Mintel Identifies Major Trends Set to Impact the Food and Drink Industry

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The London-based Mintel market research firm has announced three key trends that will shape the global food, drink and foodservice sectors over the next decade. They are outlined below and available to download here:

• Change, Incorporated: Successful companies will be those that improve the health of the planet and its population.

• Smart Diets: Technology will enable consumers to construct hyper-individualized approaches to physical and mental health.

• High-tech Harvests: Consumer trust in food science and technology will strengthen, as these become vital tools to save the food supply.

Expect to see consumers further prioritize plants in their diets, with the planet’s health in mind as much as their own. From beer brewed from rejected cereal pieces to containers made from organic mushroom waste, food waste will lead the way for more sustainable consumption and innovation.

Consumers will gain a better understanding of what makes them unique, using health testing services, artificial intelligence-enabled apps, and increased personal data collection. Meanwhile, with humans expected to live longer, many will want to learn how their diet can benefit long-term cognitive health.

Following in the footsteps of molecular whiskey, expect to see brands use science and technology to create new products, shorten production time, and confirm trustworthiness. Meanwhile, new ingredient growing regions, such as those in Africa and India, and agricultural innovations, including floating farms, will emerge to tackle global food insecurity.

Health, Technology and Trust

“In the next decade, consumers will be hungry for leadership and demonstrable change on environmental issues, ethical business practices, public health, and other important causes,” said Alex Beckett, associate director at Mintel Food & Drink. “They will reward brands that take action and improve important societal issues. The companies that will win in the next 10 years will be those that fuel the new era of conscious consumption. Tomorrow’s conscious consumers will be looking for eco-friendly packaging and products, while also seeking guidance on how to make their diets more sustainable.”

On the subject of smart diets, he commented: “Looking ahead, more consumers will be able to gain in-depth knowledge of their biology through personal health testing kits which will empower them to personalize their diet and health regimes. Analysis of these tools will inform consumers of the steps they need to take to address every aspect of their health, including brain and emotional well being. As a result, in order to succeed over the next decade, brands will need to offer more personalized product offerings, develop smart home solutions, and assist consumers in addressing mood and brain health.”

Addressing the impact of high-tech harvests, Beckett stated: “Science will interlace with the food supply chain to boost yields and combat climate change. Celebrating the sustainable, health, and cost benefits of lab-grown food will be crucial in educating consumers about nature-identical alternatives. But the food and drink industry will be compelled to elevate the role of nature, and humans, in the storytelling of these new, modern solutions. Transparency of information is essential to building trust in a future where scientists play as integral a role as farmers. And championing the people behind the food – whether it is grown in a laboratory or a field – will remain a timeless way of building trust with consumers.”