After Brand Britannia fever – fuelled by the Olympics, Royal weddings and births – British consumers will look outwards to other countries for product inspiration, it suggested.
Mintel’s senior trends consultant Richard Cope said: “When it comes to food and drink, UK consumers are open to new tastes from around the world. About 50% of wine, 42% of beer and 40% of spirit drinkers agree with the statement ‘I like to try drinks from different countries’,” he said.
The preference for products with international links will be driven by a range of factors including: next year’s sporting events, immigration legislation and pending referendums, which will put other countries’ products on the menu.
FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics
Sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics will see British consumers exposed to a wide range of Brazilian and Russian products and campaigns. And with Scottish independence under review, Scottish products and provenance will enjoy a heightened profile.
Mintel research revealed that patriotic purchasing was a myth – with 58% of consumers agreeing the price and the quality of produce was more important than where it was produced.
“Brits are open, curious and savvy when it comes to buying into new, engaging or better value products from abroad,” said Cope.
The other three top trends of next year will be what Mintel termed: Club Tropicalia, A private function and Healthy fuels.
The World Cup will make Britain “fall in love with all things Brazilian”, said Cope. The showcase of Brazilian commercial cultural exports will include everything from food to fashion to beauty products, he predicted.
Cope said Brazilian brand managers were aware of the opportunity, with trade association Wines of Brazil aiming to double exports between 2012 and 2016. Also, Brazil was an emerging wine producer with the potential to crossover to a wider market.
Other popular Brazilian food and drink imports could include: meat; açaí berries – eaten as both an exercise fuel and a snack in Brazil – and Brazilian-branded coconut water products.
The top three trend – A private function – referred to consumers’ search for greater data privacy and functionality.
Intrusion and privacy
“Mintel’s research shows that intrusion and privacy are indeed issues for brands to heed,” said Cope. Nearly a quarter (23%) of consumers said they thought video adverts that target individuals according to their internet activity off-putting.
More than half (59%) of consumers said online advertising that is based on their browsing history made them feel uncomfortable and 19% were concerned about how aggregators use personal data.
“The next stage is for grocery brands to offer positive data surveillance for customers – in the form of opt-in nutritional analysis services,” said Cope. More than a third (36%) of grocery shoppers said they would be interested in a nutritional review of basket content. A further 17% liked the idea of information on their receipt revealing the health status of their shopping basket contents.
The final trend dominating grocery purchases next year would be Healthy fuels, as consumers moved away from caffeine towards functional green vegetable drinks.
UK consumers seem very open to new ‘healthy’ launches within the energy drinks sector. “In the UK alone, new product launches of drinks with a no additives or preservatives claim grew 56% over the past five years to 2012. New UK drinks product launches with a low/no/reduced sugar claim increased 63% over the same period,” said Cope.
Mintel’s top four grocery trends for 2014
1 – Internationalism on the Agenda
2 – Club Tropicalia
3 – A Private Function
4 – Healthy Fuels