Every year, analysts from various markets put together lists upon lists of what is new in food and beverage for the upcoming year. We’ve taken a cue from them to make a master list of the bigger trends and predictions that will shape consumer behavior.
Here’s what’s trending in 2018:
Buzzword bingo over here. Mindfulness has officially reached mantra status, which probably means that too many people are talking about it. When it comes to food, mindfulness is not quite the Zen experience you were thinking it would be, but more so “the quality or state of being conscious or aware.” Driven mostly by Millennial buyers, this consumer attitude is meant to truly understand everything possible about a brand, from ingredients to sale, as Millennials are most apt to purchase based on brand value alignment.
Full Circle Initiatives
We’ve officially moved on from “farm-to-table” into a more ethical awareness around food waste and packaging waste with a demand from consumers to understand exactly how it is that companies are using their resources. This has lead to more packaging containing words like “biodegradable” or “upcycling” to communicate the dedication of a company to sustainability efforts.
Maybe it’s the Whole30 impact on marketing, or maybe people really understand “from scratch” initiatives or a slower food movement, but processing technologies are increasingly being used for marketing purposes. Claims, such as “cold-brewed” or “sprouted,” are appearing on labels to promote the products’ health benefits. We chatted earlier in the blog about the anti-GMO movement in regard to sugar, and this is a direct result of that knowledge or crowdsourced concern for understanding how food is handled on a larger scale.
It all starts with the field where our food comes from. With the world’s population still growing, and over 65% of us living in urban areas, our limited resources like soil, water, and land are all in a vulnerable state. Much like we mentioned in the positively processed and full circle initiatives points, the movement for a more direct model of farm-to-consumer as it relates to nature has been increasing. As younger farmers move into the field, and technology plays more of a role in everything from planting to harvesting, we are entering a new era of agriculture which will impact everything.
Fortunately, this is not about political parties. Food policy is a bipartisan issue with rules and regulations being built and dismantled as trends emerge and new normals are established. With conversations swirling around things like climate control, immigration, importing/exporting, farming, and the environment, food politics will be a topic that is continually at the forefront of our economy.