From a selection of 10 trends to watch in fast-moving consumer goods, many new learnings can be drawn for beverage and dairy producer around the globe. Ecolean has chosen the top 5 most relevant trends for 2017. The full article is provided by market research company Canadean.
- “Ugly is beautiful– Beauty may only be skin-deep, but high beauty standards within the food industry have been blamed for a food waste crisis. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN estimates that as many as 40% of fresh fruits or vegetables are excluded from the market because they do not meet the high cosmetic industry standards. So-called "ugly" fruits or vegetables may taste great, but lack shelf appeal. Food and drink marketers are waking up to the food waste issue with a new generation of products made with "ugly" fruits or vegetables. In France, Intermarche's ‘The Ugly Vegetables’ line offers tasty canned peas, carrots, green beans, and spinach, which have been deemed esthetically inferior to "regular" vegetables, at a 30% discount. Uglies potato chips – made from potatoes rejected due to minor imperfections – are expected to hit US stores in 2017. Look for a growing number of food- and beverage-makers to take a stand against food waste by finding clever new ways to use so-called "ugly" fruits and vegetables in their products in 2017.
- Cold is hot– Cold-pressed juices were among the first packaged products to put "cold" on the map as a positive attribute for foods or drinks. Since then, "cold" has migrated to coffee (with cold-brewed coffee steeped in cold water for hours), baby food, and even skincare products like a fast-moving polar vortex. The word "cold" has become shorthand for a product that is perceived to be less processed, more pure, and clean, with higher levels of nutrients – attributes that resonate with today's consumer. "Cold" also aligns with the clean label concept in a way that consumers can easily understand. Look for packaged goods innovators to warm up to the "cold" concept in 2017.
- Full disclosure– No, it is not your imagination. Grocery store shelves are looking more like a confessional today as packaged goods brands "come clean," revealing details about how products are made, where ingredients are sourced, and what products do and do not contain. Growing issues like provenance and product safety are encouraging product-makers to become more forthcoming. Recent controversies like the "fake farm" fiasco in the UK – where supermarket retailers made it appear like food was sourced from local farms when it was not – have added fuel to the fire. So have concerns over fake fish. The environmental group Oceana recently used DNA analysis to find that one of every three fish it evaluated in the US was mislabeled. Full disclosure matters, but so does the source of the disclosure. A Canadean Q3 2016 survey found that twice as many consumers find on-pack certification logos from the government or another authority to be "completely trustworthy" than on-pack marketing or health claims by brands.
- Blurred meal boundaries– The growing tendency of consumers to snack at any time of day is eroding the "three square meals" concept. In its place, innovation in new foods or drinks targeting consumption during different times of the day is gaining traction. What this means for consumers is the chance to enjoy new concepts like toast-flavored potato chips for breakfast (in Japan), hummus as a dessert food (in the US), and fish and chips as a potato-chip-like snack (in Spain). No meal appears to be off-limits for change. A pair of recent Canadean surveys found that the percentage of consumers saying they snack between breakfast and lunch rose from 26% in 2014 to 33% in 2016 – a huge rise in just two years, which represents growing opportunities offered by blurred meal boundaries.
- What's (really) old is new again– Innovation in food and non-food products increasingly has roots in the ancient world, as packaged goods companies take a closer look at the past to help provide a roadmap for the future. Fast-moving consumer goods companies are rediscovering a host of concepts rooted in the past, from fermented foods and essential oils, to ancient grains, charcoal-based cleaners, Ayurveda-inspired oil-pulling, and more. Look for the trend to continue in 2017 as, according to a Q3 2016 Canadean survey, 51.9% of global consumers either completely or somewhat agree that products from the past are better than products that are available today”.
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- All information correct at time of publication and based on Canadean's research methodology.
Canadean has a long-held reputation for providing valuable and in-depth market research initially built up in beverages, and now operates across the FMCG market and related industries, including packaging, ingredients, soft drinks, beer, retail, foodservice, wines & spirits, cosmetics & toiletries and food. Visit www.canadean.com