Three Global Food and Drink Trends for 2019
By Linda Winick
Three forward-looking trends will propel global food and drink innovation in 2019 and beyond, says Mintel, a market intelligence agency.
Jenny Zegler, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink, said issues of sustainability, health and wellness, and convenience will inspire formulation, packaging, marketing and more in the years to come.
Here are Mintel’s 2019 Global Food and Drink Trends at a glance:
Evergreen Consumption: A circular view of sustainability that spans the entire product lifecycle requires action from suppliers to consumers.
“In 2019, support of and demand for more corporate sustainability programs will grow as consumers better understand what’s required to get closer to achieving a truly circular food and drink economy,” Zegler said. “These sustainability efforts will include not only improving access to recycling, but creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance to regenerative agriculture practices.”
Mintel contends that the definition of sustainability is extending to encompass the entire product lifecycle. From farm to retailer to fork to bin and, ideally, to rebirth as a new plant, ingredient, product or package, this 360-degree approach will ensure resources are kept in use for as long as possible. The movement towards circularity as the new sustainability will require collaboration between suppliers, manufacturers, governments, nonprofits, retailers and consumers.
A seismic shift in how consumers think about plastic is underway, according to Mintel, with bio-based packaging materials set to be a key component to the next generation of responsible packaging. In 2019 and beyond, sustainability efforts will include not only improving access to recycling, but incentivizing consumers to recycle packaging and offering upcycled goods.
Through the Ages: Food and drink will build on today’s dialogue about wellness and transition into more solutions for healthy aging.
Zegler expects to see food and drink manufacturers looking to the beauty and personal care industry for inspiration for healthy aging product development. “More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns, be marketed with positive language that rejects terms like ‘anti-aging’ for its negative connotations, and appeal across ages,” he said.
Mintel believes that preparing oneself for a longer, healthier lifespan is particularly relevant as consumers prioritize health and wellness as a holistic, proactive, and ongoing pursuit. Longer lifespans present significant opportunities for makers of food and drink to take inspiration from the beauty industry, which has successfully established a model for healthy aging by designing proactive products that are marketed with positive language to people of all ages.
The needs of the world’s diverse senior populations can be addressed through food and drink for medical purposes, Mintel said, as well as products designed for prevention, with formulations that are nutritious, flavorful, and easy to consume. Yet as humans are living longer, more food and drink can be formulated to address concerns from people of all ages about bone, joint, brain and eye health as well as other age-related health concerns.
Elevated Convenience: To match the premium expectations of consumers in the on-demand age, convenience food and drink will get an upgrade.
“We predict the rising segment of consumers who are often on-the-go, yet want to spend more time at home will increase demand for upscale, ‘speed scratch’ solutions and restaurant-quality, ready- to-consume products,” Zegler said. “As meal kits and foodservice-inspired beverages lead the way, there will also be more opportunities for brands to develop healthy, flavorful, customizable, and quick premium convenience products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert occasions.”
Mintel predicts that a new generation of modern convenience food and drink is emerging from breakfast to dinner as manufacturers respond to rising healthy eating priorities, quests for foodie-inspired flavors, interests in personalization and competition from speedy delivery services. Looking ahead, a new wave of shortcuts will be available, offering new conveniences such as the expansion of individual meal kits sold at retail, foodservice-inspired packaged beverages, and a new generation of prepared meals, sides, and sauces that emulate the flavors and formats of restaurant meals.