“Health and wellness ranks as the leading food trend. This is characterized by ‘good-for-you’ foods,” said Brian Boyle, PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance LLC, to those attending the International Dairy Foods Association’s Dairy Forum in Orlando, Fla. Overall, 1,200 dairy processors and allied industry members from 10 countries attended this year’s event.
Five additional food trends are shaping consumer buying patterns, and all those growing, manufacturing, and retailing food should be on notice. Here is the complete list of trends.
- Health and wellness foods: “Clean labels (short ingredient list) and unprocessed foods have become synonymous with healthy,” said Boyle.
- Income bifurcation: “Even with all the evolving trends, remember a large segment of consumers still buy on price. Those are the survivalists,” said Boyle, noting that selectionists buy on a wide array of additional attributes and generally are less price sensitive.
- Ethnic diversity: Each month, 88 percent of U.S. consumers eat at least two ethnic items. “Consumers are ravenous for new flavor profiles,” said Boyle to the international audience of dairy processors. Mexican-Hispanic food accounted for $6.5 billion retail sales in 2016. Asian food was next at $2 billion.
- Transparency: “Consumers are hyperfocused on ingredients that are included and excluded from products,” explained Boyle.
- Sustainability and social responsibility: “Consumers are increasingly focused on the social and environmental impact of their food choices,” said Boyle, noting that younger shopping millennials are leading the movement on this trend.
- Convenience: “Consumers are increasingly seeking convenient ‘grab and go’ food options amid time and income constraints,” stated Boyle.
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017