The trends that are gaining popularity are the abandonment of energy sources based on fossil fuels, the reduction of water consumption, sustainable packaging (recyclable, biodegradable or options that significantly reduce the use of plastic) and clean and environmentally friendly cleaning and detergent solutions for final products and equipment. In fact, the average annual growth in plant-based food launches (26%) and beverages increased 36% compared to last year. Right now, less than 1 in 5 global consumers are looking for plant-based alternatives because they perceive that they taste better. This represents an enormous opportunity for brands that choose to partner with ingredient companies that offer flavor solutions specifically formulated for use in plant-based applications.
Related to the food delivery trend is the increase in subscription meal kits. The COVID-19 pandemic helped the market for “boxed foods” recover when millions of Americans were forced to stay home with more time available to prepare meals. Seeing how other food delivery services have prospered may have given consumers more confidence in the meal kit subscription model, which one in five consumers say they have tried. Searches for food delivery apps have increased by 104% in the last 5 years.
One of the reasons is the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth of searches for Laird Superfood has increased by 153% in 5 years. The volume of searches for “Magic Spoons” has grown by 45% in the last 2 years. It is estimated that by 2050, global demand for water will increase by up to 30%.
Interest in “vertical agriculture” increased 214% in the last decade. Google searches for plant-based diets increased by 100% in 5 years. Searches for “oat milk” increased 614% in 5 years. The volume of searches for “Almond Cow” has increased by 185% in half a decade.
Searches for “vegan cheese” increased 308% in 10 years, despite a recent drop. Although the topic may have peaked, searches for mushroom jerky have increased 1700% in 5 years. Although devices with WiFi or Bluetooth were already growing before COVID-19, the pandemic has increased interest. Searches for smart ovens increased by 154% in 5 years.
Tovala searches have risen by 1,242% in 5 years. Searches for the Meater smart thermometer have increased rapidly, growing 300% in 5 years. Searches for “smart grill” increased by 121% over the past 5 years. A Hunter study found that Americans cook 51% more often compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Tasty, Buzzfeed's cooking division, has more than 43 million followers on Instagram and more than 96 million followers on Facebook. For example, naturally, Jo posts perfectly staged food photos on Instagram and amassed around 1.5 million followers before her 20th birthday. Mariam, 22, posts recipe videos on TikTok for her more than 7 million followers. The user who is credited with starting the trend on TikTok, Hannah Cho, has more than 2 million cumulative views on her original video.
Nearly 20% of U.S. consumers bought their first plant-based protein during the pandemic, and 92% of them say they will continue to buy those products. Searches for “adaptogen” increased by 150% in the last 5 years. Nearly 25% of consumers say they want to try an adaptogen.
Over the next five years, Mordor Intelligence expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 17.5%. Searches for “hard” kombucha increased by a staggering 1,280% in 5 years. For example, Luna Bay Booch makes its blueberry kombucha so that it has 6% alcoholic alcohol, but its lychee is a lighter offering with only 4.5% alcoholic alcohol. According to a report, a quarter of consumers plan to eat more mushrooms this year and another 63% plan to eat the same amount as in previous years.
Pan's Mushroom Jerky was incredibly successful on Shark Tank, and received more than 33,000 orders after the show aired. For more content related to Exploding Topics, check out 5 major snack trends and 25 emerging food technology companies. Also known as “functional foods”, products such as orange juice fortified with vitamin D or yogurt drinks containing probiotics (Activia, Yakult, etc.) are becoming more popular as consumers become more concerned about what they ingest into their bodies. They want foods that can offer several things in one bite (so to speak).
Food manufacturers can ride this wave by adding exotic flavors and ingredients to well-known products and using global trends to influence local products. Yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut and wine are examples of fermented foods, but the trend goes far beyond these basic foods. The trend of plant-based foods isn't necessarily going away, but those who ate meat and wanted to try plant-based proteins will return to their traditional steaks and hamburgers. Whey protein powder is a recycled and sustainable food ingredient sought by consumers, especially those following ketogenic diets and other trendy diets.
Food manufacturers and their food scientists will be challenged to innovate to meet consumer demand for healthier and tastier products. Waste reduction initiatives such as these allow food companies to consistently convert food waste from a loss to a profit. . .