Global food survey identifies 10 future-proof consumer trends

This week Puratos (an international group offering materials and expertise to the food industry) released the results of a global InSites Consulting survey into consumer attitudes and choices to inspire future innovation within the food industry. Last week, during the Taste Tomorrow customer event in Chicago, the results were shared by Hakim Zemni, Managing Director InSites Consulting Belgium who introduced 10 mega-trends for the industry.
Industries and markets around the globe are facing increasingly greater challenges. One of the main challenges is the fact that  consumers are becoming more outspoken and demanding in their food choices. But, their consumption behaviour is often conflicting and even paradoxical. In order to help its customers to face up to these challenges and to inspire them, Puratos Group started Taste Tomorrow, a unique industry initiative and a platform for knowledge-sharing amongst key players in the industry. The initiative is also supported by a closed online platform for large account customers, where they can find further data and inspirational updates. At the heart of this initiative lies a unique global survey, which will be repeated every three years, that looks at consumer attitudes and trends in bakery, pastry, patisserie and chocolate.
During a Taste Tomorrow event in Chicago (USA), which is part of a series of events around the world that started in April this year with a regional event in China and that will continue until mid-2013, Puratos Group released the results of this global survey.

“The research results provide unique global and local insights into ten emerging mega-trends with global relevance in the food sector and provide product manufacturers with actionable information that will enable them to adapt their product innovation and development to current and future consumer needs.” Source

10 future-proof consumer trends for the food industry

  1. Food Utopia or Apocalypse? In a world where the population is growing exponentially and with ecological concerns in the back of the consumer’s mind, a certain uneasiness about whether bread, pastry, patisserie & chocolate is artificial or unhealthy has set in. While established markets are fairly negative, there seems to be a great sense of optimism in emerging markets.
  2. Overall Quality Perception Quality in food products is no longer only seen as the quality of the final product. Consumers want to know how the product arrived at the point of sale, with full transparency from start to finish. Supermarkets must prove the overall quality of their products even more than smaller bakeries.
  3. The baking of… In the future, the essence of food brands and products will be the story they tell about themselves in all openness and transparency. Especially “the baking of” catches on: the eye for detail, the love of the making, the how and the why behind the product. The more authentic the story, the more likely people are to buy it.
  4. Food, Sweet Food In a globalising world where people struggle to find a well-defined identity, local food culture becomes a way of self-expression. Local specialties help consumers identify with their region, increasing feelings of pride and a sense of belonging.
  5. City Brands New York bagels, Bombay naan, Parisian macarons, etc. As urban consumers become more mobile everyday, and with the internet booming on a worldwide level, consumers will increasingly be tempted by other cities’ local specialties in search of something unique.
  6. Back to the Future Consumers clearly show a desire for new concepts and innovative ideas, but also cherish familiar flavours. The future of bakery products goes hand-in-hand with it’s history and tradition.
  7. Meal Mobility With consumers expecting to spend even more time at work and on the road, food will become more portable and easy-to-eat in the future. Many consumers already live in a new ‘unstructured meal reality’.
  8. Small Pleasures, Big Health Consumers seem to change their expectations about what is healthy based on the size, volume, shape and portion of the food product. Small items that come in low volumes can be indulging. Health awareness grows considerably with larger food products that come in big portions.
  9. That Authentic Bakery Feeling In the future, successful supermarkets will have to use the same semiotics as that of a small artisanal baker if they want to tell the right story to consumers: the unique smell, the home-made look&feel, the fresh image, the human touch, the traditional approach…
  10. Bakery Superstars or Super Bakeries Franchised concepts that make a superstar out of one bakery product tap into the need to indulge and customise. Consumers like walking out of the store with the feeling that they have their own personal bakery product. On the other hand, successful bakeries will have to become minimarkets with a range of heavy rotation grocery products on offer, accommodating the modern day consumers’ need for convenience.


Puratos Taste Tomorrow

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