2017 Food And Beverage Market’s Six Trends

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Identified by market intelligence agency Mintel, the 2017 global food and drink trends are grounded in current consumer demands for healthy, convenient and trustworthy food and drinks. By Jane Barnett, insights manager for the ANZ, SEA and India regions at Mintel

According to Mintel, six trends show that 2017 will be a year of extremes. From ‘ancient’ products including grains, recipes, practices and tradition to the use of technology to create more and better tasting plant-enhanced foods.


In Tradition We Trust


The rapid pace of change, the unpredictability of current events and contentious political environments in many countries are leading people to the safety of products that are recognisable rather than revolutionary.

In China for instance, Mintel research shows that 67 percent of adults aged 20-49 who have bought breakfast food in the last three months prefer to eat familiar Chinese breakfast soups, congees, wontons and noodles rather than newer Chinese or Western options.

The trust in the familiar emphasises the opportunity for manufacturers to look to the past as a dependable source of inspiration such as ‘ancient’ product claims including ancient grains and also ancient recipes, practices and traditions.

Potential also exists for innovations that use the familiar as a base for something that’s new, but recognisable, such as cold-brew coffee.


Power To The Plants


In 2017, the food and drink industry will welcome more products that emphasise plants as key ingredients. More manufacturers are releasing or promoting formulations that centre on plants and the flavours, fortifications and functionalities they can add to food and drink products. The emphasis on plant content reinforces the growing interest in vegetarian and vegan products.

According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), there’s been a 25 percent increase in vegetarian claims and a 257 percent rise in vegan claims in global food and drink launches between September 2010-August 2011 and September 2015-August 2016.

In the Asia Pacific market, Japan and South Korea are more established markets that emphasise plants in formulations and can serve as a model for this trend.


Waste Not


The sheer amount of food and drink that is wasted around the world is propelling change across the industry. Consumer awareness of the issue of food waste is spreading due to efforts by retailers and restaurants to reduce or donate food and drink that is past the sell-by date, blemished or damaged.

There is an opportunity to commercialise edible food waste including the previously discarded by-products of juicing, canning and other production processes. Not all waste has to be edible in order to be useful though; production waste also can have an advantageous afterlife as compost material for plant based packaging or power sources for hospitals and homes.


Time Is Of The Essence


Time is an increasingly precious resource and our multitasking lifestyles are propelling a need for shortcut solutions that are still fresh, nutritious and customisable.

Already, the hectic pace of modern life has fuelled the evolution of snacking and other on-the-go products. In fact, according to Mintel GNPD, between 2013 and 2015 the proportion of food products launched in the Asia Pacific region carrying an on-the-go claim rose by 29 percent.

However, food and drink does not always have to be ‘fast’. Instead, many consumers are seeking balance, which has led to products that have ‘slow’ claims, such as slow-roasted or promising slow-release energy. In 2017, the time spent on—or saved by—a food or drink product will become a clear selling point.


The Night Shift


As the global workforce grows and technological advances make it harder for people to ‘clock out’, more people are in need of products that provide comfort and relaxation. Some consumers already turn to food and drink to address their emotions or mood, as evidenced by the popularity of chocolate and energy drinks.

Yet, the increasingly hectic pace of modern life is creating a market for night-time products that help people of all ages calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest.

Between January 2014 and October 2016, the number of food products launched in Asia Pacific referencing ‘sleep’ or ‘bedtime’ on pack has more than doubled according to Mintel GNPD.


Balancing The Scales: Health For Everyone


The affordability of healthy food and drink is important because many lower-income consumers intend to improve their lifestyles. According to Mintel consumer research, 51 percent of Chinese adults aged 20-49 with low household income are spending more on healthy food than they were in the previous six-month period, which is less than the 62 percent of Chinese adults with high household income who are spending more on healthy food.

In 2017 more campaigns and innovations that make is easier for lower-income consumers to fulfil their healthier eating ambitions will be needed.