Value and health front of mind for Australian consumers

Consumers are looking for brands that provide value but also ensure personal wellbeing and planetary health.

Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends revealed that as the entire industry wrestles with rising costs and greater instability, consumers are still seeking out brands that respond to their core values such as personal health and sustainability.

Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights, said the top trend of redefining value throughout the food and beverage industry will lead in 2023 as consumers seek brands that listen, understand, and respond to their beliefs.

“They want brands that provide quality, trust and confidence via their product formulations, communications, and wider sustainability actions.”

Innova says consumers have told them they have reduced food waste and recycled or upcycled as part of their belt-tightening.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues, brands can achieve success through actions that combine economic benefits with clear health and sustainability goals,” sated the report.

Also revealed was a consumer demand for affordable nutrition, with 62 per cent of consumers reporting a rise in the cost of food and beverages, they have turned their attention to simple, nutritious, and affordable goods.

“Key behaviours include buying in bulk, opting for private labels, cooking from scratch, reducing spending on luxury items, and purchasing fewer items.  Consumers are actively looking for affordable ways to maintain a healthy diet, offering brands many opportunities to test their capabilities to new limits. To meet the nutritional, environmental and economic demands of consumers, manufacturers must innovate to extract maximum value from raw materials and the production process.”

Gen Z and Millennial consumers believe that food and brand choices are important signifiers of lifestyle, beliefs, and values, and this demographic has a strong voice and are using it to share their views openly and widely.

“While health is an increasingly important purchase driver – as it also is across older generations – novel and international flavours are winning the hearts of a young and experimental audience. These consumers embrace the new and different, while being extremely responsive to positive engagement from brands.”

The plant-based sector is another trend expected to experience growth in 2023 and will provide brands significant opportunities to diversify and expand.

“Consumers still want to see improvements in taste and texture, but there is a huge appetite for culinary creativity and worldwide flavour profiles. Two-thirds of respondents to Innova’s global survey expressed a desire to try plant-based versions of traditional, local cuisines.

“The industry is responding with a large increase in ready-meal offerings, while there is great scope for expansion into meal kits and inventive recipe combinations. Interest in underused ingredients is also growing, creating opportunities to introduce variation in flavour and nutrition while simultaneously addressing supply concerns.”

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