Affordability, indulgence, and health: Top trends for 2023 [Interview]14 Nov 2022
Consumers want affordable alternatives that offer the same great taste and health benefits as their favourite products. Brands that can deliver on this will dominate in 2023, according to Mintel.In the food and beverage space, consumers are key in driving innovation, pushing brands to come up with new, innovative products that reflect their changing demands and desires.
As inflation continues to soar to record highs across the globe, consumers are feeling the crunch as they are hit with price hikes of everyday food and drink goods. With many turning to discount retailers and own-brand alternatives, manufacturers are being driven to increase the affordability of products to remain competitive in the market.
“The cost-of-living crisis and worsening climate emergency compels all food and drink sectors to be alive to innovation that is truly sustainable but also empathises with consumers’ affordability needs,” said Alex Beckett, director at Mintel Food & Drink.
A recent EU survey revealed that when making food purchasing decisions, price is the top consideration for most (54%) consumers. With many unable to afford their everyday favourites, consumers are opting for lesser-known brands and products which is likely to influence how brands position themselves on the market in the coming months.
“We will see consumers switching to more affordable alternatives that they have less experience cooking with, requiring brands to act again as educator and adviser. Nutrition quality also rates highly as a core purchase influencer, as well as price, so vitamin and mineral content and value-for-money appeal,” said Beckett.
“Private label will naturally grab more attention, but brands will nonetheless be required to play that hugely important role for consumers: delivering the next beautiful flavour experience that lights up their day for a few minutes.”
Consumers are seeking mood and health-boosting products
Meanwhile, consumers are seeking new ways to enjoy food and drink that come without the hefty price tag.
“Looking ahead to 2023, I think we will see disruption around indulgence, as the need to deliver pleasure will be heightened. Indulgence will demand more sophisticated thinking, [for example] around the power of anticipation and complex, joy-bringing flavour combinations.”
Beyond momentary indulgence, consumers are also demanding products that offer health benefits, both physical and mental, fuelling the holistic health trend that dominated much of the past two years, influenced largely by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Demand for healthy food is being driven by heightened awareness of the role of diet on overall wellness, and an interest in healthy ageing among an ageing population. The desire to appear physically healthy ties in with consumer feelings about social standing and identity, driving interest in healthy diets. And, lest we forget, we have an obesity crisis but the variety and availability of food which is nutritionally sound and safe to eat is arguably better than at any point in history,” Beckett said.
With consumers embracing alternative, healthier, and more sustainable consumption opportunities, this opens the door for new ingredient and product innovations.
“Watch out for aphrodisiacal botanicals. These promise to be the next evolution of plant-based wellness ingredients, and deliver a new kind of mood boost that, quite frankly, will be sought after for all kinds of reasons and all demographic types,” Beckett said.
“Algae and fungi offer hugely exciting potential, and wearable technology will continue to flourish, [for example] around electrolyte loss during physical activity and real-time feedback about calorie intake.”
“In science we trust, in education we, as consumers, rely.”
As brands and consumers alike grow increasingly aware of the social and environmental impact of the products they produce and consume, sustainability remains a key industry trend.
In response, scientists are developing techniques that promise to make ingredients more sustainable with a reduced carbon footprint, such as precision fermentation for dairy, palm oil, and flavours; genetic modification for agriculture; and cell-culturing for meat.
“I’d like to hope that scientists have huge potential to deliver on their promises, as we absolutely need their solutions and breakthroughs to feed the planet,” Beckett said.
“The challenges are cost efficiencies during an energy crisis, the complicating effect of political and big business interests and, ultimately, will consumers trust it and pay more than the alternative?”
Alex will be speaking in-person at Fi Europe 2022 in Paris from 6-8 December. His presentation will explore the developments that will impact consumer demands for food and drink in 2023 and beyond.
Redefining brand value: Empower consumers to be resourceful and creative in the face of rising costs [Interview]
16 Nov 2022
With inflation, greater instability, and supply chain disruptions as a global backdrop of 2022, consumers are increasing looking for value, products with functional benefits, and convenience for the coming year, says Innova Market Insights.Read more
Quorn and Nature’s Fynd among founding members of the Fungi Protein Association
15 Nov 2022
Global fungi protein manufacturers have formed the Fungi Protein Association (FPA), a trade body that promotes fungi as a sustainable protein in public policy and conducts consumer research on the ingredient.Read more
How to create a food product that delivers holistic health benefits
11 Nov 2022
As interest in holistic health grows, consumers are looking for food and drink products that help them feel good, both physically and emotionally – but what does such a product look like? Mike Hughes, head of research at FMCG Gurus, shares some insight...Read more
Create the perfect sensory experience with 100% natural texturizers
11 Nov 2022
To fulfill the growing consumers’ expectations for flavorful traditional and plant-based foods and beverages, Nexira introduces naltive locust bean gum, a complete range of premium and performing texturizing locust bean gum grades.Read more
Give your fermented protein drinks a clear head start
10 Nov 2022
Fermented protein beverages are rising in popularity as more consumers make efforts to strengthen their health and wellbeing. Made for the ready-to-drink segment, products such as kombucha and drinking yoghurt are gaining traction as healthier alternat...Read more
Enjoy it all: DSM talks taste, texture and health in the run up to FiE 2022
10 Nov 2022
Enhancing plant-based applications in taste, texture and health, addressing trending health priorities and introducing efficiency improving technologies – don’t miss the chance to meet DSM at FiE.Read more
Chefs give the green light to cultivated meat
10 Nov 2022
Cultivated meat, an animal-free alternative to conventional meat produced via the cultivation and formation of animal cells in a lab-based environment, could be the animal alternative dish of choice for chefs in years to come.Read more
Thailand proposes major amendments to Food Act
9 Nov 2022
The Thai government is considering significant revisions to its Food Act, marking the leading food legislation’s first proposed reform in 43 years.Read more
Unilever aims to ‘make sustainable living commonplace’ with responsibly produced packaged goods [Interview]
8 Nov 2022
Thanks to their sheer scale, multinational corporates can have a positive impact when they adopt sustainable practices. Unilever aims to do so via regenerative agriculture, plant-based products, food waste reduction, and nutrient fortification, says Do...Read more
Zero-waste water purification system looks to unsettle bottled water industry
7 Nov 2022
The bottled water industry is facing stiff competition from a raft of startups looking to reduce water and plastic waste as demanded by today’s sustainable-conscious consumer.Read more