Fresh Trends for the New Year
With the year almost in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon for 2019.
Personal health and the role food plays will continue to evolve. Consumers will seek healthier eating options – whether that’s healthier ingredients, new products or experimenting with a combination of foods. “Food as medicine” is also anticipated to grow in prominence.
Specifically within personal health, “gut” health products – products rich in or infused with probiotics – will be popular among consumers. What started about a decade ago with yogurt grew into Kombucha in 2018 and expand beyond even that next year, thanks to new ways to infuse probiotics in shelf-stable foods. For consumers, gut health helps regulate their overall immune system, so look for foods that call out this specific benefit to flood the grocery stores.
Consumers expanding their flavor comfort zone will continue, playing a key role for new products in 2019. Dubbed “The Adventurous Consumer,” these eaters like trying exotic flavors and new experiences. Driven by Millennials but also including older consumers, the connected world has opened them up to new flavor possibilities, and targeting their sense of adventure with new products to discover will be key.
And to no surprise to no one, vegan products are expected to ramp up in 2019. According to Mintel, vegan product offerings have increased 92% since 2014. While vegetarianism still dominates the meatless landscape, consumers are more willing to try alternative and plant-based foods more than ever. The number of vegans is still quite small compared to the vast majority, but consumers willing to try a “less-meat” lifestyle are increasing
Finally, snacking will become the norm for a large majority of consumers. The proliferation of the “always on the go” lifestyle has necessitated this lifestyle change. More and more consumers don’t have the time to cook – instead choosing to snack as more of a fourth meal of the day.
Convenience is driving their preferences – favoring grab-and-go packages they can eat on the go. The uptick in snacking will lead to lighter meals and the possibility of four smaller meals overtaking the traditional three.
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