What Mintel’s 2022 Global Consumer Trends mean for food and drink


By: Cormac Henry, Global Food & Drink and Purchase Intelligence Analyst, Mintel.

In Australia, thirty-four per cent of consumers worry that life will not be the same as it was before the pandemic according to Mintel data.

A time period that saw lockdowns, food panic buying and homes becoming offices has left a changed consumer base that saw food becoming more than a source of sustenance, but also a source of reassurance. Mintel’s 2022 Global Consumer Trends explore these behavioural changes.

Three of these trends offer great potential for food, drink and foodservice: In Control, Enjoyment Everywhere and Flexible Spaces.

In Control

In Control explores how consumers are dealing with pandemic-induced feelings of uncertainty and now desire to take control in the ways available to them. Brands can empower consumers to do this within their food/drink purchases through transparent detail on their products.

Help consumers make the right health choice

In Australia, 41 per cent of consumers check product labels (e.g. ingredients, nutrition) when shopping for food/drink. Food and drink brands have the complex task of conveying the health or nutritional value of their products while also being upfront about their source and production process. Food/drink brands can empower consumers to make the right health choice by giving clear on pack detail linked to dietary requirements.

For example, US brand, Good Measure’s cereal bars make a clear ‘little impact on blood sugar’ claim on the front of the pack, helping diabetic consumers manage blood sugar levels.

Be transparent on ethical commitments

In New Zealand, 32 per cent of consumers try to choose ethical foods when shopping. Consumers are looking for more transparency and brands can win the trust of consumers by verifying their claims with third-party certifications. Getting specific on environmental or humanitarian ethical commitments can help consumers make an informed ethical purchase.

West Australian brand, Oat Up’s, Oat Milk detail their product is made using ‘regeneratively grown’ oats on front of pack. Another example is the Australian brand, Outback Spirit, which uses a transparent pricing structure to provide the consumer with detail on their community outreach. The brand highlights on the pack of their sweet chili & kakadu sauce that five cents from every product sold contributes to the development of Aboriginal Australian native food enterprises.

Enjoyment Everywhere

After enduring long periods of lockdowns, consumers look to food, drink and foodservice to unleash the lost creativity and excitement they craved during the pandemic. Enjoyment everywhere explores a consumer base wanting to break out of their confines, explore and pursue pleasure as they deal with the scars of the pandemic.

Food/drink that offers a fun and engaging experience can help consumers find enjoyment and escape.

Use multisensory features

Food and drink brands that captivate the senses can appeal to the unexpected and the intriguing.

Indian brand, Mamie Yova, has launched a set of yogurt which the consumer is prompted to shake until the curd inside the packet pops. A sonic sensation is offered to delight consumers.

In Australia, Lipton has launched a range of bubble tea kits which include microwaveable chewy pearls to recreate the texture expected from foodservice bubble tea.

Explore the metaverse opportunity

 Defined as a virtual reality world where users can play, game, and interact as they would in the real world, the metaverse offers a new arena for brands to engage with consumers.

In the USA, Chipotle offered its brand fans free Chipotle through their branded Halloween restaurant experience within the gaming platform, Roblox.

US foodservice brand, Wendy’s, sent their mascot into the game, Fortnite, to destroy virtual beef stored in freezers, promoting their ‘fresh, never frozen’ mantra.

Flexible Spaces 

The pandemic left consumers craving for human connection which at the same time delivered them the convenience of online shopping. Flexible Spaces explores how consumers have been forced to rethink their work and play spaces due to the pandemic. Blending the best of physical and online spaces will be key in creating spaces for brands to interact with consumers going forward.

Combine the best of physical and digital spaces

In New Zealand, 36 per cent of consumers agree it’s easier to find what you want to buy through social media than ecommerce.

The announcement of Tik Tok Kitchens in the US harnesses the power of online discovery coupled with real-world experiences, where trending recipes from the application will be cooked in real kitchens and delivered to consumers.

Australian wine brand, Penfolds, has announced the rollout of their ‘phygital’ store displays which comprise physical wine aroma scent strips at the end of the shelf, accompanied by screens proving detail on aroma notes.

Create spaces to connect consumers with their passions

Physical food spaces can also be used to unite consumers that share common passions.

Tim Horton’s has partnered with the technology company, Tencent, to launch an e-sports café complete with ergonomic gaming chairs, super-fast WiFi, and controller charging ports that unites gaming fans.

Food/drink brands can consider how their product offering can integrate into the interests/hobbies of their consumers, facilitating deeper consumer-to-brand connections.

For more detail on how the food and drink applications of the 2022 Global Consumer Trends may impact your business, please get in touch with Mintel today at infoasia@mintel.com.


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