These Are The Food Trends That Will Define 2018
In its annual food and drink forecast, experts at global market research firm Mintel made five key predictions about what consumers around the world will be buying, eating and drinking in the coming year.
1. Full disclosure
Widespread distrust in the food chain and food supply—think food recalls and food scandals—has led to a growth in the use of natural, ethical, and environmental food and drink launches. Mintel estimates that products claiming to be organic and free of additives, preservatives, and GMOs made up 29 per cent of new products from September, 2016, to August, 2017, marking an increase of 17 per cent from global launches a decade earlier. Expect to see this demand for greater disclosure and transparency to grow in 2018.
The term "self-care" will penetrate the food and drink world, as consumers look for products that contain ingredients and properties that provide nutrition, physical and emotional benefits. Consumers will be seeking stress relief in better-for-you treats, like Haagen-Dazs's portion-controlled mini matcha, green tea and almond and mango raspberry ice cream bars.
3. New sensations
In an effort to up the ante in an ever-competitive industry, food and beverage manufacturers will be adding surprising multi-sensory experiences to their products, be it chewy beverages to ice cream with crispy chunks. Earlier this year, US consumers saw the limited-edition launch of "Firework Oreos" made with popping candy in the sweet cream filling. "In 2018, the sound, feel, and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important to companies and consumers alike," says Mintel.
In 2018, as e-commerce continues to evolve, consumers will be offered customised, highly targeted ads, be it as a curated list of products based on past purchases or automatic replenishments of favorite products. The overall goal? To help consumers save time, effort and energy.
5. Edible technology
Lab-grown foods will gain even more momentum in 2018, in response to the growing call to reduce our meat consumption. While faux-meat brands like Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat have already gained mainstream traction and availability, expect technology to artificially engineer foods by adding more nutritional value in the next year.
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