Mindful choices a key food driver for 2018

Cut meat and dairy production and consumption by half, says Greenpeace
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‘Mindful choices’ has been tipped as a “key food driver for 2018” as the relationship between consumer and foodstuffs continue to evolve.

Last month, Mintel revealed that 2018’s biggest trends in the food and beverage space were: full disclosure, self-fulfilling practices, new sensations, preferential treatment and science fare.

Now Innova Market Insights has revealed that the increasingly thoughtful and mindful consumer will continue to catalyse changes in the way that companies produce, package and label their products.

More conscious than ever about making responsible food choices, 4 in 10 US and UK consumers increased their consumption of “healthy foods”.

Furthermore, 7 in 10 want to know and understand the ingredient list; 1 in 5 in the US are most influenced by “real” ingredients, and ethical claims on packaging are top of mind.

In response, better-for-you claims continue to be on-trend, having increased their market penetration from 42% in 2012 to 49% in 2017 YTD.

“Mindful Choices” leads the list of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2018, where the company continuously analyses global developments in food and drinks launch activity and consumer research to highlight the trends most likely to impact the food and drinks industry over the coming year and beyond.

Innova Market Insights’ top five trends for 2018 are:

  1. Mindful Choices

Innova Market Insights research data indicates that 1 in 2 US, UK and German consumers read ingredient labels often and that 7 out of 10 US and UK consumers want to know and understand ingredient lists.

At the same time, rising levels of interest in ethical issues have resulted in the use of ethical claims for food and drink NPD soaring in recent years, with a CAGR of 44% over the 2011-2016 period.

  1. Lighter Enjoyment

As consumers continue to look for ways to eat and drink more healthily, lightness in terms of alcohol content, sweetness, flavour, texture or even portion size is increasing its appeal, although definitely not at the expense of a familiar, high quality and indulgent taste profile.

  1. Positively Processed

As consumers become more concerned about naturalness and minimal processing techniques, the industry is reviving traditional processes such as fermented foods and cold brew tea and coffee, alongside the development of new ones.

  1. Going Full Circle

The notion of closing the circle is increasingly taking hold, with greater consumer expectation that companies and brands will be more resource-smart via developments such as tip-to-tail eating, innovative uses for food waste and more biodegradable and renewable packaging.

  1. Beyond the Coffeehouse

While coffee is clearly trending among Millennial and Generation Z consumers, tea is also seeking to reinvent itself among the younger generations. With the taste and experiential associations of coffee and the healthy image of tea, the industry is increasingly using coffee and tea as ingredients and flavours outside the hot drinks and iced tea and coffee sub-categories across a wide variety of products as varied as energy bars, yogurt and jam.