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The pandemic has led to irreversible changes in consumer behavior. As consumers stayed home for the better part of 2020, they have formed a new set of preferences, habits, and F&B expectations.
Today, what consumers are looking for from the food and beverage industry is very different from pre-pandemic times, and these new expectations are here to stay beyond 2022.
The “Food & Beverage Trends to Watch in 2022 and Beyond” report examines the trends that will shape the food and beverage industry in the years to come. In this report, we look at four emerging trends around the globe:
- Plant-based foods,
- Immunity-boosting ingredients,
- Tastes of home, and
- Transparency, safety, and sustainability.
Trend #1: Plant-based Foods
While there is considerable evidence of people choosing to avoid animal products as far back as 2,000 years ago, today, 4 billion people live primarily on a plant-based diet.
Globally, the plant-based meat market will be worth $85 billion by 2030. The pandemic has only pushed the meat and dairy substitute product growth.
Click here to see the extraordinary increase in plant-based meat sales in the USA during the nine weeks ending May 2, 2020, as the pandemic caused meat shortages and price spikes, shutting down meat-packing plants.
Read the full report to find out how the virus caused regular meat-eaters to make the switch, with many becoming permanent converts.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have become very popular and are a force to reckon with in the plant-based meat industry. While they are not the first in the market, they have created meat substitutes that taste like real meat.
Plant-based foods such as snacks, dips, sauces, cheese, spreads, and creamers will see a double to triple growth within the following year.
Read the full report to discover plant-based attitudes and trends worldwide, including India, U.K., China, and the U.S.
Trend #2: Immunity Boosting Ingredients
The market for functional foods has been growing for years. However, demand has boosted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As COVID-19 made the immunocompromised population more vulnerable, consumers became more interested in healthy foods that boost their immune systems.
Known as “functional foods,” these ingredients claim to possess an additional function. For gut health, examples include probiotic foods that contain beneficial microbiota, including fermented foods like kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, pickled vegetables, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut. For inflammation, ingredients like turmeric, honey, green tea extract, fish oil, and ginger provide relief.
According to Beneo, an estimated 75% of consumers plan to eat and drink healthier due to the pandemic. The global market for these ingredients is expected to grow to $117 million by 2021.
Read the report to learn more about the demand for functional foods or nutraceuticals around the globe, specifically in the E.U., USA, and India.
Trend #3: Tastes of Home
During times of unease, unrest, and uncertainty, consumers seek comfort in foods that remind them of happier, less turbulent times.
According to The International Food Information Council, many consumers are re-creating the restaurant experience at home by using meal kits, restaurant-branded products, and more sophisticated or flavorful ingredients from artisan food producers.
- Meal-kit service: In 2017, the industry was valued at US$4.65 billion, representing a 300 percent growth over the previous year. Read the full report to discover the estimated growth potential of this market by the year 2022.
- Speedy appliances: Another popular trend reveals many consumers purchased in-home appliances to make meal preparation easier.
The dinner with the family trend seems cemented in our behaviors and habits. Before the pandemic, 18% of households ate dinner together at home every day. Read the report to see the percentage of households that eat dinner together now, post-pandemic.
Trend #4: Transparency, Safety, and Sustainability
According to a 2020 Innova Consumer Survey, three in five global consumers say they are interested in “learning more about where their food comes from and how it is made.” The term ‘clean label,’ therefore, goes beyond ingredients. There is a need for transparency around the food being organic or additive-free, and companies need to show consumers they produced the food sustainably and humanely.
An increasing number of technologies are emerging to improve transparency, including radio-frequency I.D. tracking of ingredients throughout the supply chain and wireless/ smart technologies such as invisible barcodes.
Read the report to find out how food producers increasingly use blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to provide information to consumers.
Now that F&B producers and consumers are more experienced living with the pandemic, the focus is expected to shift toward sustainability.
ADM, a food technology company, observed that nearly two-thirds of consumers want their food choices to impact the environment positively. Lux Research’s report The Food Company of 2050 also lists “increasing sustainability” as a critical factor for increasing brand awareness and market share.
Read the full report for critical insights and consumer trends impacting the Food & Beverage industry in 2022 and beyond.