Powerful food trends with high potential.

More and more consumers are examining what’s in their food and taking care to eat more health consciously. Many want products with a functional added value. Others are looking for completely new taste experiences. Yet others want to avoid certain ingredients.

Part of our work is to identify such trends and then respond to the constantly changing requirements by developing new product concepts.

We have compiled a selection of the latest major trends in the food sector here.

Naturally Functional

01
This trend is the topmost of all trends and at the same time the strongest basis for success. Thus “naturally functional” supports and inspires all other trends. Accordingly, this trend is not ranked alongside the others, but should be understood as superior to them. Naturally healthy food and ingredients with added value are what consumers want first and foremost – more than anything else. No further health claims are required. This trend is important for all companies that want to grow. It is a driver for ingredients & brands – the ingredients give the brand a healthy image. The brand in turn gives the ingredient greater visibility.

Snackification

02
Der große Snacking Trend basiert auf der Änderung in den tagtäglichen Abläufen und der Schnelligkeit und Dynamik, mit welcher heutzutage der Alltag bestritten wird. Die Verzehrgelegenheiten haben sich verändert. Die Tatsache, dass zu jeder Tageszeit gesnackt wird, hat in den letzten Jahren dazu geführt, dass sich fast jede Lebensmittelkategorie zu einer Snackingkategorie entwickelt hat. Ein wichtiger Aspekt ist die große Innovationskraft, die im Snackingbereich gewünscht ist. Es darf außergewöhnlich und innovativ sein – denn die Konsumenten sind experimentierfreudig.

Beverages Reinvented

03
The industry is changing /transforming; the trend to health and well-being has given consumers a new awareness of sugar. Beverage innovations are absolutely desired among consumers – they should be as healthy as possible and come with the highest possible value-add: innovations in every form, drinks in small packaging sizes that can be regarded as snacks – not just premium but even super premium – and drinks with texture. Unusual taste combinations – such as coffee and tea in combination with other flavors are increasingly gaining importance.

Color is Key

04
Social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are formative and decisive for the variety of colors. The idea is to showcase products and place them as attractively as possible. Food should be so stimulating and appetizing that it is worth uploading directly to your Instagram account. However, this trend is also accompanied by naturalness. The consumer no longer accepts artificial colorings, so it must be guaranteed that the product’s attractive color is the result of natural coloring agents.

Personalization

05
Personalisierung basiert auf der Skepsis, die Konsumenten gegenüber den Aussagen der Lebensmittelindustrie entwickelt haben. 76% empfinden die Aussagen der Lebensmittelindustrie als verwirrend. Der Gedanke des Trends ist: ich kenne meinen Körper und weiß am allerbesten, was für diesen gesund und gut ist – ob nun laktosefrei oder glutenfrei, protein- oder ballaststoffreich, der Trend führt dazu, dass der Konsumentenmarkt bald aus einem sehr fragmentierten Nischenmarkt bestehen wird. Für jeden persönlichen Ernährungsplan muss etwas dabei sein.

Shift to Premiumization

06
Das gewisse Etwas, das ein Produkt für den einzelnen Verbraucher mit sich bringt und zusätzlich Qualität verleiht. Es geht um Genuss, Raffinesse & authentische Strahlkraft. Die Verbraucher fordern premium-Aspekte in allen Produktkategorien und sind dabei bereit, für solche Produkte einen höheren Preis zu zahlen, die ihnen persönlich einen Mehrwert bieten und ihren ganz individuellen Bedürfnissen entsprechen. Dabei wird Premium durch unterschiedliche, ganz individuelle Attribute definiert,– sei es ein Image, das das Produkt für den Konsumenten verkörpert, erlesene Geschmackskombinationen als herausragendes Qualitätsmerkmale sowie Herkunftsangaben, die eine Geschichte erzählen können oder die Verbindung zu Nachhaltigkeit generell.

Bountiful choice

07
Bountiful choice stands for variety, surprise, fun & experience, again paired with the consumer's desire for individuality. In general, there are no limits to innovation - it's all about the interplay of texture, appearance and taste. This cross-category trend is characterized by consumers’ increasing zest for experimentation, and is putting pressure on manufacturers to meet this desire for variety. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel: peanut butter, previously known only pure and in combination with jelly , can be given an innovative image with taste combinations like peanut butter-cranberry-cinnamon.

Kids in Focus

08
Bereits in der 2017er Trendübersicht unter den ersten zehn Trends enthalten, bleibt dies aktueller denn je. Das heißt, es gilt eine doppelte Zielgruppe zu bedienen: die Kinder & die Eltern. Von Vorteil ist hier, dass Kinder häufig offen sind für neue Produkte und Geschmacksrichtungen. Produkte in bunten und kindgerechten Verpackungen, die Spaß versprechen, treffen den Nerv – die Zielgruppe der Eltern kann durch enthaltene Gemüse und Früchte, die ein gesünderes Image verleihen, adressiert werden.

Texture

09
A new facet of the recipe. By focusing on texture, the industry has found another way to make products special and attractive for consumers. A special mouthfeel can be compelling for many consumers. Surprising them with this holds great potential in 2018. In the past five years, the number of texture mentions on new products has already doubled. Seeds are still a popular ingredient for that certain “crunchy extra” with the positive side effect that they are also a good source of protein.

Full disclosure

10
Consumers demand complete transparency from manufacturers, across the entire supply chain. “Clean Labels” are the new standard that consumers have come to expect, meaning this alone is not enough for a manufacturer to distinguish himself from the others. There is increasing distrust among consumers, which manufacturers must counteract. Accordingly, claims about naturalness, ethics and the environment are increasingly being used on new products, which send messages such as: environmentally friendly/recyclable packaging (e.g. green dot), humane working conditions (e.g. Fair Trade, UTZ seal), protection of animals & biodiversity / species-appropriate animal husbandry (WWF, SAFE seal), and environmentally friendly production / cultivation (e.g. FSC seal).

Clean supreme

01
The expectations consumers have of a given product have increased significantly in recent years. They want to understand the products and trace their value creation as closely as possible. This is why Clean Label, which has already become a global standard, is now being taken one step further: Clean Supreme is a holistic approach that requires transparency across the entire value chain.

Plain sophistication

02
Consumers are willing to pay more for premium-quality gourmet products. While they primarily trust well-known brands, they’d also like to see something new from them. And so, the trend in product launches is a return to a brand’s origins – highlighted with classic branding and packaging. This allows established brand manufacturers to enhance and augment their portfolio by adding premium products with an authentic character.

Body in tune

03
Many consumers now follow very individual nutritional rules. They know all about the products and ingredients that are good for them, and give them preference when putting together their personal diet. They also draw on experiences gained with “free-from” products and special nutritional approaches – such as Paleo – and give priority to healthy, high-quality ingredients such as proteins, fruit ingredients, and dietary fiber.

Sugar under pressure

04
The food industry is under pressure to verifiably reduce the amount of added sugar in products. But often it is these very added sugars that create the typical sweetness and flavor that consumers like. So the challenge is to combine the simultaneous demand for delicious products and a clean list of ingredients. Fruit ingredients are one solution for creating products with attractive taste profiles and natural ingredients.

Snackification

05
The requirements for food at a given moment during the day vary as greatly as the moments themselves. Because sometimes just a bite will do, the trend in snacks continues across all food categories. Products are positioned depending on the occasions for eating throughout the day: whether for breakfast, after sports, at work, or in the evening – there’s a snacking product to match each and every occasion.

Kids in focus

06
Children have a big influence on a family’s daily diet. Now that the food industry has recognized them as an important target group, whining is increasingly a thing of the past. Child-friendly packaging introduces tomorrow’s consumers to healthy ingredients in a fun way. This satisfies both target groups – parents and children. And younger generations are now better informed about healthy foods and a varied diet, are open to new products as well as taste experiences, and influence their parents when buying cherished and authentic products.

Seeds of Change

07
Consumers’ interest in seeds has increased significantly in recent years. Chia and quinoa, which were completely unknown in many countries for a long time, have now pushed into various food categories, also paving the way for more traditional seeds such as poppy, sesame, and linseed. They are a natural source of flavor and texture, and their high protein content offers added health benefits. Thanks to the healthy image of these miracle seeds, some have even made it into beverages.

Strong growth for clean label

01
Clean labels have become a worldwide standard: Major food producers are planning to eventually eliminate all artificial colorants from their ingredient lists. They also intend to use reformulation strategies to adapt their ranges to new consumer requirements. Many manufacturers are taking advantage of this development to shift to natural colorants, and thereby simultaneously meet the growing demand for fruit and vegetable ingredients.

Free from all

02
These days, the latest product launches often advertise the ingredients that are not included in the products. Gluten-free and lactose-free are just two of the many declarations that are currently being hyped. Even consumers who do not have an intolerance have come to prefer “free-from” products. The food industry is responding to this surge in demand by launching gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan products wherever possible. As a result, natural ingredients that correspond to these labels are increasingly being used.

The „Flexitarian effect“

03
While vegetarians still form a minority of consumers in Western markets, even non-vegetarians are increasingly cutting their meat consumption based on animal welfare and sustainability concerns. These consumers are very demanding – they want innovative and very flavorful products that also serve as a good meat substitute. Fruit ingredients are enjoying higher demand as a result of this consumer wish, and are becoming increasingly popular due to their taste and texture profile as well as their health aspects.

Green light for vegetables

04
Consumers are increasingly aware that vegetables form an essential part of a balanced diet. This gives the food industry an exciting opportunity to present vegetables in a new light. Smoothie producers are already showing the industry how this is done – while fruit is often preferred to vegetables, the combination of the two components creates a number of possibilities for innovative products with vegetable ingredients. These can be used to introduce children to healthy nutritional alternatives as well.

Value added fruit

05
Fruit ingredients have seen an enormous upswing in recent years. The addition of preserved fruits to products across all food categories not only leads to new attractive flavor variants, but also meets the demand for a healthier diet. The value added to products in this way fulfils the latest consumer wishes in product categories such as chocolate, yoghurt, cereals, and cereal bars. Especially value-added fruits with a proven health benefit such as cranberries and blueberries, as well as exotic fruits like goldenberries, are a good opportunity for food manufacturers to give their products a new image that represents healthy enjoyment.

Creating a real link

06
Millennials are an important target group in today’s product developments. They appreciate authentic products and brands with a story behind them. This requirement goes beyond mere product certification and demands that the product be sustainably produced. Millennials pay attention to brands that clearly show that the products were made under fair conditions for all parties involved. Besides the authenticity of a product, the focus here, too, is on the demand for increasingly unusual flavors. As a classic natural product from suppliers that ensure fair conditions throughout the value chain through farmers’ cooperatives, fruit ingredients are the perfect response to these requirements.

Small players, big ideas

07
The food industry is seeing a lot of new competitors: More and more startups are addressing the demands of new target groups and catering to them with innovative product developments. These small businesses act quickly and purposefully, and thus represent serious competition for the big food groups.

Beyond the athlete

08
Producers of sports nutrition products have recognized that they can expand their target group to include all nutrition-conscious consumers. Consumers for their part have recognized the benefits of dietary supplements. They appreciate the high protein content as well as energy-promoting ingredients, and therefore integrate sports bars and protein-rich cereals into their daily diet. This gives sports nutrition manufacturers the opportunity to conquer new categories and go beyond the usual flavor varieties such as chocolate and vanilla.

The indulgence alibi

09
Some product categories, such as chocolate and desserts, don’t allow for positioning products based purely on health-related value add. But health-conscious consumers in particular are seeking justification when they treat themselves – they want to feel slightly less guilty when they indulge in a piece of chocolate. High-quality ingredients can provide them with a classic indulgence alibi. For example, chocolate with healthy ingredients like whole fruit pieces or nuts. Also smaller packaging sizes, which limit indulgence, are very popular with consumers.

Taste for new experiences

10
Around the world, the demand for exotic, authentic, and original products is growing. Widely traveled consumers in particular like to try new flavors and product textures. This trend extends to all food categories and provides a lot of space for product innovation and range extensions. Fruits of an exotic nature and in previously unfamiliar combinations are just one example of a response to this development.