If you want to understand how the most important shifts in health and nutrition beliefs are changing the food and beverage market, what opportunities are emerging and how to connect to them, this report is the most useful document you will read all year.
For over 20 years we have worked on identifying the trends that will change the fortunes of markets and brands. We produce the 10 Key Trends as an antidote to the hundreds of lightweight trend lists that companies are bombarded with. Typically these lists show trends changing every year, with new subjects appearing one year and disappearing the next. This is not the case with New Nutrition Business 10 Key Trends.
We aim to help you navigate the choppy waters of strategy and new product development by showing you:
- How the trends are developing, and how they will develop in the future
- What strategies companies are following to connect to the trends (to help you figure out your own options)
- What's emerging that's going to be important
- What's going to stick around for the long-term
- Where best to place your bets
WHAT EXACTLY IS A TREND?
- If you read a report that says that, for example, quinoa is on the up, stop and reflect. Rising sales of quinoa is not a trend, it is a manifestation of several trends. For example:
- Good Carbs, Bad Carbs (Key Trend 5) - people are experimenting with grains that are new, interesting and different from traditional wheat.
- Protein (Key Trend 3) - for some, quinoa's protein content has a connection with weight management, and the protein helps make it even more of a good carb.
- Digestive Wellness (Key Trend 1) - for some people, eating gluten-free relieves digestive problems and allows them to keep grains in their diet (and so helps quinoa to be more of a good carb).
Some people are motivated by one of these factors, others by all of them.
The case of quinoa shows that trends do not exist in isolation. Most overlap with one another, and increasingly often the most successful brands and ingredients are those that deliver against multiple trends.
- Halo Top is less sugar (Key Trend 4) but also more protein (Key Trend 3)
- Fairlife Milk is less sugar (Key Trend 4) , but also lactose-free (Key Trend 3) and more protein (Key Trend 3)
- P3 protein packs are snacking (Key Trend 7) and protein (Key Trend 3)
TRENDS POWER THE WACKIEST IDEAS - AND CAN BREAK EVEN ESTABLISHED BRANDS
A big lesson of food and beverage since the 1990s is that what's wacky and unexpected has a habit of becoming normal, successful and even everyday. When that happens, you almost always find that it's connected to key trends. Take the example of gluten-free foods. Back in 2001 they were still seen as niche, a bit weird', and most people in industry weren't sure whether there was much potential for growth.
Some companies and dietitians made very rational arguments against wider adoption of gluten-free by consumers, including:
- Only a tiny percentage of consumers are diagnosed coeliacs so the real' market must be tiny
- People who are not coeliac don't need gluten free foods
- Gluten-free is a fad which will fade once people realise these products aren't doing them any good'
- Celebrities following gluten-free are to blame, people are just blindly following them
- Gluten-free eating is too difficult and people won't stick with it
Consumers were immune to all of these arguments. They were looking to relieve digestive discomfort; their internet research suggested that gluten was a possible cause. When they found gluten-free products worked for them, they continued to buy them - all or part of the time. In short, consumers' access to information and the very powerful need for digestive wellness and feeling good drove growth.
And because of these trend connections, gluten-free is today an everyday message in the supermarket.
Another good example is the rise of butter and the fall of margarines and other polyunsaturated spreads. Since the 1960s, butter has been condemned by health experts as unhealthy - particularly for the heart - because of its saturated fat content. Meanwhile spreads sang their credentials as a source of health-giving polyunsaturates. Spreads sales rose, butter declined. Unilever built a global business on spreads which was at one time a pillar of their profitability.
Today the tables are turned - but not as a result of any company's strategy. In fact it has happened despite the marketing and product development muscle of giants like Unilever, which has lost the battle against a big trend shift. The science about saturated fat is shifting (see Key Trend 9). People want foods that are more naturally healthy, they have access to information at their fingertips and they have learnt not to trust experts (Key Trend 6). In the 21st century brands are no longer in control - they are all like corks tossed on the ocean of powerful consumer trends that they seem to have little power to influence. If the trends are against you, it's better to acknowledge the new reality and work with it than to wish it weren't so, or to tell yourself that the consumer will come back round to your way of thinking. Against the powerful forces of the free market, resistance is useless.
THE FOUR MEGA-TRENDS
In addition to the 10 Key Trends there are four other big factors you need to take into account. These were all trends by themselves in the past, but they have grown to the point where they are mega-trends that are basic to any strategy formulation, no matter what category you are in or what trends you choose to work with:
- Naturally functional (see Box 2). You can't select ingredients or product types without paying attention to this.
- Thanks to technology, the consumer is in charge. Changing information about health and nutrition influences some consumers' beliefs and choices (and confuses others). People can instantly access this wealth of information via their mobile device and become their own nutrition expert.
- We're all food explorers now (see Box 3) - consumers love new and exciting offerings.
- Looking good, feeling good, and weight wellness are what it's all about (Box 4) - many brands are driven to an extent by consumers' efforts to keep a good shape and weight.
THE ROLE OF NPD IN ENABLING TRENDS TO COME TO LIFE
- What can your company do with these trends? In almost every trend in this report we set out the range of strategies that companies are following to create opportunities or respond to threats and which anyone can select from and adapt.
- Key to success is using your NPD skills to deliver consumer benefits that align with the key trends. No matter how clever your company is at marketing, those skills will count for nothing unless you hitch your products to the key trend locomotive - and use technical know-how to deliver products with excellent taste and texture.
Key Topics Covered:
Key Trend 1: Digestive Wellness - where opportunities flourish
Key Trend 2: Plant-based - easy greens fuel growth
Key Trend 3: Protein - powered by a natural health halo
Key Trend 4: Sugar - reinventing sweetness
Key Trend 5: Good carbs, bad carbs - nudging carbs in new directions
Key Trend 6: Fragmentation & personalisation - a galaxy of niches?
Key Trend 7: Snackification - harnessing the power of extreme convenience
Key Trend 8: Beverages Redefined - a flow of fresh ideas
Key Trend 9: Fat Reborn - promise of a brighter future
Key Trend 10: Authenticity & Provenance - mass-market embraces the back-story
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/ma9e9t