Ahead of Mintel forecasts for 2017, Senior Trends Consultant Richard Cope, takes a timely look back at how we fared with our 2016 predictions.

Pond Filter

Fears that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) may weaken EU regulations on sourcing, ingredients and ethics in favour of US multinationals will cause consumers and craft brands to react with real, reassuring, purer and more natural products.

The crux of our argument here was that negative news on genetically modified and unregulated food, household and beauty products would raise consumer interest in these issues and also purchasing of organic and natural lines amongst those who could afford to do so.

During the course of 2016, Mintel’s research showed a notable percentage point growth in Italian, French and Spanish consumers agreeing that they are buying more food and drink products made with extra care and attention (ie small batch, hand-made, artisan). In the same period, we’ve also seen a growth in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish consumers buying more organic groceries than they did previously. Opposition to GMOs in these countries is especially strong (Mintel’s research shows that between and quarter and a third of consumers would never buy them) , and whilst the desire to pay a premium for natural is confined to a fifth of most countries’ consumers, growing awareness will demand that brands offer this option or remove doubts. However, as we will see in our 2017 predictions, the pressing needs of Africa’s population boom will necessitate a much less natural solution.

In the UK, the spectre of TTIP was completely superseded by the EU referendum – and its result. Its outcome will likely have the effect of focusing UK consumers attention on where their food comes from and how much it costs. It may also force the country and its grocers to raise self-sufficiency levels through greater local sourcing (only 60% of what the UK consumes is grown or reared in the UK). We’re already seeing foreign discounters Aldi and Lidl assert their local sourcing credentials in the dual interests of economy and loyalty.

Mintel’s 2017 Predictions are coming. Please contact us to get your digital or hard copy, attend one of our Big Conversation events or have us visit you to present our findings.

See how Mintel’s Archbeacons trend prediction played out in 2016 here.

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