COVID-19 transformed the way people shop and live in 2020, making it an interesting year for manufacturers and consumers.
The impact of the pandemic on the worldwide climate is continuously shifting, requiring consumer brands and producers to be adaptable and quick to changing situations while also seeking to keep on top of popular latest trends.
Many countries have enacted laws restricting access to public events, dining out, out-of-home entertainment, and other activities. As a result, during this isolating period, many consumers have been forced to reconsider their priorities.
Many customers have taken advantage of the opportunity to exhibit themselves artistically by concentrating on hobbies and DIY projects, while others have placed a greater focus on self-wellness. On the other side, the majority have focused overall health and immunity. As a result, face masks, frequent hand sanitizers, and social isolation gradually became the norm.
The F & B business has experienced a rise in consumers home cooking and looking for food products that promote good health due to COVID-19.
In 2021 and beyond, consumer brands and producers must understand how these new trends will impact the f&b industry.
This article will discuss some of the most important global food and beverage business trends in 2021 that will continue into 2022.
Vegans and vegetarians are two popular lifestyles. People are transforming their diets for various reasons, including better health and wellness, an end to animal suffering, and a commitment to sustainability.
Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are two of the most well-known companies in the business. They use plant-based ingredients to make meat alternatives. Their products are available in restaurants, supermarkets, and even multinational fast-food chains such as Burger King. These companies weren't the first to produce plant-based products, but their way of making vegetarian products that taste the same as meat has led them to gain popularity.
Due to the growing demand for this type of product, more businesses are springing up to meet it.
Hard Seltzer Retains Popularity
As consumers are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are starting to converge. According to FoodDive, hard seltzer sales climbed 193 percent in 2019, while malt-based drinks sales increased 574 percent. As a result, brands are diversifying their portfolios by adding malt-based beverages.
ABInBev, for example, got SpikedSeltzer in 2016, while Constellation Brands obtained a minority position in Press premium Hard Seltzer. Health-conscious consumers are also becoming aware of brands like Bon and Viv, Truly, and High Noon. Beer and liquor makers must consider obtaining or developing a hard seltzer to stay up with this consumer demand and remain competitive.
However, hard seltzer isn't the only 'healthier' alcoholic beverage on the market, and manufacturers should look for other 'better-for-you products like boozy kombucha to enter the market.
People are striving to enhance their overall health by focusing more on essential vitamins and minerals, maintaining a healthy body weight, and purchasing immune-boosting products. Ingredients with anti-inflammatory effects and those that support gut health and increase hydration will be in the spotlight. Superfoods such as elderberry, cherry, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and turmeric which are naturally high in immune-boosting ingredients will be popular. Brands will also incorporate vitamin C, prebiotics, probiotics, and zinc into their products.
During quarantine, many people gain weight, so they'll be encouraged to get in shape by losing extra pounds and enhancing their overall health. Sports nutrition product launches such as protein drinks, performance enhancers, electrolyte replenishers, weight-loss elixirs, and energy boosters will increase. Brands will distinguish products by employing clean labeling, plant-based, diet-friendly ingredients, and mixing numerous functional ingredients in one product to provide consumers with more value for the money.
Unique Flavors Maintain Their Market Dominance
Because people were instructed to stay home or be quarantined, many have started preparing more complex and advanced food at home to stay healthy.
Consumers are getting interested in foods that are nutritious, immune-boosting, and low in sugar. Immunity is a hot topic in the current climate, with tastes and ingredients like echinacea, berries, turmeric, and citrus getting popularity and performing well.
Additionally, functional ingredients such as spices, botanicals, and healing herbs such as honey, ginger, turmeric, and lavender are effective. Many people see these components as a simple and effective way to improve their diets.
On the other hand, some people who have no or little interest in cooking, and are used to eating out frequently, are now relying on pre-packaged meals or easy-to-prepare food to meet some of the needs of the current situation.
Many individuals turn to comfort food when they are stressed or going through a difficult time, and customers are now looking for mood-enhancing goods to help them feel better.
As a result, nostalgic and comforting foods like ice cream, chocolates, cookies, cereal, and mac and cheese are doing well.
There is extremely little tolerance for error; therefore, manufacturers must ensure that their tastes have the right color, aroma, and taste.
Keeping up with these new trends necessitates manufacturers to overcome technology limits and continuously enhance systems and processes for increased efficiency and quality.
Many consumers are experiencing an all-time high level of stress, which can harm more than simply their mood. As a result, consumers will seek goods that help them relax, increase their mental clarity, and help them sleep better. To help consumers in relaxing, brands will use ingredients such as adaptogens, CBD, and l-theanine.
As a source of comfort, consumers will turn to the familiar, driving up demand for comfort foods and nostalgia. Brands should concentrate on releasing permissibly indulgent foods with healthier components to provide mental health benefits with comfort food without affecting physical health goals. Sugar should be reduced or replaced with natural and low-calorie sweeteners like stevia, allulose, and monk fruit. Improve the nutrient density and employ clean-label foods that are plant-based, functional, and nutrient-dense.
Another way to bring comfort is to use nostalgic flavors reminiscent of childhood favorites like s'mores or birthday cakes or seasonal flavors like pumpkin in the fall and lemonade in the summer. As a consequence of the pandemic's disruption, nostalgia took on new forms, such as known products upgraded with unique ingredients or new products developed with nostalgic flavors.
Because people have less time to travel and eat in restaurants, they'll look for items that let them have fun experiences without leaving the house. Ready-to-drink cocktails, which offer a similar experience to hand-crafted versions but don't require the purchase of many ingredients, will see greater demand. Drinks that are better for you, such as strong kombucha, enhanced beer, cider, and seltzer, will grow more popular. Zero-proof drinks will gain in popularity with the infusion of flavorful botanicals and calming ingredients such as adaptogens and CBD.
DIY kits, which provide boredom-busting activities similar to the food service, will also have a revival. Meal kits will be purchased by consumers, with the majority of them being sold by food service companies. Kits for making kombucha and fermenting alcohol will also be popular.
In place of going abroad, globally influenced items and flavors will be preferred. Mediterranean flavors such as orange blossom, blood orange, bergamot, figs, and dates will be explored by brands. In addition, Latin American flavors such as guava, chamoy, and mango chili lime and Asian flavors such as cardamom, calamansi, tamarind, and yuzu will continue to rise in popularity.
Olive Oil Is Regaining Popularity
The oil market became ripe for disruption when health-conscious customers started cooking with canola and vegetable oil substitutes. As a result, particularly coconut and avocado oil have entered the market and rapidly growing. In addition, paleo and keto diets have become increasingly popular, and as a result, many consumers have returned to using real butter in their cooking.
However, there has been some controversy about whether products high in MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) and flavored butter are as healthful as they have been made up to be. Although there is no conclusive evidence that they are beneficial or detrimental to health, one fat is scientifically shown to be beneficial: extra-virgin olive oil.
Regardless of what consumers feel about which fats are healthiest, olive oil has been and will remain a pantry staple.
Increases in Fresh and Frozen Produce Consumption
Although buying more vegetables and fruit isn't a new trend, consumers are purchasing more than ever to ensure a sufficient intake of vitamins and nutrients.
According to research released in May 2020 by 210 Analytics, the Produce Marketing Association, and IRI, sales of fresh produce climbed 14.3% year over year, while sales of frozen produce increased 33.8 percent. To avoid repeat visits to the supermarkets during the quarantine, people stored up food and switched to frozen foods.
The spread of COVID-19 has led to a shift in people's views toward their health. Many people have made it a priority to boost their immune systems as much as possible. One of the greatest ways to acquire a healthy amount of these vitamins is to eat fruits and vegetables. As a result, there was an increase in demand for produce.
If there is one conclusion that can be drawn from the past year's food and beverage trends, sustainability and innovation would be the two most important food business trends for the rest of this decade.
To learn more about how Ermannolelli can assist you in capitalizing on these trends and enhancing your manufacturing processes and product quality while delivering measurable cost savings, contact us.