As 2018 comes to a close, we look to the trends that have shaped consumer behaviour, and where it’s likely to go in 2019. Overall, demand falls into one cohesive narrative about authenticity, sustainability, and health.
Customers are seeking traditional practices and they’re also open to innovation. They are asking more of their brands and of their food, in targeted ways: brain and gut health; convenience, community and compassion. Context is also taking on new importance, as ‘mind, body, spirit’ comes to include an additional dimension in consumer decisions: the planet. This is set to be an era of mindful consumers.
In this, part 1 of 4, we look at food trends related to our minds.
Peace of Mind and Performance
The fast pace of modern life has not let up for most, and consumers are increasingly searching for holistic ways to thrive despite these constraints. Instead of turning to supplements, consumers are seeking foods that will help them perform at their best, both in terms of efficiency and performance.
In 2019, apart from the convenience of on-the-go products, customers will increasingly prioritise foods which “shorten the distance between a recipe and finished meal,” according to Food Navigator-USA, without compromising on quality. Speedy food delivery services, food apps and online grocery shopping are all contributing to an elevated expectation of what convenience food can mean.
Expectations for modern convenience in premium foods and beverages will span every meal, snack, and beverage break, from planning to shopping to preparation. From individual meal kits, to packaged beverages and “a new generation of prepared meals, sides, and sauces that emulate the flavours and formats of restaurant meals.” (Mintel Food & Drink)
Brain health is a lucrative market. As the world’s ageing population and middle classes increase, it is expected to grow, with a forecast of AUD 16 billion by 2024 (according to Research & Markets). Food and beverages are playing a more important role in this market, as people turn to their diet to prepare themselves for their longer, healthier lifespans.
Brain health is becoming a more proactive and ongoing pursuit, presenting significant opportunities to establish a model for healthy ageing (according to Mintel), by offering preventative products marketed with positive language to people of all ages.
As we live longer as a species, food and drink can directly address concerns from people of all ages about age-related concerns such as bone, joint, brain and eye health. Products that offer preventative solutions will also do well. We see this already, in foods informed by the nootropic dietary supplement space, incorporating unique and functional and natural ingredients into their products.
This is an exciting time to be in food. More than ever, consumers are open to unconventionality, in packaging, ingredients and ethos; and are seeking both tradition and innovation. They expect more of their food and of their suppliers; and they are in many cases, willing to pay for it. This is not an isolated instance; these trends are echoing around the world. However they are not displaying identically in each and every market; each market has its own history, culture, and people with which these trends mix. If you’re interested in learning more about the nuances of a particular market and category, reach out. This is our area of specialisation and we’d be more than happy to help.