FrieslandCampina Ingredients is spotlighting “Conscious Indulgence” as a key global trend in its latest report, followed by “Shaping A Better World” and “Experience Beyond The Imagined.”
With the contours of “a new world” taking shape, the company shares its vision on where the industry is heading in a new normal.
The report also shines a light on both macro and micro developments in local markets globally, says FrieslandCampina Ingredients.
Conscious Indulgence amid COVID-19
The Conscious Indulgence trend points to consumers who are increasingly aware of nutritional value and how what they consume is produced.
“Healthier and more sustainable propositions were already growing in importance pre-COVID-19. Still, with the pandemic, we saw this trend naturally rising,” Suzanne van den Eshof, global marketing director for F&B at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Consumers began to embrace indulgent food and drinks that are ‘better for you’ too. They are increasingly keen to identify ingredients that will give them a natural boost or are believed to have health benefits. This could be from something as simple as a splash of lemon to add vitamin C to a cup of tea.”
During the pandemic, consumers also reached back to traditional tried and trusted ingredients. This trend will continue to drive consumers who feel comforted by recognizable and natural ingredients and flavors.
Consumer interest in a diet with wellness benefits was already on the rise before the onset of COVID-19. However, the pandemic has forced consumers to think more about their lifestyles.
“Interest in food and drinks that boost the body’s natural defenses and might offer health benefits is increasing. We also see a spike in consumers’ desire to understand what they are eating and drinking, with natural and recognizable ingredients leading the trend,” van den Eshof explains.
Some of the micro-trends observed are taking out perceived unhealthy ingredients, added goodness and an increased interest in plant-based alternatives, revealing a deeper dive into the conscious indulgence macro trend.
Examples bringing these trends to life are brown sugar milk tea partially sweetened with natural stevia so lower in sugar or smoothie pancakes containing high-quality protein plus all the goodness from consumers’ favorite smoothies.
Experience Beyond the Imagined
Consumers are keen to pursue unforgettable experiences and adopt new definitions of indulgence. Today, it’s all about a total and immersive experience that tickles all the senses. Consumers are finding more time to experiment in-home, get more creative and discover new flavor combinations.
“Extreme experiences will also be a big driver in the future. Consumers are keen to take indulgent treats to new levels of taste, texture and flavor,” continues van den Eshof.
That might mean pairing textures in unexpected combinations or topping their tea with innovations inspired from around the world.
“We’re talking ice pulled Tea-Tarik with salted egg yolk sesame milk foam from Singapore, red milk tea ice shaken with coconut milk cream cloud sprinkled with toasted peanuts from Thailand, or brown sugar milk tea with creamy layers of Ube condensed milk cream from the Philippines,” she explains.
“With no limit to the imagination, there is plenty of scope for growth here as the hospitality industry seeks to lure consumers back with tempting novelties and adventures in food and beverages,” van den Eshof adds.
Moreover, cookie cheesecake cupcakes, double brewed milk tea frappé with salted chips milk foam, extreme milk tea tasting sliders and excessively fluffy waffles are now seeing the light in the homes of consumers as they create their feel-good moments to cherish.
Out-of-home consumption is also leading F&B innovation, by bringing flavor experiences to consumers’ doorsteps through DIY kits or online baking classes.
Microtrends now emerging across continents include new takes on texture, re-inventing in-home indulgence and extreme experiences.
Shaping a Better World
Sustainability came naturally during the pandemic for consumers. People cooked creatively with whatever was left in their cupboards and were conscious of waste.
Before COVID-19, consumers wanted ethically-sourced ingredients, which came from closer to home and boasted green credentials.
The findings in the report show that seasonal and local resources will become key alongside recognizable ingredients and transparent sourcing. The micro trends emphasize these findings – with back to our roots, no waste, great taste serving as essential drivers.
“The pandemic has heightened consumers’ keenness to cut waste,” van den Eshof states.
“Eating at home more has made turning unused contents of the fridge into an art: think delicious breakfast loaf with leftover veggies, or a cappuccino in a cone that means the ‘cup’ is edible too, and they’re no takeaway containers to dispose of.”
“Consumers want to contribute to protecting the planet even in small ways, and also expect food and beverage suppliers to play their part in creating zero waste, with innovations in reducing packaging, edible packaging, coffee waste and policies,” she concludes.
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