Consumers' diets are diverse, and while most claim not to follow a specific diet, there is a gradual shift occurring in response to health trends. Interestingly, 44% of consumers in Germany follow a low-meat diet, which is a significant increase from 2014 (26%). Similarly, 6% of US consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1% in 2014.
Meal components and ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and staple carbohydrates are consumed most frequently, compared to prepared foods such as ready meals and sandwiches. Vegetables are the most frequently consumed food globally, with a quarter of global consumers eating them almost every day1. Meat, fish, and poultry are also commonly consumed, with 62% of global consumers eating them at least once a week. Furthermore the majority of global consumers eat pasta, rice, or noodles - staple parts of many cuisines - at least once a week.
It has identified six key trends impacting innovation in prepared foods:
- Go Meat-Free: Rising veganism and awareness of the impact of meat consumption are driving demand for meat-free products substitutes.
- Premiumized Junk Food: High-quality ingredients can raise the image of food categories that are traditionally seen as unhealthy.
- Healthy Swaps: Consumers are becoming savvier about food ingredients, so offering alternative prepared foods with enhanced health benefits will appeal.
- Inspiration Borrowers: Borrowing ideas from other food categories to inspire novel innovations creates opportunities to attract experimental consumers and capitalize on social media exposure.
- Fresh and Easy: Time-scarce consumers seek convenience but also want to cook their food with fresh and natural ingredients. Meal kits offer both aspects to appeal to these consumers.
- Ethical Eating: Consumers connect ethical and sustainable lifestyles with wellbeing and wellness, creating demand for more ethical prepared foods.
The report "Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017" outlines the key consumer and innovation trends currently impacting the core categories in prepared food: meat, fish, and seafood; pasta, noodles, and rice; prepared meals; savory deli food; soup; and meat substitutes. Trends explored in this research include the meat-free and ethical movements, premiumization and experimentation opportunities, and fresh and easy solutions for everyday meals.
Companies mentioned in this report: Nissin Food, Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, Mindful Chef, Tyson, Intermarche, Jumbo, Waitrose.
- Consumers' diets are diverse, and while most claim not to follow a specific diet, there is a gradual shift occurring in response to health trends.
- Consumers are less experimental with staple foods such as pasta, rice, and noodles, yet they are willing to experiment with prepared food that they do not consume frequently, such as ready meals.
- Consumers perceive an ethical and sustainable lifestyle to be an important part of their wellbeing and wellness, and prepared foods aligning with ethical and sustainable issues will appeal to many consumers.
- Identify how brands can innovate to engage consumers as well as showcasing best-in-class innovation examples throughout.
- Learn what consumer behavior is driving innovation using the analyst's latest consumer research.
- Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product development.
Innovation Trends in Prepared Foods
Premiumized Junk Food
Fresh and Easy