Food Consumer Research and Demand Forecasting for the Food and Beverage Industry is a complex, multifarious zone. No matter how well you analyze the current situation and factor in future possibilities, there is always a margin of unpredictability. As a business owner in this sector, you need to be armed with the best resources to prepare yourself for any untoward situations. Relying on Data Science, Analytics, along with keeping pace with the latest trends is the best way ahead for present-day food and beverage brands.
Here are the top 5 food trend predictions for 2022 that are all set to define the food industry in the coming days:-
‘Plant-based’ is a Winning Trend
From plant-based fermented foods to plant-based meat and seafood, there is a higher inclination for consumers today to opt for food and beverage products that are plant-based. As per the food consumer research, this is true across all realms- health foods, immunity-building ingredients, alternative protein sources, as well as indulgence foods and home-cooking ingredients. There is a conscious effort on part of most consumers to shift from animal-sourced food and drinks to plant-based ones. This goes hand in hand with the recent focus on sustainability since the carbon footprint of plant-based foods is considerably lesser than that of animal-sourced foods.
Just a few years ago, food and beverage consumption patterns were largely bifurcated into home deliveries, takeaway, and outdoor dining. With the advent of e-commerce (and of course, the aftermath of Covid-19 shutdowns), multiple food and beverage consumption channels have emerged. There are popular ready-to-eat kits with custom flavors and personalized meal solutions to savor the restaurant experience at home. Then there are artisanal home cooking packages, on-demand 3D Food Printing, and various other modes of richer indulgence.
The Bustling Health Food Aisle
2021 Food Trend Predictions have unveiled the vast market potential for healthy food and beverage products. The Covid-19 pandemic has nudged consumers to reach out for immunity-building and nourishing foods and drinks. Apart from packaged foods fortified with Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants, the present-day consumer is also inclining a lot towards consuming fresh produce. Fresh fruits like apples, plums, berries, bananas, and fresh veggies like kale, spinach, avocado, broccoli, etc are witnessing a massive surge in demand.
Transparency of Food and Beverage Brands
Maybe a decade or two ago, you could get away with not revealing the number of flavor additives, preservatives, sodium, or added sugar in your food and beverage products. As per the latest 2021 food trend predictions, there is no scope for brands that conceal important information from consumers. Social media is rife with controversial food takes and viral brand boycotts, and the last thing you want is to get embroiled in them. The best way ahead is to have crystal-clear brand communication, especially pertaining to nutritional information and supply chain practices.
Cruelty-Free Dairy Products
PETA and similar organizations have been emphasizing the cruelty of the dairy industry, from forcible insemination to inhumane conditions of milk. Many dairy brands are therefore switching over from this much-criticized industrial setup to the traditional farm setup to source their products. Milk and milk products sourced from rural communities is not just a positive step to prevent animal cruelty, it also helps in boosting the income of marginalized farmers.
As listed above, the top 5 food trend predictions for 2022 have been meticulously compiled by top data analysts working in the food industry. For brands to thrive, flourish, and grow in these uncertain times, embracing digitization and efficient, AI-based solutions is a must. Be it for waste reduction, energy efficiency, dealing with safety hazards, or ensuring a robust supply chain, Big Data and AI can steer you in the right direction with potent solutions.
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