The clean-eating trend has inspired a back-to-basics approach in product development and is an overarching theme in 2016. New global products tracked with an “organic” claim have risen from 6.3 percent in the first half of 2013 to 9.5 percent in the first half of 2015. A surge in “free from” launches and “flexitarian” options also has been reported.
“While other emerging trends for 2016 include the rise of the part-time vegetarian consumer, interest in a return to food processing the natural or old-fashioned way is also coming along throughout the world.
The following are some of the top trends for food and beverage for the next few years.
1. Organic growth for the clean label: “Clean label” established itself as a key trend in 2016, with greater transparency and focus on simpler products with fewer artificial additives taking “clean label” to the next level. The biggest surge in new product development has been reported in organic products, indicating that this will be a key platform going forward in the short term.
2. “Free from” for all: Many consumers don’t actually need products that are free from gluten, wheat and dairy, but are demanding them anyway, as they consider them to be healthier. Industries have little choice but to respond, and the recent surge in mainstream gluten-free products has been incredible. Other “free from” platforms are also gaining steam.
3. The “flexitarian” effect: The rise of part-time vegetarians, who have reduced their meat consumption because of health, sustainability and animal welfare concerns, is having a major impact on new product activity. This includes the technological development and promotion of better-tasting products more reminiscent of meat, as well as the use of alternative protein sources and more animal-friendly processes.
4. Processing the natural way: Established food processing practices that have been around for centuries also are in the spotlight. They bring with them a natural and authentic image to counteract some of the negative perceptions of heavily processed foods, the market research firm says. The health benefits of fermented foods are seeing increasing awareness among consumers. Newer technologies such as high- pressure processing (HPP) also could succeed if they are seen as a fresh alternative to using preservatives.
5. Green light for vegetables: Consumers know they need to eat more greens, but shy away because of taste expectations. Children can be encouraged to eat more through hidden vegetable products, while the rise of fusion smoothies and high vegetable pasta indicates that adults also can be encouraged to increase their intake.
6. Fat sheds stigma: Consumers’ negative stereotype – that any and all fat content is evil – has begun to diminish. The awareness of the many sources of good and bad fats is ushering in a paradigm shift, in which fat content is not the first and foremost consideration – and barrier – in the search for healthy products.
So look out for these new trends and do your research in these areas while entering any business related to food and beverage (F&B) sector .