According to Mintel’s 2017 Global Food & Drink Trends, there are certain trends that are guaranteed to shape 2017:
1. Recognisable rather than revolutionary
Authentic, traditional and recognisable flavours will play a huge role in 2017. With such uncertainty in current political environments and the unpredictability of events, consumers are purchasing products and flavours that are dependable and reliable. This will also lead to a rise in hybrid products such as the combination of alcohol and root beer, or cold brew coffee.
2. The vegan takeover
The trend of living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle has been on the rise for a few years now, however 2017 will introduce a huge leap towards vegetarian and vegan products. The media coverage of animal slaughter lead to a rise in flexitarianism, meaning that consumers often opt for vegan product, even if they don’t lead a strict vegan lifestyle.
3. Turning to plants for wellness
Plants as ingredients will become more emphasised in 2017, in recipes for home cooking and packaged products, plants are being highlighted for their health benefits. This will lead to more innovations that capitalise on the goodness of plants. Plants will begin to appear in more innovative and health-oriented applications for products in stores around the world. Plus, plant-based alternatives to animal products including milk, mayonnaise, yogurt and cheese are also moving into focus.
4. Eliminating food waste
Roughly one third of all food produced for global human consumption is being wasted. With consumer awareness around this issue on the rise, companies such as Starbucks in the US and Marks & Spencer in the UK, are donating their waste supplies to charity. Food with visual defects are also labelled and sold in that way, urging consumers to purchase them. The stigma around imperfect products is beginning to fade, and bruised or misshapen vegetables are actually seen as healthy and organic, rather than discarded.
5. On-the-go, speedy products
Last year there was a rise in products with the word ‘slow’ in the title. Such as slow roasted meat or slow-released energy. In reality, these products are purchased because consumers don’t have the time to take care of the ‘slow’ part themselves. In 2017, time that is saved by a product, will become one if its highest selling points. Consumers want fresher products, faster, and they also want to shop for them faster too, with Amazon Dash buttons streamlining the process.
On the whole, these factors are good for the environment, reducing waste and supporting the rise of cleaner, vegan-suitable produce. However, factors such as speed-packaging and the reduction of animal-products, might see a big shift in production methods.