Top 10 trends in the Food Industry
Where is the food industry heading? Which products will it offer soon? Where are the companies in this sector targeting their innovative effort? Here you can check 10 points that try to answer these questions and, based on the analysis of the current market, allow us to see where the industry is headed.
1. Enough of throwing away food
It is estimated that each year in Spain some 7,000 tons of food are thrown away. This fact has moral and social connotations, especially considering that current poverty rates in Spain reach 30%. It also has ecological connotations, considering the amount of raw materials, energy and water required to produce, package and transport food that at ultimately is wasted. Companies are not impervious to this reality and for this reason they seek ways to reduce it through smaller packages, which in some cases come to unidosis and, innovating in conservation techniques that maintain food in optimum condition for longer time.
2. Convey confidence
Cases such as the occurrence of E. coli in cucumbers, the horse meat scandal and other similar have a big impact on consumers, which react by reducing the level of confidence placed in products and companies. Businesses should reinforce this confidence to preserve the demand for their products. Improve aspects such as product traceability and transparency in commercial messages can help maintain and increase consumer confidence. Companies that manage to convey this confidence gain a competitive advantage.
3. Simple Pleasures
No doubt food is a source of pleasure. As recently mentioned by the world famous chef Ferran Adrià in an interview, the culinary luxury lies in being able to eat whatever you feel at a particular time. Companies that are able to create a product that produce this kind of pleasure in the consumer, have guaranteed success whether producing coffee, candy, ham or any other product.
4. Beware of the small ones
More and more in several sectors of the food industry successful products are appearing produced by small and medium companies without the complex and inertia of the transnational. The democratization of both marketing and production technologies makes them capable of being competitive against much larger companies. They also tend to offer products with personality and sometimes groundbreaking. A paradigmatic example is the change in the number and type of beer producers in the United States. In 1980 there were only 89 beer producers in all USA, in 1994 there were 537 and in 2012 the figure reached 2,300. Currently is estimated that there are more than 3,800, mostly small local producers. Large companies should be alert to these new “players” that provide consumers with less standardized and more original products.
5. A global understanding of Health
In recent years the EFSA has heavily regulated the specific nutritional benefits or “acrive health claims”. Many companies have not been able to demonstrate the cause and effect of certain components of their products. Finally, some have given up getting this recognition after contemplating the costs that represent the necessary scientific and clinical studies. A shift in the strategy has been detected, now these companies seek to convey more generic and ambiguous health messages. Messages like “it will make you feel good” and similar get consumers to identify the product as healthy without having to go through strict controls on the EFSA.
Every now and then come to light (or rediscover) products that accumulate a lot of beneficial properties. Products like goji berries. These super foods hoard a large media attention in a fairly short time and become an ingredient to incorporate into a lot of other products in an attempt to capitalize on his popularity. Currently the following foods are setting trends: artichokes, parsnips, maquis and cocoa. Be aware of these trends is key for companies in the sector, which can take advantage of popularity of these products and their derivatives.
7. The Hybrid Stronghold
An ongoing trend is to combine two clearly differentiated products that have their own market niche to get a product that offers new experiences to consumers. The runaway success of “cronut” a combination of croissant and donut, and co-branding initiatives like Milka chocolate combined with products like Oreo cookies are evidence of this trend.
8. Better with proteins
In certain countries the presence of proteins in food has a great effect on consumers directly relating proteins with interesting properties. Highly protein products are associated (although not considered proven by EFSA) with a satisfying and nourishing effect. Proteins are key players in products for children, the elderly, athletes and vegetarians. This effect is especially significant in dairy products, the most common source of protein.
9. Discrete strategies
There are some unhealthy food product components or ingredients that slowly but steadily they are being reduced. This is the case of saturated fat, sugar or salt. The amount of these components has been reduced in recent years and many producers take this into account when updating their products.
10. Alternatives for all
The current consumers profile force to consider niche markets consisting of consumers that proactively select organic products or free of certain elements used in most common products. This is the case of gluten free products, lactose free products (these products are opening markets even for consumer without associated intolerances or allergies) or free elements such as dyes or sweeteners.