Prognosticators unite! It’s that time of year (and decade) when everyone in the industry is looking to divine what major consumer trends will be influencing purchasing decisions moving forward. Looking back on all of the newsletters and articles we’ve skimmed, read, perused and devoured over the last few weeks, there are three trends that keep rising to the top: simplicity, snacking and sustainability.
Simplicity: Consumers continue to demand recognizable and pronounceable ingredients in the products they buy for themselves and their families (even their pets!) Companies must continue to find ways to simplify their ingredients lists and those that get there first will have a leg up on the competition. This is especially true in categories that are already struggling in the newly health-conscious marketplace. We’ve noted Bimbo Bakeries USA Arnold/Oroweat/Brownberry’s “Seed to Slice” and “No Added Nonsense” positioning to gain marketshare in the bakery aisle.
Snacking: Mondelēz International’s first State of Snacking™ report confirmed what many other recent studies have pointed to – families are on the go 24/7 and the days of sit-down meals can mostly be found in re-runs of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Consumers are swapping balanced meals for healthier snack foods and 70% of Millennials report a preference for snacks over meals. The growth in healthier snack options, convenient to-go packaging and smaller packaging portions will be tremendous areas for growth opportunities.
Sustainability: Although “sustainability” has been a buzzword for quite some time now, how it applies to brands and products continues to grow and evolve. With climate change finally becoming a major issue, consumers will become more conscious of how a product is manufactured and its impact (positive or negative) in the global climate change fight. Consumers want simple ways (there’s that simplicity word, again!) to be greener every day. But sustainability is also seen as a brand’s impact on its community, how it gives back or helps those in need to make the world a better place. All of these factors will become part of a successful brand’s DNA moving forward.
Good news is, if brands can get ahead of these curves, they will be in a great position for growth in the next year, and decade, to come.