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.

Immunity food

01
The other health related trend that was pushed massively by the pandemic is immunity foods. Immunity has long been important to Asian consumers, and now Covid has - also in the Western world - focused people’s minds on keeping their immune systems healthy. Right now 3 in 5 global consumers actively look for food products to boost their immune health, and half of the world spent time educating them on ingredients & ways to keep them healthy. Besides enough sleep and being physically healthy consumers identify naturally healthy food sources as perfect supporters for their immune system.

Provenance & Transparency

02
People value food products ‘from somewhere’ more than food from ‘anywhere’ – whether that ‘somewhere’ is local, or from the other side of the world. They love a back-story about where and how a food is made. Foods with a halo of provenance and artisanal production have more appeal. That means Provenance is increasingly important for ingredients as well as for brands. Consumers don’t want only what’s local. They know that not everything they want is available nearby and they are open to products from ‘far away’ – provided that they are natural, ‘authentic’ and have some clear provenance. People will buy both products that are ‘local’ and those from ‘far away

Power to the plants

03
The consumer motivations for switching from their favorite products to plant-based alternatives are fragmented. It's about incorporating new foods and variations in everyones daily diet, including more fruits and vegetables, cutting down on meat consumption but also increasing protein intake, avoiding bad carbohydrates and starch products, and reducing sugar consumption. The most important fact about this trend is that it is NOT about replacing meat – people want to consume more plants alongside dairy and meat and their favorite everyday foods.

Category blurring: Hello hybrids

04
Hybrid product development now exists in all categories. We also call them: creative crossovers, product mashups or modern twists. It is a valuable strategy to enrich the consumer experience, expand consumption opportunities and innovate established products.

Holistic Health

05
The health trend that has been prevailing for years now - continues in 2021 and is more present than ever before - of course also due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. And within this trend, the holistic understanding of health continues to determine the demands of consumers. Even before the pandemic, there was a need to promote both mental and physical health. So holistic health is all about mental health – meaning positive mood and indulgence options, and also cognitive fitness being energetic and able to focus, concentrate.

Protein

06
The protein trend has been playing a role in the food market for some time. Protein is the nutrient that can do no wrong. Unlike fat or carbs it has never had any negative association in dietary guidelines in science, or in consumers’ minds. Consumers are clearly open to trying proteins from a variety of sources – provided that they are in a product in which protein ‘makes sense’ and taste good.

Mood Food

07
Food has long been used to boost mood – and Covid has reinforced this. Mental health is more important than ever. Before the pandemic with lockdowns the great majority of millennials already felt stressed at least a few times a month and three quarters of consumers in general felt very or pretty busy in an average week. Many everyday foods are linked with improving mood like chocolate, sweet goods or salty snacks. Market strategy to approach mood food development is to deliver a benefit the consumer can feel.

Naturally Functional

08
Natural ingredients with functional added value are becoming more and more important. So-called superfoods, i.e. fruits, nuts, seeds and kernels, to which particularly health-promoting properties are attributed, play an important role. Consumers want functional added value from purely natural ingredients. There is a demand for added value for body and health from natural, unprocessed sources. The focus is on individual ingredients and nutrient groups, food groups such as nuts, vegetables and seeds and manufacturing processes such as fermentation.

Sustainability Plus

01
Clean label, environmentally friendly, fair - consumers have long expected much more from a product than just good taste. Above all, the production conditions in the countries of origin and the sustainability of the supply chain are important factors by which consumers evaluate a product. Various seals and claims provide orientation and help to position a product. Today, however, consumer demands extend far beyond the ecological and social aspects of production. They expect a product to have additional health benefits. Sugar-, fat- and salt-reduced products score points, as does a high proportion of (vegetable) proteins and fibre.

The Value of Texture

02
Changing the taste of a product without losing its identity is almost impossible. This is probably one of the reasons why product developers all over the world are increasingly focusing on textures. Innovative texture approaches help them to reformulate old product concepts and develop new ones. Consumers are delighted, because new and unknown textures in known or new products provide surprising moments of pleasure on the one hand. On the other hand, texturizers such as nuts or seeds provide visual highlights and healthy ingredients and thus appeal to a young, health-oriented and Instagram-affine target group.

Power to the Plants

03
In 2020, consumers will continue to focus on plant-based foods. The interest goes far beyond fruit and vegetables. Nuts, cereals, seeds, spices and herbs also play a major role in the various nutritional concepts of consumers. The motives for increasing the use of plant-based ingredients are as varied as the ingredients themselves: From the desire to generally consume less meat to the need to consume less sugar and "bad" carbohydrates, there are a variety of motivations. One thing, however, unites them all: vegetable ingredients will have a great and growing importance in the food market in 2020 and beyond.

Category blurring: Hello hybrids

04
Everyone knows coffee. Everybody knows cola. But cola with coffee? Unthinkable until a few years ago, now it's just normal. The trend is towards ever more daring hybrids - products that at first glance do not belong together. This is particularly pronounced in the beverage market, where the wildest combinations can be found. But developers in other areas of the food industry are also becoming bolder and combining what they can.

Holistic Health

05
Digitisation has democratised knowledge. Information is available anytime and anywhere, and at the same time interest in different forms of nutrition has increased. Nowadays, food is no longer just for nutrition, it must offer added value for mental and physical health and holistic well-being. In doing so, every consumer follows his or her own personal path, from which he or she hopes to achieve the success he or she desires. For the food industry, this represents both a challenge and an opportunity. Products specifically tailored to individual needs (e.g. lactose-free, gluten-free, probiotic) generate growth potential in various segments.

Naturally Functional

06
Natural ingredients with functional added value are becoming more and more important. So-called superfoods, i.e. fruits, nuts, seeds and kernels, to which particularly health-promoting properties are attributed, play an important role. Consumers want functional added value from purely natural ingredients. There is a demand for added value for body and health from natural, unprocessed sources. The focus is on individual ingredients and nutrient groups, food groups such as nuts, vegetables and seeds and manufacturing processes such as fermentation.

Snackification

07
THE megatrend par excellence continues to gain in importance this year. It is becoming increasingly clear that this trend works almost without any categories: From confectionery and baked goods to meat products and cheese, it is changing the way customers consume products "spontaneously". For manufacturers, this trend offers many opportunities for innovation and positioning. What is striking is that the snack sector is functioning independently of the consumer's striving for health and well-being. When it comes to snacking, what counts most is the taste and stimulation of the reward center. Studies also show that a snack option can have a positive effect on sales, as price-sensitive consumers are also quite willing to accept a surcharge for tasty snacks.

Eat with your Eyes

01
It’s not enough for food just to taste good – it has to look good, too. This visual trend continues to gain momentum in 2019 as social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest become increasingly important. Meanwhile, consumers continue to expect nothing less than complete freedom from artificial colorants – they want the beautiful colors to come from natural sources, e.g. concentrates, powders, and extracts. On top of that, the packaging itself should have a winning design to do justice to the content.

Holistic Health

02
The trend towards personal wellbeing and holistic health has reached the food industry. Food is not exclusively a means to an end; it is expected to deliver a healthy value-add. Every consumer is looking for their personal feel-good diet and is guided less by facts than by their own opinions and convictions. Fruit, vegetables, and nuts are of particular interest. This results in further market fragmentation – niches become mainstream. A multitude of startups have realized this – and so have the major players, who are moving in on these healthy niches with a vast variety of innovative food concepts.

The Redefinition of Beverages

03
The beverage market has been in transition for several years now. Anything goes, as long as it tastes good to the consumer. This is how new taste experiences are created – from cannabis-laced drinks to coffee enriched with various flavors, there are no limits to the imagination. The boundaries between individual categories are becoming increasingly blurred. Beverages that fall between two categories, such as coffee with juice, colored beer, or carbonated juices, are increasingly becoming the norm. This development leads to a strong fragmentation of the market. Countless startups are trying their luck, but the major players, too, have long since recognized the potential and are investing heavily in innovative ideas. Here, too, the focus is on health – less sugar, less alcohol, more functionality. This development holds enormous potential for the juice and beverage industry.

Power to the Plants

04
A few years ago, vegetarians were ridiculed as exotic, but now the number of people who eat a flexitarian or completely meatless diet is constantly growing. Nuts, seeds, and pulses are gaining importance as dietary sources of protein. The innovative use of fruit and vegetables opens up many previously unexplored possibilities for manufacturers.

Snacks - The Power of Convenience

05
In terms of volume, the snack market has grown by an average 13% per year over the last 5 years. An impressive development that clearly shows: snacking is fully en vogue. Yet consumers also still care about added health value. "Better-for-you snacks" made with healthy, natural ingredients are gaining market share. The main drivers of this development are Millennials, 77% of whom say they grab a snack at least once a day. The importance of snacks will continue to grow in the next few years. This opportunity also presents challenges: The trend to snacks unites many different trends. High-quality, healthy, and functional ingredients, clean label, texture, and convenience (easy-to-eat) play a big role when choosing a snack, and challenge the industry.

Value of Texture

06
Crunchy, chunky, creamy, soft – texture continues to gain importance in the food market. Consumers want the unexpected; they want to be surprised and inspired. So surprising textures and new combinations offer great potential for successful products. Nuts, kernels, and seeds play a special role. As natural sources of protein, they serve the “Holistic Health” and “Power to the Plants” trends and give products an interesting, exciting texture.

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 Lebensmittel-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.