Leading market intelligence agency Mintel has announced three forward-looking food and drink trends, which it predicts will lead the momentum of food and drink innovation worldwide in the months and years ahead, as consumers increasingly seek food and drink that are sustainable throughout the product lifestyle, offer healthy aging solutions at any life stage, and deliver upgraded convenience.

Jenny Zegler, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink, discussed how issues of sustainability, health and wellness, and convenience will inspire formulation, packaging, marketing and more.

“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 not only improving access to recycling but creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance with regenerative agriculture practices," Ms. Zegler said.

“Expect to also see food and drink manufacturers look to the beauty and personal care industry for inspiration for healthy aging product development. More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns, be marketed with positive language that rejects terms like ‘anti-aging’ for its negative connotations, and appeal across ages.

“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."

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-degree 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.

Consumers start to 'rethink' plastic

A seismic shift in how consumers think about plastic is 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 incentivizing consumers to recycle packaging and offering upcycled goods.

Through the Ages

Preparing oneself for a longer, healthier lifespan is particularly relevant as consumers prioritize health and wellness as a holistic, proactive, and ongoing pursuit. Longer lifespans present significant opportunities for food and drink manufacturers to take inspiration from the beauty industry, which has successfully established a model for healthy aging by designing proactive products that are marketed with positive language to people of all ages.

Specific to the world’s diverse senior populations, their needs can be addressed through food and drink for medical purposes, as well as products designed for prevention, with formulations that are nutritious, flavourful, and easy to consume.

Elevated Convenience

From breakfast to dinner, a new generation of modern convenience food and drink is emerging as manufacturers respond to rising healthy eating priorities, quests for foodie-inspired flavors, interests in personalization 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 flavors and formats of restaurant meals.

For further details, download at http://www.mintel.com/global-food-and-drink-trends/