ADM threw its hat into the prediction ring this week with eight consumer trends the company believes will drive new product innovation next year.
At the top of the list is expanded protein choices. More than half of global consumers now consider themselves flexitarians and are incorporating more plant-based foods into their diets. But the protein expansion doesn’t stop there – ADM believes that as younger consumers grow up, there will be more acceptance of things like cellular agriculture, precision fermentation, hybrid products, and insect-based proteins.
Balanced wellness has been on the rise as consumers take a more holistic approach to their physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health. But what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all, so consumers want proactive personalization, i.e., products that meet their individual nutritional needs.
In addition to their own health and wellbeing, consumers are prioritizing the health and wellbeing of other people, animals, and the planet. Trust and traceability are crucial for consumers who want to know exactly where their food comes from and how it was produced. They’re also demanding earth-friendly production (e.g., reducing food waste, rebuilding and restoring the environment), and they want their purchases to make a social impact, especially as it pertains to the ethical treatment of farmers and other workers who supply our food.
Modern pet parenting expands on the trend toward humanizing pets that has been increasing for several years. ADM notes that many pet parents now require that their pets’ food be made from the same ingredients as their own.
In the final trend, experiential eating, consumers are seeking new and interesting flavors from around the world. They also want to engage with brands as part of the experience.
“Often interconnected, these key themes are permeating throughout consumers’ choices, demands and expectations of brands,” said Brad Schwan, vice president of marketing for ADM. “The desire for a healthy mind, body and soul, as well as the global community and planet, are manifesting in proactive and decisive conscientious consumption across categories. As consumers look to prioritize what is most important to them, they want nutrition brands to do the same. Companies that can nimbly evolve alongside consumers are poised for success in the coming year and beyond.”