The three top trends were: Indulgence remained, Food is fuel and fun and Convenience is here to stay, the chief executive of The Future Foundation, Christophe Jouan, told an audience at The Guildhall, London last night (February 16).
Indulgence remained referred to consumers’ continuing desire to enjoy indulgent food and drink products, albeit at a lesser rate than in the past. The developed world was increasingly becoming “a society of sobriety”, he said.
“Indulgence is here to stay but will be done in a more controlled way,” said Jouan. Nevertheless, used appropriately, it would remain “a strong marketing tool”.
Food is fuel and fun
Food is fuel and fun highlighted the disparity between those who saw food simply as fuel to power their bodies and people who enjoyed to eat. According to a recent survey, 24% regarded food as fuel – offering opportunities for nutrient-enhanced products such as Soylent.
But in the same survey, only 9% thought of food as solely a fuel without offering pleasure or comfort. That meant the market for fuel replacement would be very limited.
The Convenience is here to stay trend highlighted the continuing popularity of convenience food – although such food would become more healthy than in the past.
“This offers massive opportunities [for food manufacturers and retailers] in partnering with the right start ups,” he said.
“Think of it as invisible shopping [achieved by linking to a new start up food provider, which grows rapidly in popularity] Do you want to be in or out?”
‘Do you want to be in or out?’
- Indulgence remained
- Food is fuel and fun
- Convenience here to stay
- New protein – ‘flexitarians’
- Offsetting becomes mainstream
- Food’s associated benefits
As an example, he pointed to the new online, recipe meal ingredient delivery service Hello Fresh. The 2 Sisters Food Group recently announced a new partnership with Hello Fresh.
The final three trends were: New protein – the rise of the ‘flexitarians’, Offsetting becomes mainstream and Food with additional benefits.
New protein – the rise of the ‘flexitarians’ reflected the increasingly critical scrutiny of meat, both from health and environmental perspectives. Scientific progress offered the potential for new forms of protein such as lab-grown meat.
Jouan noted its inventors – scientists at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands in 2013 – predicted it would find a commercial application within 10 years.
But he predicted healthy meat sales in 10 years’ time – albeit at lower than current levels of consumption, at least in the developed west. The increasing affluence of developing countries will continue to result in rising meat consumption.
About 7% of consumers were either vegetarians or vegans who would never eat meat. A further 24% were unlikely to moderate their meat consumption. That left the vast majority of consumers, who sometimes ate meat products, adopting a more flexible or flexitarian approach to their diet.
The next trend – Offsetting becomes mainstream – linked to the rise of the flexitarians. Consumers who increasingly avoided meat for some meals will treat themselves to high quality meat products at other times.
“There are huge opportunities in high quality meat and protein product,” said Jouan.
Finally, by 2025, food would increasingly be associated with benefits that extended beyond nutrition. This would include food’s ability to influence a consumer’s mood and to deliver beauty benefits.
Meanwhile, watch out for more reports from the City Food Lecture later this week on FoodMaufacture.co.uk
For more information about the very latest trends in food and drink innovation book your place at the Food Manufacture Group’s one day conference – New Frontiers in Food & Drink – at etc.venues on Thursday March 17 2016. The conference will be chaired by Steve Osborn of The Aurora Ceres Partnership. Booking details are available here .