“Storytelling: Winning with Words” leads Innova Market Insights’ Top Trends for 2020
23 Oct 2019 --- Consumers are increasingly captivated by the stories behind their food and beverage products. This phenomenon holds notable influence on purchasing decisions and has resulted in companies increasingly paying attention to storytelling in branding strategies. “Storytelling: Winning with Words” tops Innova Market Insights’ upcoming Top Ten Trends list for 2020. The market researcher underscores a growing consumer affinity for products backed by a compelling narrative.
“Storytelling certainly makes shopping more interesting. Ingredient provenance is one aspect of it. The internet has made everything more transparent and this is a big driver for storytelling. Small brands have stolen thought leadership in the food industry and this is key to their marketing,” Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Although ingredient provenance has always been important, consumer interest in discovering the story behind their foods has risen further and is increasingly influencing purchasing decisions, notes Innova Market Insights. Consumers’ attention is piqued by opportunities to learn more about how products are produced, which promotes an understanding of product benefits and helps build all-important trust in the brand.
“Large companies have been able to build their brands through sophisticated advertising and products build on long traditions of R&D and company history. But we all love a good story and it’s easy to find consumers who connect with that story,” Williams highlights.
In a report by Kerry issued in August, provenance was highlighted as a shortcut for many consumers in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region to judge three clean label priorities of safety, health and the environment. Trust in brand provenance, however, varies from country to country.
“Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are also helping drive this trend. We know that different generational cohorts care about different aspects. For example, millennials care about social causes and now we see every coffee shop promoting some kind of social or ethical cause. Gen X cares about food waste and we see a lot of stories about this as well,” Williams outlines.
Commenting on other trends gathering pace in 2020, Williams notes, “Plant-based has been gathering steam for about six years and now it’s really hitting its mainstream stride. I am probably most excited about the possibility of hybrids because this gives all consumers a way to participate in the trend. Some consumers won’t sacrifice taste or texture and while many alternatives are good, they can be great and closer to the original product through hybrids. I am curious to see how this develops.”
“Trends don’t start and stop – fads do – so there is always a continuum. It also takes the industry some time to catch up but as market researchers, we can see what is coming down the road a few years before it happens,” Williams concludes.
Innova Market Insights’ top five trends for 2020 are:
1. Storytelling: Winning with Words
Manufacturers are increasingly focusing on ingredient provenance and brand storytelling platforms in order to emphasize the taste and quality of their products, as well as their uniqueness and sustainability efforts. Provenance platforms can communicate a whole range of messages to the consumer, including taste, processing methods, cultural and traditional backgrounds, as well as the more obvious geographical origin.
2. The Plant-Based Revolution
Plant-based innovation in food and beverages continues to flourish as a result of consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics, which ties into the broader consumer lifestyle trend towards cleaner living. As the use of the term “plant-based” moves more into the mainstream, the industry and start-up companies, in particular, are taking up the challenge to deliver more clean label meat and dairy alternatives with improved nutritional profiles.
3. The Sustain Domain
Consumers increasingly expect companies to invest in sustainability. Innova Market Insights research has indicated that 85 percent of, on average, US and UK consumers expect companies to invest in sustainability in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2018. In the area of food waste, upcycling is the new recycling, as companies strive to follow a zero-waste approach by creating value from by-products. Meanwhile, in packaging, the focus is on using less of it, as well as developing sustainable alternatives.
4. The Right Bite
Stress and anxiety are key concerns in modern life as consumers manage careers, families and social lives while striving to maintain healthy lifestyles, both physically and mentally. Responses to this vary, although the majority of consumers aim to balance the benefits and costs of busy lifestyles. This, in turn, raises the demand for nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, convenient and portable. Indulgent treats play a role in relaxation and enjoyment.
5. Tapping into Texture
Last year’s leading trend “Discovery: The Adventurous Consumer” is still prominent, with consumer demand for something new and different being reflected in more product launches with textural claims. Consumers increasingly recognize the influence of texture on food and beverages, allowing a heightened sensory experience and often a greater feeling of indulgence. According to Innova Market Insights research, 45 percent of US and UK consumers are influenced by texture when buying food and drinks, while 68 percent share the opinion that textures contribute to a more interesting food and beverage experience.
The other top trends for 2020 identified by Innova Market Insights are:
6. Macronutrient Makeover
7. Hello Hybrids
8. A Star is Born
9. Eat Pretty
10. Brand Unlimited
The Top Ten Trends for 2020 will be presented by Innova Market Insights during a live webinar to be held on November 6, 2019, at 4 pm CET/10 am EST. You can register here.
By Benjamin Ferrer
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.