Sustainability, healthy aging, and convenience top Mintel’s 2019 global trends

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Rawpixel
© Getty Images / Rawpixel
Market researchers Mintel are predicting that Evergreen Consumption, Through the Ages, Elevated Convenience will be three big food and drink innovation trends for 2019 and beyond.

Evergreen Consumption refers to sustainability, while Through the Ages refers to healthy aging. Elevated Convenience is all about restaurant-quality, ready-to-consume products.

360-degree sustainability

Mintel noted that the definition of sustainability is extending to encompass the entire product lifecycle – From farm to retailer to fork to bin and, ideally, to rebirth as a new plant, ingredient, product or package.

It is a 360-degree approach to ensure resources are kept in use for as long as possible, and will require collaboration between suppliers, manufacturers, governments, nonprofits, retailers and consumers.

 “In 2019, support of and demand for more corporate sustainability programs will grow as consumers better understand what’s required to get closer to achieving a truly circular food and drink economy,”​ explained Jenny Zegler, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink. “These sustainability efforts will include not only improving access to recycling, but creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance to regenerative agriculture practices.”

Mintel also noted that consumer thinking about plastic is undergoing a seismic shift, with bio-based packaging materials set to drive the next generation of responsible packaging.

“In 2019 and beyond, sustainability efforts will include not only improving access to recycling, but incentivizing consumers to recycle packaging and offering upcycled goods,”​ said Mintel in a release.

Healthy aging

Mintel expects the dialogue about wellness will transition into more solutions for healthy aging. Consumers increasingly view health and wellness as a holistic, proactive, and ongoing pursuit.

Lengthening lifespans also present significant opportunities for food and drink manufacturers to take inspiration from the beauty industry, said Mintel. That industry has successfully established a model for healthy aging with proactive products marketed with positive language to people of all ages.

“Expect to see food and drink manufacturers look to the beauty and personal care industry for inspiration for healthy aging product development,”​ said Zegler. “More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns, be marketed with positive language that rejects terms like ‘anti-aging’ for its negative connotations, and appeal across ages.”

Elevated Convenience

The third big trend focuses on a new wave of shortcuts will be available, offering new conveniences such as the expansion of individual meal kits sold at retail, foodservice-inspired packaged beverages, and a new generation of prepared meals, sides, and sauces that emulate the flavors and formats of restaurant meals.

This comes in response to healthy eating priorities, quests for foodie-inspired flavors, interests in personalization and competition from speedy delivery services, said the market researcher.

Technological advancements will also elevate the expectations of convenient food and beverages, while “premium convenience” will extend to every meal, snack, and beverage break.

“We predict the rising segment of consumers who are often on-the-go, yet want to spend more time at home will increase demand for upscale, ‘speed scratch’ solutions and restaurant-quality, ready-to-consume products,”​ said Zegler.

“As meal kits and foodservice-inspired beverages lead the way, there will also be more opportunities for brands to develop healthy, flavorful, customizable, and quick premium convenience products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert occasions.”

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