ADM identified spaces poised for growth in the new year, and has provided a breakdown of each one based on research from the company’s Outside Voice consumer insights platform.
Brad Schwan, Vice President of Category Marketing for ADM, explained in a press release: “Consumers today continue to navigate a tumultuous environment that has uprooted every aspect of their lives. This has led forward-thinking brands to develop new solutions purpose-built to help consumers establish a sense of normality for themselves, their families, and their pets. We’re seeing everything from foods, feeds and beverages that promote gut health to plant-based meat and dairy alternatives to biodegradable packaging.”
The trends are:
- Nourishment for the whole self. Consumers want to be more proactive about supporting their health via diet and lifestyle. The pandemic has placed a particular spotlight on stress and anxiety, and Outside Voice has found that 37% of global consumers expect the snacks they eat to improve their mental wellbeing.
- Plant-based lifestyles. The flexitarian approach to eating has become mainstream, and it is expected that alternative proteins will likely account for 11% of the total protein market in 2035. COVID-19 has fueled interest in plant-based, as a healthy way of meeting nutritional needs. Food and beverage brands are responding by widening the range of nutrient-dense plant-based options.
- Microbiome support. Awareness of the microbiome as central to wellness has grown over time: Data from Outside Voice indicates that 58% of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits that bacteria in the digestive system can have on their overall health, linking the microbiome to immune health, metabolic health, and mental health. Consumers are therefore switching from a reactive approach—seeking out solutions to discomfort—to a proactive approach, looking for tailored and customized solutions to optimize microbiome support.
- Clean and transparent sourcing. Consumer demand for ‘clean label’ products has evolved, and now, shoppers are looking for products containing simple ingredients that can help promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, leading to a demand for transparency across the entire supply chain. 58% of consumers say they will be more attentive to locality claims as a result of the pandemic.
- Pet health. Purchasing values are extending to what consumers purchase for their pets, with a 41% increase in ‘all natural’ pet foods launched globally. Outside Voice also found that 30% of global pet owners spent a significant amount of time researching the best food options in the past year. Consumers facing changing lifestyles and a return to work will continue to monitor their pets’ overall wellbeing.
- Responsible animal feeding. Beyond pet health, consumers are concerned about the animals they’re consuming. Brands are beginning to provide digital documentation regarding how an animal was raised, especially related to its consumption of antibiotics and/or growth hormones. 49% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products with high quality assurances and verifiable safety standards.
- Sustainability. Consumers see sustainability as a moral imperative. 47% of global consumers say they are now more attentive to sustainability claims, sparking demand for ethical production and sourcing practices, such as regenerative agriculture and carbon negative production.
- Advanced renewables and biosolutions. Today’s consumers are more conscious of the environmental impact of their consumption and the food system at large, with a focus on the use of finite materials and physical waste. 38% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products made with sustainable materials. Consumers increasingly feel that companies should take greater responsibility for reducing waste and energy use from development to disposal.