For the market researchers at Nielsen, there are four hot topics for the food and beverage industry in 2017: Developing a successful digital strategy, making innovation more effective, improving the speed and quality of decision making and prioritising where to invest in retail. Elaine Watson, of foodnavigator-usa.com, sees the influence of Big Data here, in particular.

“We’re seeing more and more interest in continuous, predictive, real-time analytics.”
Chris Morly, President at Nielsen USA

The trends identified by market institute Canadean for the dairy sector this year have more of a product-specific focus. In Canadean’s study in this area, dairyreporter.com editor David Harris underlines the following points: customers have specific health expectations from their products, and “reduced” and “added” options will reflect individual customer needs. There will be further growth in the “dairy free” area, and there are (virtually) no limits on taste experiments.

Milk alternatives, flavoured water and engagement

On the subject of plant based milk, Mary Ellen Shoup of dairyreporter.com quotes a study by nutrition trade magazine Today’s Dietician that included appraisals from more than 1,700 participants from the world of R&D. This makes it clear that the trend toward alternative milk will continue unabated. Sharon Palmer, editor of Today’s Dietician, comments: “People are looking for more nutritious plant based milks, especially new milks with higher protein.”

Foodstuff portal foodbev.com expects the health trend to make further advances in 2017. It identifies seven trends in healthy food and drink that will be big in 2017. People taking a stand against food waste is a concept that we find particularly fascinating. And also the idea that water will remain a trendy foodstuff in 2017. We´ see creative forms such as birch water, bamboo water, cactus water, aloe water or honey-sweetened water as we had maple water and coconut water in 2016.

“The smartest, most intelligent packaging is often the most intuitive, e.g. with a QR code placed directly on the package that allows consumers access to more information on a product through their Smartphone.”
David Luttenberger, Global Packaging Director at Mintel Market Intelligence Agency

On the subject of packaging, the Packaging World platform quotes the current Mintel study: the market research company considers package structure as one of the key themes for 2017: for many consumers, high-quality packaging is an important indicator for quality foodstuffs. E-commerce will also be an important trend this year, which makes the appearance of the packaging all the more important. The study also states that e.g. increasing demands for food safety, waste reduction, patient compliance are driving an emerging genre of smart, active, and intelligent packaging. In Mintel’s view, this will create many opportunities to engage, entertain, and educate consumers in real time.

And texture

We were particularly pleased to see that Louis Gore­Langton from dairy-reporter.com once again considers texture a particularly important topic for 2017. And for aspects like crunchy, creamy, crispy, gritty and so on, we can highly recommend this article.

Besides the outlook on trends in the near future, it’s also interesting to have a review of the past year. At least when its focus is on sustainable packaging and starts with the expectations of the Paris UN COP 21 climate talks, like Packaging Digest on innovations in sustainable packaging, for example.

What are your top trends for 2017? Give us a call, leave comment or e-mail us.
(picture iStock)

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