Market trends have the ability to reshape the nutritional landscape. More than ever, shoppers are reading labels, seeking to incorporate some nutritional attributes into their diets while reducing or eliminating others. The obvious challenge is attempting to predict and satisfy ever-changing consumer behaviour patterns. However, the payoff can be well worth the effort.
Whether it’s clean label, incorporating en vogue ingredients or finding a way to connect with technology-driven consumers, opportunities abound in the marketplace. This Slide Show features information excerpted from the Market Trends and Consumer Behaviour presentations at Vitafoods Europe 2016. Click the following link to read a related Report, “European Trends in Nutritional Ingredients.”
Adapted from Vitafoods Europe 2016 Presentations from Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), Euromonitor International and KPMG.
Steve French, managing partner at Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), explored the hottest consumer trends driving innovation. International research revealed high percentages of consumers consider eating healthy to be a vital part of their lives. China, India and Brazil ranked the highest, and the United States, UK and Germany the lowest. However, the low rankings still reflected more than 60 percent of consumers placing a high value on healthy eating.
Texture is one way to appeal to consumers seeking health and wellness products. The use of fruits and vegetables supports “real” ingredient trends—fresh and less processed. Ancient grains give a nod to fibre, while creamy textures are on point with protein developments.
Gluten free is another global phenomenon. In the last 15 years, the number of global gluten-free food and beverage launches has risen dramatically. In 2015, the United States saw approximately 4,500 launches, and the non-U.S. launches numbered an additional 20,000.
Many other trends are emerging, but it remains to be seen whether they will gain traction. Some of these include milk alternative sources (nuts, oats, coconut), functional waters (cactus, maple, aloe), Fair Trade certified and hemp (oil, seeds, protein).
Another presentation revealed the clean-label trend is gaining momentum, particularly as consumers become increasingly interested in knowing what’s inside their foods and beverages. Whether the absence of artificial sweeteners or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Alan Rownan, ethical labels analyst of Euromonitor International, explained “clean label” can mean many things to many people—but the foundation is products that are transparent, robust, clear and relevant.
The key area of clean-label interest is “no artificial preservatives,” followed by no artificial colours and then flavours. Among the least-pursued categories are no MSG (monosodium glutamate) and BPA (bisphenol A) free.
North America, which is highly focused on “all natural” messaging, is showing the greatest demand for clean label, followed by Western Europe, which is most drawn to “no artificial preservatives.” Asia Pacific’s most prevalent area of interest is GMO free, and Australasia outranks other regions in its quest for no artificial flavours.
The leading clean-label categories globally are dairy, along with sweet and savoury snacks. Dairy and ready meats have the highest predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2015 to 2020. Among the six leading categories, baked goods had the lowest 2015 sales, as well as the lowest predicted CAGR.
Katrina Lytton—UK nutrition lead, life sciences, at KPMG—examined nutraceuticals, which she also referred to as “intelligent foods.” She said as individuals have become more informed and aware of the connection between lifestyle choices and disease, mindsets have shifted from cure to prevention, resulting in new opportunities in the nutritional sector.
As industry and consumers embrace the new way of approaching health and nutrition, opportunities will arise for small, highly innovative food and technology companies. In addition, she predicted a convergence of food, data, tech and pharma. In 10 years, the landscape could completely transform.
Currently, food, pharma and non-traditional players each have unique advantages and drawbacks. As the lines between these organizations blur, it will allow for individual strengths—such as resources, agility, speed and innovation—to emerge.