Top food and beverage trends

Staying abreast with the latest food and beverage trends is important for manufacturers and retailers alike, and while dairy has been around for thousands of years, it’s a food that is totally on trend with today’s consumers, according to Fonterra’s Jacqueline Chow.

Ms Chow says Fonterra has invested more than $1 billion in dairy innovation, in the last 10 years. and the company’s consumer and foodservice business has grown by $1.5 billion dollars from 2012 to 2016.

Fonterra’s consumer and food service generates NZ$6.5 billion in turnover and is growing in more than 80 countries as the company strives to deliver contemporary consumers an age-old food in modern formats.

Through continued investment in dairy science, sustainability, nutrition and packaging innovation the company says it will continue to create high value dairy products to meet consumer food needs now and well into the future.

Here, Ms Chow reveals the global consumer trends driving international dairy consumption together with the latest food trends and consumers demands:

food dairy trends1. Natural authentic whole foods

Increasingly people want to eat foods as nature intended them to be. They want foods to be naturally authentic as close as possible to their natural state – less processing, less additives and less intervention. They want to eat real butter, real cream and real milk with the great taste that comes from the more natural products. We expect to see more people wanting full fat and reduced fat rather than no-fat dairy products.

2. ‘Good for you’ foods

Health and Nutrition matters. Health credentials are key drivers of brand and product choice globally. Increasingly people want to eat foods that will enhance their health and well-being and perform a function in their diet. They are looking for customized solutions, active ingredients that will improve gut-health, digestion, fortify bones, boost immunity, or provide other vitamins and minerals particularly relevant to their stage of life, from pregnancy, to infant and child nutrition, to healthy aging.

3. Sustainable diets

People want to choose foods that will have less negative impact on the environment and the communities that produce them; they want food to be ethically sourced, sustainable and from renewable resources; they want to know that food manufacturers have a record of high moral, ethical and socially responsible behaviour.

food trends

4. Grass-fed grazing

As part of the push to understand where natural food is coming from and to  bring more trust, confidence and transparency people are becoming interested in eggs, dairy and meat that are grass-fed. Provenance is as important as ever, and exactly how the food was produced and what inputs were used are becoming important. Consumers are demanding complete transparency through the supply chain right back to what the animal was eating. From the grass to the glass.

5. Protein craze not just for athletes

People are looking for sources of high quality protein in food and beverages and we can expect to see more scientific research showing the benefits of increased protein intake for adults, moving protein supplements away from the preserve of the gym-set and more into the ‘everyday’.

6. Less sugar

Less is more. People are looking for foods that will help them reduce their intake of sugar and bring more benefit. It is becoming more widely understood that less sugar is in fact a key to weight management and to managing or preventing a whole host of health issues.

trends food dairy7. Healthy snacking

Dairy everywhere on the go. People are looking for ‘grab and go’ foods that are healthy and conveniently packaged. This is true of working adults, single person households and for children’s nutrition. Whether it’s a quick dinner on the way home from work or something to throw in a child’s lunch box, people are looking for easy ways to incorporate more tasty and healthy options into their diet. We expect that consumers will be looking for more healthy foods packed in convenient single serve formats.

8. Gourmet convenience

There is a big push to cook like a Masterchef at home with high quality ingredients, but people want a few shortcuts to help them achieve Masterchef outcomes without actually having to be a master chef.

9. Permissible indulgences

Health conscious consumers still want to enjoy some pleasure so to help justify an indulgence they are for looking indulgences that boast more wholesome or natural ingredients. Greek yoghurt with berries becomes a permissible treat.

food trends dairy

10. Good enough to Tweet

Digital revolution makes the  smartphone an indispensable utensil for searching , eating and dining – whether that is sharing images of what you have made yourself or taking a quick snap of a restaurant meal. Eating is more social, interactive and authentic than ever before. People will become increasingly interested in the look of food and what their food says about them; they will be influenced by what their peers are eating; and new food trends will be borne out of social media.

11. Dairy premiumisation

Desire for ‘high-end’ dairy is happening with improvement of life standards and income. Milk is at the core of added-value tasty and healthy beverages or food launched with packaging innovation for gifting or for specific channels like e-commerce.

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