About this time last year, Mintel identified six trends that more than 60 of our global analysts predicted would impact the global food and drink industry in the coming year. The 2017 Global Food & Drink Trends identified the potential for plant-based food and drink, interest in products that are connected to the past, and the need for convenience and interest in more sustainable and ethical products.

With our predictions for 2018 now available to download, we revisited the 2017 Global Food & Drink Trends to see how they progressed this year.

The Night Shift

“Evening is tapped as a new occasion for functional food and drink formulations.”

The increasingly chaotic pace of modern life is creating a market for nighttime products that help people of all ages calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest. Beverages have been a common format for nighttime formulations, such as the South Korean launch of Lotte Chilsung’s Sweet Sleep beverage that is enriched with L-theanine, rose hips, lemon balm, chamomile and vitamins B3, B5 and B6. In the UK, consumers who are seeking evening relaxation can turn to Cherry Good Night juice drink, which contains cherry juice, chamomile extract, vitamin C and collagen.

28% of Brazilians would be interested in food that enhances sleep quality.

Beyond beverages, there is more opportunity for expansion into food for nighttime, which could appeal to the 28% of Brazilians who would be interested in food that enhances sleep quality. Evening benefits also transcend species because 20% of British pet owners are interested in pet food designed for nighttime, such as pet food with herbs to promote calmness.

Waste Not

“The focus of sustainability zeros in on eliminating food waste.”

As predicted by this 2017 Global Food & Drink Trend, the sheer amount of food that is wasted globally has started to incite action among manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Argentinean company Prodeman has developed a system to process its waste peanut skin into an energy source that powers its factory and nearby manufacturers and households. Meanwhile, misshapen fruits and vegetables were used by a processor in Australia to make baby food.

On the consumer side, the stigma associated with imperfect produce began to fade in 2017, as shown by the two in five Canadian fruit/vegetable consumers who say they would be interested in trying oddly shaped fruits or vegetables at a cheaper price. As proactive as these solutions are, there is a need for solutions to ‘Waste Not’ that apply to wider areas, such as states, countries or regions.

Balancing the Scales: Health for Everyone

“Healthy food and drink are not ‘luxuries.’”

This 2017 Global Food & Drink Trend prediction issued a call to action to improve access to and the affordability of healthy food and drink. The lack of access to budget-friendly food and drink often impede lower-income consumers from purchasing healthy items. Cost is one concern, especially for the three in five Canadians who purchase fruits/vegetables and describe their current financial situation as struggling or in trouble and who are purchasing less produce because it has become more expensive. Thus there continues to be potential for products that can make fruits, vegetables and other healthy food and drink more affordable, accessible and palatable for consumers.

In October 2017 the US joint venture between Kraft Heinz and media mogul Oprah Winfrey will debut soups and side dishes that are made with added vegetables, such as Three Cheese Pasta with a touch of butternut squash and mashed potatoes with a touch of cauliflower. Philanthropy also can address the nutrition gap as shown by Colombian food manufacturer Postobón’s distribution of its new fortified nutrition beverage, Kufu, for free to 3,000 children for six months in three Colombian municipalities.

To find out how Mintel’s remaining three trend predictions fared over 2017, click here.

Jenny Zegler is the dedicated trends analyst on Mintel’s Food & Drink platform, blending Mintel Trends expertise with food and drink specific topics, such as health and wellness, formulation, sustainability and premiumization. In addition to contributing analysis to Mintel Food & Drink, Jenny has been part of the team that creates Mintel’s annual cross-category trends since 2014.

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