Global Food and Drink Trends for 2016
Market research group Mintel has consulted the crystal ball and shares the top food and drink trends for next year.
Written by Sarah Rees, Foodservice Magazine
Global market research group Mintel has released details of the top food and drink trends predicted to shake up the international foodservice scene in 2016.
Jenny Ziegler, Mintel’s global food and drink analyst, explained: “These trends explore how consumers’ evolving priorities, opportunities from advancements in functional formulation and the almost inescapable reach of technology will affect food and drink in the coming year.”
However, she added, “consumers are not the only influencers, as shifting economics, natural phenomena and social media are shaping what, how, where and with whom consumers are choosing to eat and drink.”
Mintel’s predictions are:
Specialist dietary products to go mainstream
Meat, dairy and gluten alternatives will appeal more to the average consumer, “and what was formerly ‘alternative’ could take over the mainstream” says Ziegler.
This is already in evidence of this shift in regards non-dairy milks and vegetarian burgers, but is set to increase across “novel protein sources and potential replacements”.
Nothing but natural
The championing of natural foods will continue, with customers actively seeking to avoid processed foods. To meet demand, companies will come under pressure to remove artificial ingredients from their packaged products.
Consumer expectations of sustainability will heighten, with food manufacturers required to prove their environmental credentials and sustainable practices.
There will be a focus on eating to make the body beautiful, with Mintel predicting products will likely feature substances such as probiotics and collagen.
Food and exercise
The food and fitness connection will continue to strengthen, with more consumers making food choices that suit and complement their exercise regime.
Where does it come from, really?
Hand in hand with an enthusiasm for providence and origin stories is consumer desire for verification of these origin claims, clamping down on misleading advertising and false claims.
There is likely to be an interest in matching food to personal ancestry and DNA, with consumers seeking to follow diets that match their physiology and genetics.
Social media is king
The importance of social media in relation to food remains key, with consumers ever-eager to share pictures and stories and be guided by social media and TV shows in their eating and cooking habits.
As more people opt to eat and/or live alone, the stigma around solo dining will be eased and more meal options available for the single diner.
Fat is our friend
The fear surrounding fat will lessen, with a better awareness of the benefits of some types of fat and less focus from consumers on fat content in products.
Visuals are increasingly important in eating and food choices (in line with the power of social media). Artful construction and bold colours will become more prevalent.