Each year Mattson identifies a number of macro trends. According to the company, its goal is to think beyond “the next kale.” Mattson chooses lifestyle trends that have the power to influence food and beverage purchases, behavior, beliefs and innovation. The company indicates that the fundamental reason to track food and beverage trends is to translate them into viable business opportunities. Here are Mattson’s 2018 picks.
1. Cannabis Craze
Increasingly, marijuana is seen as a functional food, with purported health benefits far outnumbering what consumers can get from kale, turmeric, or kombucha.
2. Losing Booze
The increase in cannabis consumption and acceptance leads us to our second trend: flat to declining per-capita alcohol consumption.
3. Keyboard Convenience
For years, we’ve been hearing predictions around the ultimate demise of the center-store, where staples like mac-and-cheese, cereal, and bars are on their way to extinction. While consumers are excited about the fresh perimeter, the center-store has staying power.
4. Taking Food Personally
Taking cues from Eastern Medicine, today's personalized food and beverages allow consumers to follow unique diets more targeted than gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, each chosen for a consumer's one-of-a-kind physiology.
5. Fast Fresh Farming (Indoors!)
Consumers increasingly desire to eat fresh and local food. But it’s challenging to grow fresh produce during the frigid winter months. One solution is to move farming indoors, and that’s now happening in great numbers at both the residential and industrial level.
6. Meal Kit Migration
Consumers fundamentally want meal kits, but the original direct-to-consumer subscription model is not how they want to buy them. Too much commitment, too costly, too much solid waste and carbon footprint.
7. Intrinsic Nutrition
Fat is back. Protein is hot. Sugar is out. Yes, consumers want to eat healthy, but their definition of what this means continues to change. Mostly, consumers want to eat foods that contain what we call intrinsic nutrition: nutrients that are inherent in the ingredients.
8. The Fabulous Flexitarian
There is no official definition of Flexitarian, but we consider them to self-define in two ways. First: those actively trying to eat less beef, chicken, pork and dairy. Second: those already eating “mostly vegetarian,” with the occasional consumption of meat and dairy. Together, these consumers make up about one-third of the population.
9. Produce Power!
Today's burgeoning ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat fruit and vegetable products go beyond baby carrots with ranch.
10. Non-Food Brands Branch Out
Licensing is one way to solve the dilemma of building new food brands because it lets companies gain access to a new brand without having to build it.