As we step into the ever-evolving world of the global food and beverage markets, it is crucial for brands to anticipate and stay ahead of the key trends shaping consumer behaviors and attitudes in the coming year. The markets have been shaped by a prevailing theme of uncertainty and worry, as consumers face challenges such as war, the pandemic, price inflation, and growing pressures on food systems. As a result, consumers have accepted the inevitability of uncertainty and have adopted a day-to-day focus, striving to protect their physical and emotional wellness.
Maximize my value
53% of global consumers are actively looking to reduce spending on food and beverage (FMCG Gurus, 2023).
Consumers are feeling the impact of price inflation and actively trying to cut down their expenses on food and beverage. As consumers adopt recessionary spending habits, brand loyalty decreases and they become more willing to explore shopping options. Despite this, consumers will aim to minimize compromises. They will seek resourceful ways to avoid going without, such as reducing food waste and taking advantage of promotional offers. Brands should respond by introducing packaging innovations to extend the shelf life of products and provide personalized promotional offers that cater to individual needs.
Spending reductions are expected for non-essential and convenience-driven occasions. However, consumers still desire daily treats and rewards without compromising. Many individuals are now seeking more premium treats through retail channels. It is crucial that these indulgences remain affordable and do not result in post-consumption guilt. The retail sector is witnessing a growing demand for premium treats as consumers seek to recreate restaurant-quality experiences at home or enjoy small indulgences for moments of escapism and socializing with loved ones.
Eight in 10 global consumers would trust a company more if they were using regenerative farming (FMCG Gurus, 2023).
Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of climate change on food production chains and recognize that agriculture itself contributes to this issue. They expect all producers, regardless of size, to adopt resourceful and environmentally friendly practices that preserve biodiversity and natural resources. This scrutiny extends not only to large multinational corporations but also to small-scale and local producers.
Upcycled ingredients have gained appeal due to their ability to address the pressing issue of food waste. Brands must demonstrate resourcefulness throughout the supply chain to align with consumer values. However, while consumers acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis, sustainability claims alone do not solely drive purchasing decisions. Environmental messages can be overwhelming, especially during uncertain times, and the association of such products with higher prices can deter consumers. In reality, shopping habits are not solely driven by altruism. Therefore, brands should promote the value of environmental products by highlighting additional benefits.
My plate, my profile
28% of global consumers say they have made greater efforts to use apps to monitor their diet and lifestyle closely (FMCG Gurus, 2023).
The popularity of health monitoring apps continues to grow as individuals recognize the impact of their DNA and unique genetic makeup on their well-being. This trend paves the way for the next wave of innovation in the health and wellness market: personalized customization based on genetic sampling. This is particularly relevant given the growing understanding of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. While questions may arise regarding the accuracy and ethical implications of such personalization, consumers will expect technological advancements to enable real-time health monitoring and offer tailored solutions that cater to their specific needs and goals.
Strive for happiness
57% of global consumers say they have looked to improve their mental well-being over the last year (FMCG Gurus, 2023).
In recent years, rising prices and the fast-paced nature of our post-pandemic world have had a significant impact on consumers' emotional well-being. As a result, a large number of consumers are actively searching for ways to improve their mood and enhance their mental well-being. When asked about their definition of good mental well-being, consumers consistently prioritize happiness as a fundamental aspect. They are inclined to step back from the pressures of daily life and reassess their priorities, leading them to prioritize better sleep habits and healthier eating patterns.
59% of global consumers say they have become more attentive to ingredient listings over the last year (FMCG Gurus, 2023).
Consumers are actively paying attention to the ingredients used in product formulations and are seeking to make quick and informed decisions about the nutritional profile of a product.
An emphasis on realness and authenticity is strongly valued by consumers. They are seeking products that they perceive as natural, as they believe these are better for both their own well-being and the environment. This drive for authenticity has led to an increased demand for products with free-from claims and streamlined ingredient lists. However, it is important to ensure that any streamlining of ingredients is not misunderstood as a cost-cutting exercise, as consumers value both authenticity and quality.