Analysts at Mintel have outlined three key trends likely to be seen in the global food, drink, and foodservice industries this year and further ahead.
Feed the mind
In 2021 and beyond, the research group sees food, drink, and foodservice brands offer moments of respite through product rituals and formulations that enhance stress relief activities. As the singular focus of avoiding Covid-19 fades, people are expected to make more serious commitments to reduce the health risks associated with unhealthy eating, become more interested in mindful and intuitive eating, and seek proof and incentives through the use of technology.
“The Covid-19 global pandemic has made consumers recognise that wellbeing is a vital concern. In the coming years, consumers will be looking for more products and services that offer mental and emotional health benefits,” said Alex Beckett, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink.
“Functional formulations and emotionally engaging multisensory products will help food, drink, and foodservice brands command a larger share among a myriad of mental and emotional health options. We predict that innovative food and drink formulations will help people learn how diet can impact mental and emotional health, which will lead to new interest in psychology-based approaches to healthy eating.”
Mintel stated we should expect to see consumers look for approachable upscale meals for special ‘hometainment’ occasions. Expect to see brands and retailers launch appropriately priced products with ethical or environmental claims and consumers increase their expectations for contactless retail that will expand to include experiential services. Over the next five years and beyond, brands and operators that invest in seamless retail and equitable access to healthy food are likely to come out on top.
“When it comes to value, pandemic-shocked consumers are seeking a return to what is essential. Consumers are now focused on minimal consumption and getting the best returns from their purchases,” said Beckett.
“As markets reopen, the pace of life will get busier and consumers will expect time-saving, hygienic, and adventurous convenience food, drink, and foodservice. In the next few years, brands will also be challenged to respond to new definitions of quality and ensure e-commerce is accessible to shoppers of all socioeconomic levels. The focus on getting the best value for one’s money will motivate brands to be more transparent about product price by providing details about the ingredients, processes, and people that are reflected in a product’s price.”
United by food
In the next 12 months, Mintel sees food, drink, and foodservice companies encouraging people to use their brands as a form of self-expression and a way to reconnect with their pre-pandemic identities. Expect to see social commerce develop as a new way for brands to capitalise on building communities that will, in turn, give brands actionable ways to give back and use their resources, reputation, and reach to help consumers take action on important causes.
Beckett commented: “Consumers’ understanding of the community has been strengthened by Covid-19. Recognising the importance of connection and support, consumers will organise in like-minded communities for socialisation and camaraderie.
“Food, drink, and foodservice brands can take advantage of their positions as common interests and passions to which consumers can tie their identities and actively bring individual fans together. Bound by the brand(s) they have in common, communities will expand people’s social circles and introduce collective ways to make a difference.”