Food and drink predictions for 2018

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

What trends are likely to emerge in 2018?
What trends are likely to emerge in 2018?

Related tags: Drink, Technology, Mintel

Five key trends that are likely to impact the global food and drink market over the coming year have been announced by market intelligence agency Mintel.

Mintel predicted that consumers would be looking for greater transparency from manufacturers in 2018. They will also be looking for products that provide nutrition, physical or emotional benefits that meet their personal needs, and they would be looking for more multi-sensory experiences from their food and drink.

The fourth trend would be more targeted promotions of food and drink drawing upon technological advances that make consumers’ lives easier, said Mintel. And, lastly, science in the production of food and drink would come more to the fore, it claimed.

Full disclosure

In 2018, consumers will desire more transparency from food and drink companies, said Mintel.  This will put pressure on manufacturers to offer thorough and honest disclosures about how, where, when and by whom food and drink is grown, harvested, made and/or sold, Mintel said.

It said the need for reassurance about the safety and trustworthiness of food and drink had led to increased use of natural as well as ethical and environmental claims in global food and drink launches.

In addition to more specific product details, the next wave of clean-label would challenge manufacturers and retailers to “democratise transparency and traceability”,​ so that products were accessible to all consumers, regardless of household income.

Self-fulfilling practices

Mintel said that the frantic pace of modern life, as well as contentious tones in politics and the media, had caused many consumers to look for ways to escape negativity in their lives.

Many people who felt overwhelmed were focusing on ‘self-care’, or prioritising time and efforts dedicated to themselves, it said.

This meant that there would be a need for a variety of formats, formulations and portion sizes of food and drink that presented consumers with positive solutions and treats. More consumers would be looking for ingredients, products and combinations of food and drink that provided nutrition, physical or emotional benefits that advanced their priorities for self-care, Mintel added.

New sensations

Mintel’s five trends

  • Full disclosure
  • Self-fulfilling practices
  • New sensations
  • Preferential treatment
  • Science fare

During 2018, texture would become more important for food and drink companies and consumers. According to Mintel, this would involve interactive experiences. There would be opportunities for “multi-sensory”​ food and drink that used unexpected texture to provide consumers, especially the teens and young adults of the iGeneration, with moments worth sharing either in-person or online.

Preferential treatment

Mintel predicted an era of targeted promotions and products is emerging. Motivated by the potential to save time and ideally money, consumers would sample a variety of channels and technologies when shopping for food and drink, including home delivery, subscription services and automatic replenishment.

Companies and retailers could leverage technology to establish new levels of efficiency, such as customised recommendations that saved consumers time, effort and energy. Opportunities existed for companies to tempt consumers by creating products and suggesting combinations of goods.

Science fare

A technological revolution was playing out in manufacturing as some forward-looking companies developed solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products, said Mintel.

In 2018, technology would begin to disrupt the traditional food chain as enterprising manufacturers aimed to replace farms and factories with laboratories.

Mintel said that while lab, cultured or synthetic food and drink was only just emerging, technology could eventually be used to design food and drink that was more nutritious.

The list was complied by Mintel’s global food and drink analyst Jenny Zegler.

Related topics: NPD, Obesity

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1 comment

Avoiding soil? Surely not.

Posted by Sophie Turigel,

I am surprised that laboratory food will expand, as so much research is taking place into the microbiological benefits of soil. The terroir effect of wines etc is from the soil in which the grapes are grown and not so much the variety of grape. We need bacteria when growing our food otherwise our gut microbiomes are going to suffer more than they are already.
Also, I predict that people choosing gluten free products will move to choosing sourdough products. It may be later than 2018 but change is on it's way.

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