Market insight: Accelerating innovation

Market insight: Accelerating innovation

Innova Market Insights has identified its top 10 food and beverage trends for 2021…

Innova Market Insights, food trend specialists for over 25 years, recently unveils its annual trends report. Its Top Ten Trends for 2021 study provides an in-depth delve into how the food and beverage industry has progressively evolved. As Covid-19 transforms our shopping and eating habits, staying ahead of the curve and keeping on top of the changing and sophisticated food and beverage landscape is of paramount importance.

“Transparency throughout the supply chain will dominate in 2021, with consumers searching for brands that can build trust, provide authentic and credible products, and create shopper confidence in the current and post-Covid climate,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of insights and innovation for Innova Market Insights.
Its top five trends for 2021 are:

1. Transparency triumphs
The survey reveals that six in 10 global consumers are interested in learning more about where foods come from. Transparency dominates consumer demand in 2021. Increasing transparency to meet evolving ethical, environmental and clean label consumer demands is key. Brands adopting and pairing new packaging technologies, such as invisible barcodes and near-field communication technology, with creative, meaningful storytelling will be successful.

2. Plant-forward
As plant-based trends reach global phenomenon status, the ‘plant-based’ definition is ever-evolving. Its rising mainstream appeal will drive expansion to different regions and categories in 2021, including accelerated demand for new formats, plant proteins and more sophisticated alternatives. Propelled by sustainability and animal welfare concerns, lab-grown foods have the potential to disrupt the industry by mainstreaming the use of new technologies. The report indicated that the top four reasons for considering plant-based alternatives were health, diet variety, sustainability and taste.

3. Tailored to fit
Personalised nutrition is in the spotlight as consumers look for food and beverage options that fit their unique lifestyles. Consumers expect a tailored approach to eating, with technological breakthroughs, constant new launches and exciting sensorial experiences providing the opportunity for customised lifestyles to extend to food and beverage consumption. Sophisticated personalised nutrition advice on functional foods is still expensive, but the emergence of tech platforms allows for comparable customer service via automation.

4. New omnichannel dating
As foodservice and retail domains increasingly overlap, consumers can eat what they want, when and where they want it. Consumers are seeking convenience, richer experiences and accessible indulgence. Traditional hospitality is getting edged out, particularly with Covid-19 giving consumers more time to stay at home and sharpen their own culinary prowess. Increased home cooking is driving the use of convenient meal kits and more sophisticated ingredients, resulting in new food experiences. The report found that 46% of consumers believe restaurant-branded products are a convenient way to attain the restaurant experience and flavours at home.

5. In tune with immune
Ongoing anxiety stemming from Covid-19 will encourage consumers to prioritise their immune health into 2021. According to the survey, six out of 10 global consumers are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that support their immune health, with one in three saying that concerns about immune health increased in 2020 over 2019. Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role in the coming year, while research and interest in the role of the microbiome and personalised nutrition as ways to strengthen immunity will accelerate.

“The ever-evolving food and beverage industry has seen a significant consumer push for transparency throughout the supply chain, immunity-boosting products and the use of technology,” added Williams. “2021 is a huge year for opportunities and innovation that meet these needs.”