- AZTI identifies and presents world consumption trends that will have the largest impact on food over the next few years
- Food trends show more health consciousness and environmental awareness, and the search for pleasure and entertainment
- Current and future food products need to adapt to different lifestyles and to urban life and new consumption moments, and they need to be tailored to the specific needs of each person.
- The report is a competitive tool for the agrifood sector and the chance to anticipate what consumers want
(Derio, 9 March 2016) What will our diet be like in the near future? What, how and where will we eat? Will we give priority to health when we eat? These are some of the questions that AZTI, a technology centre specialised in marine and food research, aims to answer with its new study on worldwide food trends: EATrends. AZTI predicts that our diet will be adapted to the needs of our current urban and fast-paced lifestyle, that people will be more health conscious and environmentally aware, that there will be a demand for foods adapted to people’s specific needs, and that food will be considered a source of pleasure and entertainment. Being aware of new consumption models will enable companies in the food sector to adapt their products and services to consumers’ expectations, and this will result in competitiveness and profitability in the sector.
Over the past few years, AZTI has been analysing ways of consuming and consumers’ demands, and has established nine food trends that exist today and that will grow and consolidate in the next few years. These are the nine trends: Ephemeral Food, Conscious Food, Personalised Health, Tailor-made, Simple and Intelligent, The Origin Really Matters, Food Experience, Participation and Consciousness.
“Ephemeral Food” refers to the fact that over the next few years food consumption must adapt to the new urban lifestyle and that food must be available everywhere and at any time, and it should satisfy instantly, without affecting its quality and healthiness. “Conscious Food” refers to the increasing interest in products and services that are environmentally sustainable and that do not involve cruelty to humans or animals in any of the links in the production chain.
As consumers are increasingly conscious of their own health, they manage it and prefer a personalised diet with healthy products that adapt to their specific needs. This pursuit of “Personalised Health” goes hand in hand with the “Tailor-made” concept. Consumption has become a new way to express people’s own identities and the public are demanding food products and services that help to reinforce this identity.
We live at such a pace today that people want products that are “Simple and Intelligent”, and flexible and accessible solutions that save them time and make their lives easier. In this context of a fast-paced lifestyle and globalisation, people are also showing a preference for local and familiar products, which means that “The Origin Really Matters”.
When it comes to buying food, consumers are looking for more than just a product – they want a “Food Experience” that creates a unique and memorable moment. Fun, attraction towards innovation and the search for emotional states (happiness, relaxation, excitement, etc.) are already part of the universe of eating. On the other hand, new technologies are encouraging a participatory culture around food. Consumers are not just food recipients: by means of “Participation” they are able to express an opinion, learn and have an influence on tastes and demands for new products. An example of the promotion of consumer participation is the profit brought by collaborative consumption platforms, which will exceed 3.5 billion dollars in 2015.
And finally, the “Consciousness” food trend means that people to choose products, companies and brands that are more open, honest, empathetic, generous and even fun. Consumers are looking for products with which they can identify and where the relationship between the food sector and people is based on trust and transparency. Consumers identify with companies that share their personal values.
AZTI’s Food Trend Trotters and Trend Hunters
The study that is being presented today is AZTI’s second food trend identification study. The first one was published in 2012. The work to identify “EATrends” starts with market research, where compiling information is the main activity, and observation, surveillance and active listening take centre stage. Many of these tasks have been carried out within the framework of the AZTI street surveillance project called Food Trend Trotters, as well as the work done by our internal AZTI Spotters (trend hunters) and two editions of “The Food Mirror Game”, a worldwide online initiative for food innovation collection.
The next phase involved the analysis and interpretation of data collected during research to achieve the first formulation of trends. Finally, the contrast or validation phase with companies took place, where pre-defined trends were placed in context while evidence and data supporting those trends were found.
Competitiveness for the food industry
Knowing the public’s preferences and expectations is essential for the food industry. It gives the sector the chance to adapt to the market’s real demands and anticipate the demands of the future market, and it helps it to launch more targeted products. EATrends help food companies to design and create products and services that stand out, are profitable and give value to people. These trends also help companies to explore new business opportunities and to offer more innovative proposals in order to stay ahead of the competition in a cut-throat industry.
Knowing food trends also gives food companies the chance to develop communication and marketing strategies aimed at target audiences identified in the EATrends study.
AZTI, marine and food innovation
AZTI, an expert technology centre in marine and food innovation, with over 30 years experience and international presence in over 45 countries, boasts a team of over 230 experts, aimed at shaping ideas that, once transformed into products and services, generate business initiatives and recover and preserve natural resources.
It carries out strategic and applied research in an international context and in alliance with Corporación Tecnalia, providing comprehensive and innovative solutions to its clients. Transforming science into value and wealth for the society of today and tomorrow is the hallmark of AZTI.