A Look At Key Consumer Food Trends
Health and wellness is not by any means a new trend, but it is an ongoing trend that continues to shape the consumer food market.
The consumers approach to food has changed, and they are developing a more holistic way of thinking and questioning what they eat. Rather than random selection, before we buy we are looking to connect with a brand’s values; whether it be having a social conscience, health and wellness benefits, enhanced nutrition or life hacking.
The new consumer now requires consumer packaged goods companies to become more innovative and relevant, spurring companies to run incubator programs for product innovation and experiment with creative technology in stores to keep consumers satisfied.
It’s the buzzword of the moment, but ‘mindfulness’ is the main driver to consumer behaviour in the food industry. Studies conducted by Haines Consulting Group show that consumers are increasingly mindful in their food choices. Modern consumers want to know what is in their food and how it was sourced, so they can make better decisions about their health and how the product impacts the environment and the community. This behavioural shift means that brands must build their retail model around the consumer, advertising and creating an environment that empowers consumers through convenience, health and choice.
It has to fit into consumers busy lifestyles. Products that are conveniently packaged and marketed are more successful in order to tick the convenience box for consumers.
This trend is evident in the uptake and increase in food delivery services and meal packages, blurring the line between restaurants and supermarkets.
E-commerce is set for, if not already experiencing, huge growth with fast ordering and delivery services, meaning shoppers can get everything they need quickly and easily with minimal effort.
Wellness is in the spotlight. The technology and tools available to consumers mean that we now have insights into our personal health like never before. Knowing how many steps you’ve taken, calories you’ve burnt or how much sleep you’ve had can play a big role in the choice of what food we consume. Consumers today, particularly Millenials, want to eat, shop and live healthily.
With the health movement ever growing, there has been the uptake of lifestyle diets like paleo and low FODMAP. The increase in these health diets spurs the development of food alternatives that can provide the same taste, texture and variety but without the core ingredient.
For brands, messaging is key, to help consumers make the “right” choice for their health.
Consumers are becoming more educated on nutrition and food quality and are asking more detailed questions. Consumers want a connection with the foods they eat; they want to know where foods come from. We are more conscious than ever about making responsible food decisions.
Food is becoming less of a commodity and more of an individual and personal choice. Preferences need to be catered for and shopping needs to feel relevant and personal. Producers and processors are listening to consumer behaviour increasing options on products but also where food can be purchased.
But it is a fine line to find the balance of enough options to overwhelming choice. The ability to personalise is essential, but we struggle when confronted with too many choices. Ideally, a curated selection of a handful of choices is what we desire.
For brands, thought needs to be given to not only what we eat, but also how we communicate our food messages, especially when it comes to nutrition and health.
Understanding these consumer trends can help you increase engagement and ultimately increase brand sales and success.