Mintel has launched the Future of Nutrition, Health and Wellness 2021 Report, featuring the latest market research, product innovation insights, and consumer trends shaping the nutrition, health, and wellness space, as well as strategic recommendations for brands over the next five years.
By Daisy Li, Associate Director, Food and Drink, Mintel
Texture is the new innovation frontier in the food and drink industry. Besides spicing up the taste experience by adding various food textures, it is also perceived to link with mood enhancement. More than half of Chinese consumers would like to try a new chocolate featuring rich texture. It is a good opportunity for chocolate brands to incorporate various textures to dial up the indulgent experience with chocolate.
Mintel, a company that specialises in knowing what consumers want and why, has announced seven trends set to impact global consumer markets in 2021, including analysis, insights, and recommendations centred around consumer behaviour, market shifts, innovative brands, and opportunities for companies and brands to act on in the next 12 months:
Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, has announced three key trends for the global food, drink, and foodservice industries, including analysis, insights, and recommendations centred around the ‘now’ (next 12 months), the ‘next’ (18 months+), and the ‘future’ (five+ years) of consumer behaviour:
There are numerous new food and drink products launched every month, but are those new products really what consumers want to buy? How can we know quickly if our new products just meet the requirements of our customers?
Mintel, the company that specialises in knowing what consumers want and why, has launched Asia Pacific: The Food and Drink Landscape, featuring the latest market research, product innovation insights, and consumer trends from across the region.
COVID-19, social distancing measures, and economic shutdowns have resulted in new consumer habits and attitudes towards food and drink. These shifts have amended and amplified the development of global food and drink industry. Latest research from Mintel’s expert food and drink analyst team paints a picture of changing consumer behaviours and attitudes due to COVID-19, trends shaping the sector, and future opportunities for brands.
“The Food and Drink Landscape takes a look at shifts in consumer behaviour and evolving trends shaping today’s food and drink market, including the impact of the pandemic, and delivers expert analysis, insights and recommendations on what it all means for companies and brands in Asia-Pacific. With our sights trained on the future, our research offers a full view of the marketplace to enable better strategic decision making and understanding of what consumers want and why,” Michelle Teodoro, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink and Food Science, APAC, said.
Key findings from Mintel’s APAC Food and Drink Landscape include:
Consumers are redefining convenience
Consumers across APAC are increasingly adopting products and services that offer a higher level of convenience, further accelerated by the advent of COVID-19. Globally, consumer interest in air fryers increased during the COVID-19 period as people cook and bake more at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), the launches of food products globally with the description of ‘air fryer’ saw a five-fold rise between June 2017 and May 2020, driven by South Korea.
Rising interest in health and wellness
The persistence of COVID-19 in the Indian market has exposed critical truths related to health and wellness and put a spotlight on how consumers’ dietary and lifestyle choices matter. Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker showcases consumers’ focus on preventive health and mindful eating, indicating the potential for disruption in the food and drink space.
What’s more, the preference for natural, simple and flexible diets is leading consumers to seek more fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based ingredients within the products that they purchase. The rise in plant-based diets can be attributed to heightened concerns for animal welfare, the environmental impact of intensive animal farming and also health reasons.
Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, today launched Chinese Consumer 2020 , an in-depth analysis of the Chinese consumer market, and sixth-annual flagship report from Mintel Reports China. In this latest report, Mintel research and analysis provides a firm understanding of Chinese consumers’ shifting behaviours and attitudes during and post-COVID-19, with insight into China’s economic environment, consumer expenditure, as well as the food and drink, beauty and personal care, OTC and pharmaceuticals, clothing and accessories, technology and communication, home, transport, leisure and entertainment, and personal finance and housing markets.
Earlier today, Mintel welcomed a number of distinguished guests to participate in a panel discussion at The Chinese Consumer 2020 press conference in Shanghai, including Elan Shou, regional director, Ruder Finn Asia; Kiran Patel, senior director, business development, China-Britain Business Council (CBBC); and Ms. Ruyi Xu, head of Mintel reports, North Asia. Each shared their views on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the Chinese consumer market, including consumer attitude and behaviour changes.
As discussed during the panel, the Chinese consumer market is facing more challenges than ever before; nevertheless, as the coronavirus situation improves, Mintel research indicates that most consumer goods categories are gradually recovering, including some discretionary categories such as dining out, clothing, beauty and personal care, and leisure and entertainment. However, this does not indicate that consumer spending will immediately return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Key findings from Mintel’s Chinese Consumer 2020 report include:
Chinese economy recovers quickly, showing it remains resilient
The COVID-19 outbreak has had an unprecedented impact on both society and the economy, but effective anti-epidemic measures have laid a foundation for economic recovery. In mid-July, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released preliminary accounting results for China’s GDP in Q2 2020 which showed the economy is on track to recovery. This recovery will be quicker than many other major global economies which have gone into lockdown at different stages in Q1/Q2 2020. This is another encouraging sign, showing the fundamentals of China’s economy are not only unshaken but also resilient.
Beauty and personal care sector stands out despite slowed growth in consumer spending
China’s top five sectors with the highest growth rates remained unchanged 2010-2019, including holidays at CAGR of 18 per cent, transport at CAGR of 16.4 per cent, OTC and pharmaceuticals at CAGR of 13.6 per cent, foodservice at CAGR of 13.1 per cent, and personal finance and housing at CAGR of 12.9%. However, while growth in most categories has tapered off due to slowed growth in overall consumer spending, since 2017, the beauty and personal care sector has seen similar compound annual growth rates (CARG) 2010-19, including a 9.2 per cent increase in 2019.
Path to recovery varies by sector
Sectors like holidays and foodservice, which require consumers to leave the home and potentially gather in small or large groups, saw reduced spending in Q1. Mintel predicts that under the current circumstances (that the outbreak is largely under control despite reported new cases), total consumer expenditure will experience a contraction of 5.6% in 2020. But, in the long term, Mintel predicts that total consumer expenditure will recover to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021 and continue to rise at CARG of 7.3% 2021-24.
Consumers adapt to changes and balance is restored to daily life
Nearly six out of ten Chinese urban consumers (56 per cent) want to have a happy family life and 46% seek a healthy lifestyle; meanwhile, 39 per cent of Chinese urban consumers say that they want to travel after the outbreak, according to Mintel research.
“Priorities on consumer goods categories represent key areas of consumer spending, and the coronavirus pandemic has made consumers more focused on their family and health,” said Xu. “In particular, the consumer habit of spending within their means and a more cautious attitude towards spending as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will push brands to consider new strategies to cope with the ‘new normal’. This will be mainly reflected in helping people find a balance in life and enjoy the quality and pleasure of life through small indulgence and embracing simple moments.”
At the panel discussion, Shou said, “Consumer mindsets and attitudes are constantly evolving in today’s ever-changing world. Consumer behaviors have shifted remarkably due to the coronavirus in the past ten months. This has also affected some sectors related to offline purchases and in-person consumer experience, such as foodservice, tourism and hotels. Therefore, how to properly understand the client’s growth pain points and innovate on communication strategies is also a manifestation of professionalism and flexibility in the public relations industry. Ruder Finn understands the importance of data analysis and offers meaningful output using data to help clients achieve their communication goals and business results.”
“In the current backdrop of the global outbreak, China-Britain Business Council has followed up with market changes in the United Kingdom and China, and actively innovated on communication platforms and channels in a bid to drive Britain-China trade with more digital solutions and assist companies in our two countries with online communication,” said Patel. “ For example, CBBC recently-launched UK-China Business Matching Digital Platform, which is set to support the offline trade show China International Import Expo (CIIE), allowing companies to highlight their core competencies on this platform and to build a big data trade ecosystem. We always believe innovation will help companies across industries stay ahead of the curve, accelerate development and win the future.”
Local manufacturers who proclaim their Australian-made credentials may come out of the COVID-19 disaster ahead. Megan Stanton, senior analyst at Mintel Food and Drink and Mintel Purchase Intelligence, on explains how food businesses can take advantage.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deficiencies in so many of our systems and turned the spotlight directly on the importance of transparency and safety. What that has done is create opportunities for local businesses, especially those who control the food supply chain. To take full advantage, the manufacturers of Australian-made food products need to strike while the iron is hot and reap the benefits of changing consumer attitudes.
“Buy local” initiatives aren’t new, of course, but with the country facing recession and many people forced to ponder the security of their own jobs, consumers have become open to paying a little more if it means they’ll get a quality product and are able to support local industry.
In a recent Mintel study, 52 per cent of respondents said they tried to buy locally grown food all or most of the time. That figure had risen by eight percentage points, up from 44%, in just 12 months.
Safety first, say consumers
Mintel’s Purchase Intelligence tool shows Australians believe locally manufactured products deliver on taste, quality and trustworthiness, and offer better value for money than imported products. Asked to choose between a variety of products in the same category, most participants indicated they would buy a product locally made from Australian ingredients over a less-expensive overseas product.
For a category like frozen fruit, where there have been issues with safety in the past, this was particularly true. Five per cent more respondents suggested they’d pay $6 for 400 grams of 100% Australian-grown frozen mangoes rather than $4 for 500g of supermarket-brand frozen mangoes grown in Mexico and packed in Canada. On reviewing a frozen mango product from Vietnam a male 35-54 from NSW said: “After the drama with frozen berries supplied from overseas, I’d say it would be quite risky eating this product if it’s not from Australia.”
Certain product categories, such as breakfast cereals, dairy and savoury spreads , already feature a high proportion of Australian-made products. Others, like packaged fruit and vegetables,and side dishes are not as well represented and offer manufacturers a chance to fill a hole in the market.
Aussie jobs also important
Safety, however, wasn’t the only reason respondents gave for choosing Australian made over imported brands. They also believe Australian products taste better and see the value in bolstering the local economy by supporting Australian jobs and farmers. Purchase Intelligence shows , Berenberg Australian-made jams, as an example, outscored similar overseas products in nearly every attribute , including taste, quality, indulgence and health, despite is higher price tag.
Companies that do manufacture locally from Australian-grown produce need to be bold, proclaim their ‘Australian-ness’ and use that authenticity to build trust with shoppers. Consumers are smart. They want to know who makes the products they buy and how. They also want to feel as though they are somehow helping their community by buying locally produced goods. Food manufacturers who can offer them all that will continue to prosper
In response to the adversity of 2020, bushfires, floods, a pandemic, and economic downturn, Australians are seeking to do their bit at the grocery store. A recent study by Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, shows Australians’ desire to buy locally grown food is gaining momentum. According to Mintel’s Megan Stanton, senior analyst, Purchase Intelligence, “In July of 2019 Forty four percent of consumers said they try to buy locally grown food, this rose to forty eight percent after the December 2019 bushfires and rose again to fifty two percent during the COVID-19 crisis.”
There are many reasons for this marked shift in attitudes. Many consumers believe Australian products deliver on taste, quality and trustworthiness, and are seen as better value than imported products, however it depends on the food or drink category as well. “In categories where safety is an issue most respondents said they would buy a product locally made in Australia over a less expensive imported product.
For instance, frozen fruit grown and packaged in Australia significantly outperformed overseas products when it came to both instant reaction and purchase intent. Fifty-four percent of respondents were more likely to buy the Australian product despite its higher price tag.”
Safety, however, wasn’t the only reason respondents gave for choosing Australian made over imported brands. They also believe Australian products taste better and see the value in providing more opportunities to the local economy by supporting Australian jobs and farmers.
Transparency was an important factor for respondents. Many respondents to the Mintel survey expressed dismay that products they believe should be made in Australia, especially those sold under supermarket own-brand labels, are actually imported from as far away as Europe and the Middle East.
These findings align with the Mintel Trend Locavore which highlights the seismic shift in why, where and how we consume food and the consumer desire for transparency from companies.
“They want to know who makes their products and how. They want to feel as though they are somehow helping their community by buying locally produced goods,” said Stanton.
With COVID-19 pandemic hit the world relentlessly, people’s lives around the world have been changed fundamentally, including eating habits. This pandemic, once again, reminded people about the relationship between nature and their eating habits. We have seen many startups emerging that produce plant-based or lab meat alternatives around the world, especially in Asia Pacific. Is this plant-based meat alternative a real market trend or is it only a marketing hype used by brands to attract more customers?
Well at least consumers in Asia are shifting towards plant-based diets, driven by health and environmental concerns. As it originated in western market, a lot of the current plant-based meat in China is delivered through western format, such as burgers, pizza and pasta. However, in order to introduce these new products to broader Chinese consumers, plant-based meat products are improving their taste, texture and format in order to meet the palate of Chinese consumers.
According to Mintel research <Upgrade c-store meals with plant-based meat>, 75 per cent of respondents in China think that plant-based meat is a trend, 36 per cent of Thai consumers eat protein substitutes because of health concerns, compared to 10% who do so for religious and cultural reasons. 49 per cent of South Koreans agree that plant-based foods are better for the environment than meat and dairy products.
In Australia, consumer’s attitude towards meat has changed too after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Mintel’s newly launched consumer data tracker tool Mintel Global Consumers shows that 38 per cent of Australia people agree that Covid-19 pandemic proves that humans need to eat fewer animals, 17 per cent of Australia people thinking of eat fewer animal products (eg, dairy or meat) after Covid-19 pandemic and 34% of Australia people limit their meat intake most or all the time.
Daisy Li, Associate Food and Drink Director, Mintel, says that, “ Plant-based meat as an ingredient-led innovation could have revolutionary impact on people and the food industry. Although international and domestic players are racing their launch in Chinese market. However, Chinese consumers still need some time to be convinced of its safety and benefits before they could fully embrace it into their diet.”
Chinese consumers show an increasing interest in plants in recent years, which is quite consistent with the growing global plant-based trend. However, the distinctive eating culture and consumer perceptions in China has made it very different from western market. Although plant ingredients, such as vegetables, fruit, grain and nuts are well received in the Chinese market in recent years, the veganism trend has not taken off in the China market. Consumers still perceive animal protein as a critical part of their daily diet, providing essential nutrition. Therefore Chinese consumers are willing to increase their plant intake, while they also seek high quality animal protein at the same time. The plant-based meat players have to be mindful of the situation and come up with a strategy that fit with the China market.
As in the market of traditional soy-based meat analogue existed for thousands of years, Chinese consumers may easily associate current plant-based meat offerings with the traditional one, which heavily rely on a complicated cooking process as well as flavor additive to mimic the taste of meat.However, influenced by their existing perceptions of soy-based meat, Chinese consumers are not convinced with the fact that the novel plant-based meat is superior than traditional one in terms of taste and nutrition.Plant-based meat players could highlight its difference in terms of nutrition, taste and manufacture process and establish a new or superior category image.
Meanwhile, in APAC region, we also find that plant-based meat producers and convenience stores are the new partners-in-arms. Hong Kong-based plant-based meat producer Right Treat, the maker of plant-based pork analogue Omnipork, and South Korea’s Zikooin (Unlimeat) have started partnering with convenience chains to promote the application of plant-based meat in convenience store ready meals.
FamilyMart Taiwan made the headlines by announcing the launch of Omnipork instant meal cups under FamilyMart’s own brand in early 2020. FamilyMart has previously launched plant-based tomato spaghetti and plant-based cheeseburgers. In South Korea, 7-Eleven debuted plant-based burgers, dumplings and Korean sushi rolls in 2020. The dumplings contain Zikooin’s Unlimeat.
The collaboration between plant-based meat producers and convenience stores is set to open up new opportunities for plant-based meat to reach more consumers.
Plant-based meat can inject a sense of excitement into convenience store ready meals. Convenience store ready meals made from plant-based meat that mimic the texture of real meat are a novelty to consumers in APAC since plant-based meat products are still not widely available. Adding plant-based meals can help to drive footfall. In China, 58% of consumers choose a particular convenience store due to the variety of products available.
Catering to flexitarians, vegans and vegetarians alike, plant-based meat can also appeal to Asian consumers who are constantly looking for new foods/flavours to try; 41% of Vietnamese and 47% of Malaysian consumers* say they look for new foods/flavours to try all or most of the time.
Convenience stores can add a new twist to their existing ready meals by substituting them with plant-based meat. This could potentially create a buzz among consumers, mirroring the hype foodservice enjoyed when plant-based meat menus were launched.
Mintel has announced that it has linked up with Professor Pierre Chandon from world famous business school INSEAD to provide data support with Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) for Professor Chandon’s academic research work in the food and drink marketing innovation area.
Professor Pierre Chandon is the L’Oréal chaired professor of marketing, innovation and creativity at INSEAD in France, and the Director of the INSEAD-Sorbonne University Behavioural Lab. He studies innovative marketing solutions to better align business growth with consumer health and wellbeing.
“The Partnership with Mintel will definitely help make my academic research be more diverse in terms of data source and data analysis,” said Chandon. “My research work covers many countries and regions trying to find insights into different issues. Mintel is a global company with local business operation and expertise and provides unique high-quality, detailed product data on new products that will be useful for my academic research. I am confident that this partnership with Mintel will bring unique data and insights into the academic research cycle.”
As a leading marketing intelligence firm headquartered in London, Mintel’s analysis of consumers, markets, new products and competitive landscapes provides a unique perspective on global and local economies. Since 1972, Mintel’s predictive analytics and expert recommendations have enabled thousands of clients to make better business decisions faster.
“We’re delighted to be in partnership with Professor Chandon. His research has a major academic influence and is of great benefit for food and drink brands to further innovate, grow their businesses and better meet market needs, ” says Matthew Nelson, General Manager of Mintel APAC. “Our access to a global network of field associates helps Mintel GNPD combine local and global expertise in 86 markets, our wealth of experienced global in-house analysts also provide the expertise to help brands put the data into real business contexts
In the face of a looming recession, questions about price and value are at the forefront of consumers’ concerns. At the same time consumers are more aware of where their food comes from, and there is a growing desire to support local companies. How can brands capitalise on these consumer sentiments?
Mintel’s Purchase Intelligence tool tells you what new products Australian consumers want to buy and why. Join us as our Senior Food and Drink Analyst, Megan Stanton delves into the topic of ‘Australian-made’ and how consumers judge this claim.
We will discuss
- Which brands are doing “Australian made” well?
- Which consumers are most interested in Australian made products?
- Is the per cent of Australian made ingredients important to consumers?
- Will consumers pay for the benefit of ‘Australian-made’?
Click here and register now!
COVID-19 has negatively impacted restaurant revenue. A webinar to be held by food intelligence specialist Mintel, will look at the opportunities for Chinese and Southeast Asian foodservice players to diversify their business model from take-out and dine-in to include selling packaged ready-to-cook and ready-to-heat foods.
In this webinar, Mintel’s Food and Drinks analysts will share their expertise around three areas that are key for brands:
The uncertainty of future calls for change
Explore the opportunity of in-home consumption
E-commerce is the next frontier for foodservice
Heng Hong Tan, APAC Food and Drink Analyst
As an APAC Food and Drink analyst, Heng Hong has over 10 years of experience identifying emerging food and drink trends. He is always on the lookout for the latest food and drink products in his frequent travels in the region.
Daisy Li, F&D Associate Director, China
Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, specialising in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.
To register for the event, click here.
Mintel’s latest report reveals innovation opportunities in vitamins, minerals and supplements. Amid COVID-19 fears, VMS NPD will focus more on immune support and stress relief. Also expect a renewed focus on naturalness and safety.
Read more for actionable insights and key opportunities for your brand, including:
- Highlighting immune support benefits
- Looking beyond immune support when it comes to new product development
- Promoting food-based, natural and eco themes
Click here for more information.
As Australians increasingly look online for their daily shopping inspiration, Coles is launching coles&co, a new experience that will offer specials alongside exclusive content about new products, tips and recipes.
a“With COVID-19, we’ve really seen a shift to online shopping in the last few months, as lots of our customers try our contactless home delivery and Click&Collect services for the first time. We’ve also seen an increase of more than 50 per cent in readership for our digital catalogue since March,” said Coles Group CEO Steven Cain. “We are living at a time of unprecedented societal change, including a surge in the diversity of consumer tastes and dietary needs.
“As customers add more fresh food to their diet they’re shopping more often, and their appetite for immediacy and digital information means a weekly,one-size-fits-all,catalogue in their letterbox is no longer as relevant for them as it once was.
The company will be using its digital capabilities to replace it with something more personalised. As more new features are added, this could include recipes that change daily rather than weekly, as well as tailored content on food and drink trends.
“We will be investing more in digital content and capability for customers and suppliers, as well as better value by lowering the cost of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and improving our sustainability by reducing our reliance on paper.”
coles&co features ‘shoppable’ specials, allowing customers to do their shopping from the screen. They tap on a product to add it to their basket, and then check out via Coles’ online shopping services – or save it as a shopping list to take with you when shopping instore.
Coles chefs and other contributors, including Curtis Stone, will provide new content everyday, including tips and tricks on how to make the most of in-season fruit and veggies, and recipes for quick, simple and healthy meals to help customers eat better while saving money.
From Thursday, Customers can access coles&coat coles.com.au, where they can also sign up to unlock new exclusive content and previews of weekly specials, including many at half price. With the shift in customer preference towards digital communications, from 9 September 2020Coles will no longer deliver printed catalogues to letterboxes.
“Since 2000, we have delivered around 200 billion pages of weekly catalogues to letterboxes across Australia,” = Cain said.
Cain said ceasing the delivery of printed catalogues would save over 10,000 tonnes of paper every year – the equivalent of an estimated 80,000 trees.
“We’re committed to being Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and reducing our reliance on paper by prioritising digital channels like coles&co is a step towards that goal,” Cain said.
A reduced volume of printed weekly catalogues will continue to be available in store.
Consumers around the world are going wild for plant-based innovation and ice cream is no exception. According to the latest research from Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD), vegan ice cream accounts for an increasing proportion of global ice cream launches, making up 7 per cent of all launches in the last 12 months (2019/20), more than double the 3 per cent five years ago (2015/16).
Within the sector, the focus on the textural qualities of plant-based ice cream is increasing; vegan ice creams with a chunky texture such as nuts, cookie pieces, toffee pieces and cookie dough chunks have surged from 2 per cent to 13 per cent of launches over the last four years (2016/17-2019/20). Adapting to this trend is likely to appeal to the 73 per cent of UK ice cream consumers who said that they like ice cream with different textures (eg. crunchy, hard).
Chocolate (accounting for 26 per cent of innovation over the last 12 months), vanilla (11 per cent) and coconut (9 per cent) still remain the most popular in terms of plant-based flavour innovation.
This comes as 12 per cent of UK adults agree that the coronavirus outbreak has made a vegan diet more appealing, almost doubling among under-25s (23 per cent).
“The recent buzz around veganism has made its mark on the ice cream category. Interest in vegan ice cream isn’t restricted to those following a vegan diet,” said Kate Vlietstra, Mintel global food and drink analyst. “Learning from their dairy counterparts, plant-based ice creams are moving beyond the basic flavours to offer indulgent options. Texture is playing a prominent part in vegan new product development (NPD) with chunkier varieties on offer. Brands are demonstrating that vegan offerings can be premium with an array of luxury flavour combinations and packaging.
“The makeup of plant-based ice cream will evolve, incorporating new ingredients from the world of plant milk such as quinoa and other seeds. Oats are expected to feature in more dairy-free ice creams, following on from the popularity of oats in plant-based drinks.”
Big in Japan: Japan scoops up number one position for ice cream NPD
From matcha to mayonnaise and seaweed to soybean, there seems no limit to Japanese ice cream innovation as Mintel reveals that Japan is now the world’s number one global ice cream innovator, commanding the highest share of ice cream launches.
Over the past five years, Japan’s ice cream innovation has gone from strength to strength. In 2015/16 Japan accounted for 7 per cent of launches globally, but since then its innovation has been coming thick and fast and Japan is now (2019/20) responsible for a cool one in ten (10 per cent) product launches, overtaking the US to become the world leader in ice cream innovation. Meanwhile, the US now (2019/20) accounts for 9 per cent of new products launched, slipping back from its number one position.
With a 6 per cent share of global ice cream innovation, Germany is Europe’s number one ice cream innovator and third in terms of global innovation, meanwhile the UK has a 4% share.
“A popular sweet treat among Japanese consumers, ice cream innovation in Japan has surged in recent years following a push to drive year-round consumption,” Vlietstra. “Quirky flavours and exciting formats are putting Japanese ice cream at the forefront of food innovation, while providing ample inspiration for ice cream launches outside of Japan. The growing popularity of Japanese cuisine paves the way for ice cream brands to utilise traditional Japanese flavours such as hojicha and yuzu. Quirky combinations, unique flavours and unusual ice cream cones are all well-positioned to appeal to consumers globally.
“The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, now due to take place in Summer 2021, offer a global platform on which Japanese-inspired food and drink can shine. Ice cream brands tapping into Japanese flavours are likely to fare well, particularly during the hot summer months.”
High added protein potential
Protein has gained importance with consumers; over the last five years, food and drink launches featuring high/added protein claims have doubled from 2 per cent to 4 per cent of total food and drink. Meanwhile, high/added protein ice cream claims have increased from under 1 per cent of ice creams to over 2 per cent in the last four years (2016/17 – 2019/20). While relatively small in number, the opportunity for ice cream with added protein is highlighted by the fact that around one in six British (16 per cent) consumers would eat more ice cream if it had added protein.
“Ice cream is a treat food; a smaller amount of protein will satisfy the consumer demand for healthier options while allowing brands to explore different protein options. Plant protein from legumes, grain and seeds can offer a high-protein alternative to dairy protein. With sustainability ever the topic of discussion, the ice cream category will need to demonstrate its ethical credentials to continue to win flavour with consumers, and plant proteins can appeal due to their lower carbon footprint than dairy proteins,” said Vlietstra.
Consumer’s recent interest in “better for me, better for the planet” food and drink should continue to drive the demand for plant proteins. Algae is one of the most promising foods for the future: easy to cultivate, offering an abundance of protein and other nutrients, whilst maintaining biodiversity.
According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), although algae (carrageenan and agar) has been widely used in edible categories as a thickener, gelling or bulking agent, there has been an increase in using algae-based ingredients as micronutrient, protein and omega fat in recent years.
The increased awareness of algae’s health benefits is the main driver of algae’s rising popularity in food and drink. Mintel finds that 36% of US consumers are either currently eating algae as a protein source on a regular basis or are interested in trying it. The presence of large quantity of essential amino acids makes algal protein superior to many other plant proteins, which may disrupt the plant-based protein market and give rise to algal protein as a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, sustainable and non-GMO protein source.
Vivalicious Introjuice Superfood Vitalise Juice is a blend of fruits (apple, orange, lemon, banana and passionfruit) and spirulina, free of gluten and dairy, and has no added sugar or preservatives(Australia).
Protein rich, low cholesterol porridge
Lima Gluten-Free Oats Flakes with Matcha and Spirulina is rich in fibres and protein, and made without added sugars (Netherlands).
Concern over limited nutritional resources and demand for sustainability also contribute to algae’s rising popularity as algae require minimal resources for growth.
Go blue to reduce fatigue
Innocent Bolt from the Blue Juice is a blend of fruit juices(guava,lime and apple), coconut water, and 0.8% blue spirulina extract that gives blue colour to the drink and claims health benefits ( reducing tiredness and fatigue) (Ireland).
Natural clean food
Wholey Ocean Bowl Premium Smoothie Mix gets its blue colour from the superfood algae spirulina, is free from artificial colour, suitable for vegans and those allergic to gluten (Germany).
In addition to being a nutritional and sustainable ingredient, algae’s umami flavor, salty taste and pigments present in algae provide an opportunity for use as a flavouring agent, salt substitute and natural food colour. Mintel data shows that 35% of US consumers agree that an artificial flavour-free food claim is important to them and 31% an artificial colour-free food claim. This leaves the opportunity for continuous research on algal ingredients as they can deliver visual and sensory characteristics while maintaining clean labels.
And, recent patent development focuses on techniques to remove the unacceptable fishy odour and colour of algal protein to increase its application in protein shakes and other food and drink item
The pandemic has transformed consumer behaviour. Now more than ever, brands need Mintel experts to tell them: what consumers want and why. Watch to see how we can help:
To find out more, click here.
New research from Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, reveals how the global pandemic presents significant challenges and opportunities for animal proteins, meat alternatives and produce.
In this report, you will read:
– Consumers will adapt a “less but better” approach to animal proteins;
– Plants will play an important role as a source of protein
– Will there still be a place for simple luxuries and self-care in the forthcoming recession environment?
– Double down on health and wellness positioning
– Embrace a more holistic definition of sustainability
For the report, click here.
Today, consumers are discovering new ways to nudge themselves towards better habits and are taking a more holistic approach to their wellbeing. However, consumers don’t want to compromise on taste and experience, and food and drink products including prepared meals will need to find the balance between both taste and health.
According to Mintel estimates, Australia’s prepared meals market experienced moderate growth with a 4.6 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2014-18, however, this is expected to slow down to 3.5 per cent CAGR over 2019-23. The biggest contributor in terms of sales value comes from chilled prepared meals with 31 per cent of the market value in 2018.
The prepared meal category has been highly competitive between both private label and branded players. More recently, foodservice/meal delivery brands such as YouFoodz and Sumo Salad (Sumo Well brand) have increased their presence in retail. Furthermore, private label chilled prepared meals have evolved to resonate with modern consumers by tapping into their changing needs and lifestyles. Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) indicates that private label makes up for 30 per cent of chilled prepared meals launches in the past 12 months to November 2019.
In Australia, Mintel Purchase Intelligence research shows that, even though private labels make up only for 30 per cent of chilled prepared meals, Australian consumers are more likely to buy them than branded chilled prepared meals. It further highlights that private label chilled prepared meals can rival branded chilled prepared meals as consumers perceive them to be on par in terms of excitement and tasty perception.
With Australia’s prepared meals market set to grow modestly over the next five years, there are some notable trends happening in the market.
Power to the plants
With a shift in consumer attitudes towards meat reduction and plant-based eating, brands are now embracing the plant-based meat trend and are now offering choices to consumers in the form of plant-based meat, wholesome vegetables and vegan prepared meals. Plant-based meat prepared meals are currently using similar marketing strategies whereby they leverage familiar dishes/ingredients that are traditionally made with meat.
However, with the rise of plant-based meat, there could be potential backlash with its over-processed image. According to Mintel GNPD, only
nine per cent of prepared meal launches between November 2018 and 2019 featured a vegetarian-friendly claim, hence, meat formats made from real vegetables, such as three-bean meatballs, could have more mass appeal.
Furthermore real vegetables can also be a hero ingredient in vegan-friendly meals.
Better for you
Consumers today are looking to achieve their health goals with everyday meals, and brands in the prepared meals segment have an opportunity to help them achieve this. Mintel GNPD highlights that high/added protein claims in prepared meals have achieved mainstream status with 37 per cent of prepared meals launches featuring a high-/added protein claim in the 12 months to November 2019, increasing from 23 per cent in December 2016-November 2017. However, communication about protein remains varied. Furthermore, with only 12 per cent of prepared meals claiming high-/added fibre in the 12 months to November 2019, health claims beyond protein are gaining momentum. Brands can use a combination of different health claims such as high protein with fibre, calorie call outs or immunity to resonate with everyday consumers.
Brands also have an opportunity to enhance their health proposition by incorporating new emerging ingredients such as collagen and hemp. To help overcome the niche and unfamiliarity of these new ingredients, prepared meals can combine them with familiar and traditional ingredients, flavours or formats.
Elevated convenience through flavour and new occasions
In Australia, both private label and branded players are exploring regional Indian flavours and dishes to differentiate themselves by leveraging the momentum of Indian cuisine as it becomes mainstream. Mintel GNPD indicates that Indian-inspired prepared meals represent 11 per cent of the prepared meals category in the 12 months to November 2019.
Australia’s food, drink and culture has continually been influenced by Asia, and is reflected in the prepared meals category. From Korea to Japan, Indonesian to Vietnam, there is an opportunity to explore regional Asian ingredients and dishes to excite consumers’ lunch and dinner routines.
Prepared meals are traditionally aligned with snack, lunch and dinner occasions. However, breakfast is an untapped consumption occasion, which companies can tap into and explore both sweet and savoury. Also, sides to share in a bigger portion could complement the dinner occasion.