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Mintel has recently announced five key trends set to impact the global food and drink market over the coming year.

In 2018, Mintel expects to see transparency and traceability for all, regardless of their income. “From ingredient scares to political bombshells, self-care has become a priority for many, and one that includes choosing food and drink that will address perceived nutritional, physical and emotional needs. Opportunities also will be plentiful for natural, tantalizing and unexpected textures, from chewy beverages to cookies with popping candy inside,” according to Mintel.

  1. Full Disclosure

In our new post-truth reality, consumers require complete and total transparency from food and drink companies, according to Mintel.

The research company talks about consumers’ need of trust: their need for reassurance about the safety and trustworthiness of food and drink has led to increased use of natural, as well as ethical and environmental claims in global food and drink launches. In addition to more specific product details, the next wave of clean label will challenge manufacturers and retailers to democratize transparency and traceability so that products are accessible to all consumers regardless of household income.

2. Self-Fulfilling Practices

As more consumers find modern life to be hectic and stressful, flexible and balanced diets will become integral elements of self-care routines, according to Mintel.

Many people who feel overwhelmed are focusing on "self-care," or prioritizing time and efforts dedicated to themselves. Going forward, more consumers will be looking for ingredients, products and combinations of food and drink that provide nutrition, physical or emotional benefits that advance their priorities for self-care, says the research company.

3. New Sensations

Texture is the latest tool to engage the senses and deliver share-worthy experiences.

The sound, feel and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important for food and drink companies and consumers alike. The quest for experiences will provide opportunities for multisensory food and drink that uses unexpected texture to provide consumers, especially the teens and young adults of the iGeneration, with tangible connections to the real world, as well as moments worth sharing either in-person or online, according to Mintel. 

4. Preferential Treatment

A new era in personalization is dawning due to the expansion of online and mobile food shopping, show the researchers.

Opportunities exist for companies to tempt consumers by creating products, suggesting combinations of goods and other options across consumer categories that make shopping more efficient and affordable for customers.

5. Science Fare

Technology is being used to engineer solutions for our stretched global food supply, according to Mintel.

In 2018, technology will begin to disrupt the traditional food chain, as enterprising manufacturers aim to replace farms and factories with laboratories. While lab, cultured or synthetic food and drink is only just emerging, technology could eventually be used to design food that is inherently more nutritious. This could extend the consumer audience for scientifically engineered food and drink beyond environmentally conscious shoppers to reach consumers who are concerned about ingredient consistency, efficacy and purity. 

Related articles: 

Mintel: Cookies Remain Big in Canada despite Sugar Concerns 

Mintel Announces Five Packaging Trends Set to Impact Global Markets in 2017 

Mintel’s Six Key Food and Drink Trends for 2017

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