Source was in Vancouver April 6-9, attending the CHFA West 2017 tradeshow. While there, we sat in on several education sessions, including a presentation on Top Trends in the U.S. Food & Beverage Market, by FoodNavigator-USA.com.
We heard that retail sales of foods and beverages reached $507.65B in 2016, with natural and organic brands expected to continue steady growth. Sales of natural and organic foods and beverages rose 8.5% (to $74.8B), according to Nutrition Business Journal. Functional food and dietary supplement sales also enjoyed steady growth in 2016, rising 7.6% (to $59.7B) and 6.6% (to $41.4B), respectively.
FoodNavigator-USA.com’s Elaine Watson predicted that food, nutrition and health care will become more intertwined, and that technology will continue to impact how consumers shop. The latter will result in supplier R&D being more focused on leveraging digital, mobile and social technologies. Several ingredients were dubbed the “next to watch”, including mushroom mycelium, algae, cricket powder, novel sources of plant protein, and fermented foods.
“Mindful meat and dairy”, including grass-fed, humanely-raised meats, as well as “beyond meat” foods (i.e. plant-based alternatives).
“Fermentation 2.0”, which is a modern spin on an ancient practice. Suppliers add microbes (some genetically engineered!) to convert sugars into targeted molecules. These techniques result in production of dairy milk (containing casein), collagen and steviol glycosides without needing to use natural resources (i.e. dairy cows, pigs, or stevia plants)!
Food, customized, where you can visit to a website and design your own food (i.e. granola, nutrition bars) and have them shipped to you. Personalized nutrition also continues to be a leading trend, with Campbell Soup investing $32M on Habit, a nutrition and meal-delivery operating platform.
Definitions of health & wellness are changing, with a focus on less processed foods and nutrient-dense fresh foods. “Fat is back, protein is hot, and sugar is under fire”.
The “Natural” debate is evolving, so stay tuned! Issues continue to arise around claims for “natural”, “non-GMO” and “organic” health foods.
What’s your Social Mission? Brands are aiming to communicate this to their health food consumers.
Fresh snacking, opportunist eating, including healthy, savory, portable snacks that can form mini-meals on the go!
“What’s Old is New”, including paleo trends such as heirloom grains, fermented foods and interest in local, small-batch, artisanal foods.
Creating new categories by adding a new twist to a familiar product, such as snackable marshmallows.
Keep your finger on the pulse! (i.e. beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas). Multiple product categories are sourcing pulse-based ingredients to market health benefits to consumers.
Listen to your gut, as product development targets health effects beyond digestive health to include weight management, immune health and even mood!
Meal kit/delivery mania, is it a trend or a fad?
Dash, drones, Alexa & Go (Amazon, Amazon Prime Air, Alexa voice ordering and Amazon Go).