Regina Malseviciute Haydon, Mintel's Global Food and Drink Analyst presented visitors at Hi Europe 2016 with the latest consumer trends in food consumption.
So in this article we have summarised some of the best facts into a highly calorific and explosive mixture. A 'fact blast', if you will.
The importance of being transparent
Lack of trust in the food industry means consumers increasingly want to know what goes into their food.
- Over 40% of German consumers want to produce food themselves so they know what’s going into what they’re eating.
- 64% of French consumers say prepared meals contain too many highly processed ingredients.
Europeans want to be healthier
Changing diets across Europe suggest consumers are trying to get healthier.
- 63% of Polish consumers are actively reducing their consumption or avoiding sugary food.
- 49% of young Spaniards (16-24) are eating less protein than they were one year ago.
- 37% of Italian millennials (25-34) actively reducing consumption of, or avoiding dairy.
Diet plans are changing
Alternative diets are on the rise, with gluten-free the biggest movement of the moment and more to follow.
- “Grain-free diets will be the next big thing.”
- “Products which have always been plant-based now market themselves on being vegan to reinforce health message.”
The negative perception of fat is changing
There’s an increased awareness of the difference between good & bad fats and consumption of fatty foods is on the up.
- “Full-fat dairy products are regaining popularity as people realise low-fat options are packed with extra sugar and additives.”
- “Foods like yoghurt have gone from being considered an unhealthy breakfast to a healthy dessert.”
- “There’s a strong emergence of diet plans that encourage eating more fat, such as Paleo, Banting and LCHF.”
Sugar = Public enemy #1
Sugar has replaced fat and salt as the new dietary demon and sugar taxes put pressure on carbonated drinks manufacturers.
- 39% of Brits who consume carbonated soft drinks say they will favour juice, smoothies and milk when the sugar tax comes in… whereas …
- …38% say they will switch to low sugar carbonated soft drinks.
- 65% of Chinese consumers claim they would pay more for biscuits low in sugar.
Despite the trend in health & wellness consumers still want moments of indulgence, so manufacturers try to meet needs with slightly healthier alternatives: .
- Sugar alternatives, such as Stevia, are growing in popularity in all regions.
- The strongest applications for sugar additives are drinks, confectionary and dairy.
Taste is still king
At the end of the day, consumers are unwilling to compromise on taste.
- 33% of French consumers rather just eat less ice cream than switch to low-sugar varieties.
- 43% of Germans want premium chocolate from their favourite brands.
Beauty & wellness gets closer to food
Beauty ingredients are increasingly moving into the world of food & drink and visa-versa. This has been a big trend in Asia and now is also making waves in Europe as food becomes marketed as a beauty fix.
- 66% of British women say diet is important factor in determining appearance of skin.
- 62% of Italian women say it’s better to get minerals for the skin from diet rather than supplements.