredient lists using real whole foods, simple labels and honest messaging. Consumers are still looking for convenience but seem prepared to pay more for it.
Fresh: Consumers are looking for fresh foods. They want to know where their food comes from and how long it took to get there. Retailers are displaying fresh foods to meet the expectations of consumers. Now they need to authenticate the message. Soon with new technologies they should be able to tell the consumer how they keep it fresh in its’ journey from “farm to table” and be able to use this information as a competitive advantage.
Vegetables: They may not seem sexy or trendy but consumers want more, just not in the traditional way. You will see vegetables cropping up in teas, yogurts and ice cream.
Mushrooms: These fungi are trendy in many ways, they are vegetables, they have the trendy Umami flavour and it’s trendy to go foraging for them in the forest.
Full Fat is back: Consumers want the creamy butter, full fat yogurt and full fat meat. Fat consumption is estimated to increase by 43% by 2030.
Grab and Go Functional drinks are also emerging: Functional such as – probiotic, fermented (kefir), high protein or containing ingredients such as prebiotic resistant starch, turmeric, chia, Maca, coconut.
Fresh pressed juices are becoming a movement: People will pay $10 for a 300ml jar of pressed vegetable and fruit juice. It’s fresh, good for you and convenient in a recyclable container, likely made with local ingredients right in their neighborhood.
Popular plant proteins are unique, sustainable and nutritious: yellow pea, sprouted brown rice, sacha inchi, hemp and even cricket flour (yes the bug) in protein bars.
Probiotics are focusing more on strain specific for defined medical conditions such as GI health or urinary tract health.
Supermarkets are becoming wellness centres with full time dietitians on staff teaching nutrition classes, testing blood sugars and giving store wellness tours.
Less is more: Consumers want fewer ingredients with words they can pronounce.
Brand-Agnostic: Consumers are less concerned about the brand they choose or the store they choose, it’s about the product or experience.
Micro-stores: Consumers are choosing smaller stores and avoiding the hypermarkets. They want a selection of high quality and they want to be inspired with food demos catered to them.