ADM Announces Top Five Global Food Trends for 2021

ADM has released its view on the five food and beverage trends that will impact the way consumers eat and drink in the new year. Based on in-depth research from ADM’s proprietary OutsideVoiceSM consumer insights platform, the report provides a breakdown of each trend that will come to the fore in the 12 months ahead. Each of these trends is strongly influenced by behavioral and societal changes that have emerged since the beginning of the pandemic, including heightened feelings of anxiety and stress, shifting priorities, changes in social connectivity, and the adoption of a more holistic approach to wellness.

“The global health crisis has changed consumer preferences in new and unexpected ways,” says Vince Macciocchi, president, Nutrition. “We are seeing a heightened demand for foods and beverages that support immune systems, enhance our mood and reduce our environmental impact, driven in part by emerging human tensions. This has provided a unique opportunity for brands to develop disruptive new products that will forever change the way we eat and drink. It’s going to be a year of innovation, marked by significant breakthroughs in nutrition.”

Here are the five trends that ADM believes will spur innovation in the following year:

A More Proactive Approach to Nourishing the Body and Mind

ADM research finds that 31% of consumers are purchasing more items tailored for their health, and 50% report a preference for foods and beverages that naturally contain beneficial ingredients.

The desire to influence health and wellness through foods and beverages is creating new opportunities for nutrient-dense products with functional health benefits aimed at supporting immune systems, enhancing mood and sustaining energy.

Sustainability Takes Center Stage

Over two-thirds (65%) of consumers want to have a positive impact on the environment through their everyday actions. This is a key reason why 32% of consumers buy sustainably produced items. The growing awareness of our collective impact on the environment has elicited increasing demand for companies to demonstrate their sustainability commitment beyond just the end product to responsible sourcing and operating standards.

The Gut Microbiome Emerges as the Gateway to Wellness

Approximately 25% of global consumers suffer from digestive health issues. Of those, 50% claim that it has a moderate or severe impact on their overall health. The pandemic has accelerated consumer interest in a more holistic approach to health, which includes a greater understanding of the foundational role of the gut microbiome on each individual’s health.

Plant-Based Food Boom Expands Beyond the Bun

Globally, 56% of plant consumers are trying to eat more plant-based foods and beverages, pushing alternative proteins into an increasingly mainstream phenomenon. Demand for plant-based protein products is rapidly expanding beyond just burger analogs to new and novel products, including alternative types of seafood like shellfish and shrimp, plant-based cheeses, ready-to-eat protein snacks and more. Alternative meat products also continue to evolve, with new technologies like 3D printing and protein fermentation playing a role in driving innovation. New plant-based meats on the horizon include whole-muscle products like steak and chicken breast, lunch meat, bacon and more. The dairy alternative category, an early leader in the plant-based nutrition space, is growing to encompass other formats such as yogurt, ice cream, butter, spreads and creamers.

Transparency Builds Consumer Trust

Consumers now expect food labels to provide greater transparency around the entire product life cycle. This is helping drive the demand for locally sourced products as consumers seek greater clarity on where the ingredients in food and beverages come from; 26% of global consumers look for the country of origin on food and drink labels.

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