Food discovery: “The Adventurous Consumer” tipped as top trend for 2019 by Innova Market Insights

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13 Nov 2018 --- Targeting increasingly adventurous consumers, set on new discoveries and experiences, will be key to product development in the food and beverage industry in 2019, according to Innova Market Insights. The company today reveals its top trends for the coming year, with “Discovery: The Adventurous Consumer” leading its list of the Top Ten Trends for 2019. 

The connected world has led consumers of all ages to become more knowledgeable of other cultures, contributing to 35 percent growth of a discovery claim in 2017 from 2016 (Discovery claims include: discover, explore, uncover, unveil and unravel). The market researcher continuously analyzes global developments in food and beverage launch activity and consumer research to highlight the trends most likely to impact the food and beverage industry over the coming year and beyond. 

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Director of Innovation at Innova
Market Insights, Lu Ann Williams

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, Lu Ann Williams, says: “Millennials are an important consumer group but ‘The Adventurous Consumer’ trend is larger and broader than just that. If you take Japanese restaurants, for example, they are often full of children. In the past, people made fun of eating raw fish, kimchi was a punchline of many jokes, but now there are so many foods and flavors which have gone much more mainstream, that we maybe never expected.” 

According to Williams, the world is getting more connected through social media and travel. 

“As an American living in Europe, I often notice sweet potato and pumpkin; those are very traditional American vegetables. Now they are trending flavors in many food applications,” she says. “Food is now entertainment, in and out of the home. Nowadays, you can experience eating like Marco Polo along the spice route in a London restaurant, try tasting menus or have anything you want to be delivered at home,” she adds.

“I also think meal kits are another way many consumers are learning and trying new things,” Williams reveals. “In the Netherlands, some retailers have introduced meal kits in the produce section and there are very traditional meals such as tomato soup, but there are also interesting twists on the classic favorites.”

Innova Market Insights started tracking and talking about ethnic flavors in the mid-1990s, according to Williams. “That was the before and after in the food industry in many ways. It was the start of functional foods in Europe and low fat in the US. In the late 1990s, we entered a completely new period where globalization took hold and now affects everything, including food. Start-ups are also having a huge impact on the food industry today. It’s more challenging but also more interesting than ever,” she continues.

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“Discovery: The Adventurous Consumer” leads
Innova Market Insights' Top Ten Trends for 2019

“Big food manufacturers will have to think like small companies if they are going to compete for the hearts and minds of consumers. And now that ‘adventurous consumers’ can fact check anything, everything has to have a story behind it.”

Innova Market Insights’ top five trends for 2019 are as follows:

1. Discovery: The Adventurous Consumer
The food and beverage industry is increasingly focusing on satisfying the adventurous consumer, with consumers moving out of their comfort zones to explore bolder flavors and multisensory food experiences. There is a focus on heightened sensory delivery, often combined with an element of the unexpected.

2. The Plant Kingdom
The plant-based market shows no signs of slowing down and companies and brands are greening up their portfolios to attract mainstream consumers who want to add more plant-based options to their diets. For the mainstream consumer, going plant-based is about achieving a healthy and sustainable balance between meat and vegetables, rather than adopting an all-or-nothing way of eating. 

3. Alternatives to All
As more consumers pay attention to health and sustainability, replacement foods and ingredients are on the rise. Health remains the number one reason to buy food alternatives, with one in two US consumers reporting that health, is a reason for buying alternatives to bread, meat or dairy. The search for alternative proteins has resulted in rising use of black beans, lentils, peas, rice, nuts and seeds, chickpea and even insects as protein ingredients for foods. There is also development in new sources such as duckweed/water lentils.

4. Green Appeal
The industry is increasingly committing to answering customer expectations around sustainability. This is driving corporate goals, as manufacturers commit to sustainable product and packaging development with a range of initiatives. This includes waste reduction through upcycled ingredients and post-consumer recycling, as well as improved biodegradability and new technology, such as compostable capsules and vegetable inks.

5. Snacking: The Definitive Occasion
For most consumers, snacking is a part of daily life and always has been. What is changing, however, is the way people think about snacking and what is considered a snack. Snacking is no longer the optional extra, but the definitive occasion. It is a central focus of innovation across all food and beverage categories, with 10 percent average annual growth of global food and beverage launches tracked with a snacking claim over the past five years (CAGR, 2013-2017).

The other top trends identified by Innova Market Insights are:

6. Eating for Me
7. A Fresh Look at Fiber
8. I Feel Good
9. Small Player Mindset
10. Connected to the Plate

The Top Ten Trends for 2019 will be presented by Innova Market Insights during a live webinar to be held on November 21, 2018, at 4 pm CET/10am EST. You can register for this webinar here

By Elizabeth Green

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