Over the past five years, Edelman’s Food and Beverage sector has been mapping the trends shaping the industry across the globe.
Every year, while preparing the report, we look back to compare our latest findings to past years’ outcomes, analyzing their evolution. In 2019, we again confirmed that the trends transforming the food and beverage industry are more diverse, comprehensive and interconnected.
The overall story is clear: The future of the sector revolves around being healthier, more sustainable and more concerned about how the food we eat affects the environment and society at large.
Consumer activism is changing the food and beverage landscape. People now expect more from the foods they put in their mouths and from the corporations behind them. Companies must be responsible for any issues circumspect to their business, including how their products impact consumers’ health, whether they are meeting their employees’ expectations and how they are affecting the environment and urban development.
This year’s trends fall into four major categories:
The Quest for New Flavors and Ingredients – The search for new experiences drives chefs and marketers to create unexpected food pairings and inspires consumers to explore innovative flavor combinations and textures. Innovation is key to keeping brands relevant for both consumers and the media.
Nutrition and Wellbeing Reinvented – There is a clear evolution toward a more natural and holistic approach to nutrition and its role in overall wellbeing, beyond weight management. “Better-for-you” options, alternative fats and personalized nutrition are ways for companies to keep up with consumers’ evolving demands.
Sustainability Takes Center Stage – Governments and companies are grappling with sustainability-related questions, including plastic use, their carbon footprint and water usage reduction efforts. A focus on sustainability is no longer a “nice-to-have” for food and beverage companies. Investment in resource-efficient technology and in innovative ways of turning food waste into usable material are just two of the opportunities that companies can take to tackle these issues head-on.
Food Shapes Society – Consumers’ demand for purposeful brands has ushered in a new wave of claims. Companies are expected to raise their voices and act on societal issues such as migration, diversity and gender equality. Food and beverage companies are also in the spotlight to focus on integrity and take a stand on the issues that matter most to their employees and customers.