Food and beverage market research firm, Innova Market Insights1, recently announced its top 2019 food trend predictions. But, don’t go swapping out your entire assortment just yet. Incorporating even a few items from some or all of the categories listed below, will allow your customers to experience these trends without significantly impacting your bottom line.
We’ve taken some of the mystery out of the trends, with real-world examples of products that can be added to your shelves with ease.
Trend #1: Adventurous Consumers
According to Innova, shoppers want bolder flavors and multi-sensory food experiences. This means a focus on heightened sensory delivery, with unexpected elements.
Look for products with unique aromas or that cause surprising reactions when eaten like the fizzy feel of the Japanese Puchao Ramune Soda Candy.
Unexpected elements could mean ingredients that are considered delicacies like the caramelized honey bits in Chuao’s Dark Chocolate Honeycomb bar or the flavors of the Yucatan treat, orange and cayenne pepper, found in jcoco’s Cayenne Veracruz Orange White Chocolate Bar.
For a playful take, look for combinations of flavor and feel like Treat Factory’s Bacon Popping Candy
Another way to latch on to this trend is through offering exotic flavor combinations like tropical honey, toasted pepitas, chocolate, a dash of salt and Guajillo chili, as found in Bissinger’s® Honey Pepita Caramel Chocolate Bar.
Trend #2: Plant-Based Foods
The popularity of plant-based diets continues for 2019. Instead of an extreme plant-only approach, many customers aim to strike a balance between meat and vegetable. Consider increasing your stock of vegetarian-based snacks and treats.
Seeking vegan or vegetarian-friendly snacks like Earnest Eats® Trail Mix Bar, plant-based chocolates like Madecasse’s Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Bar, or spicy Wholesome® Organic Cinnamon Bear Gummies is another direction you can take with this trend.
Trend #3: More Alternatives
Continuing in the plant-based vein, Innova predicts there will be increased interest in health and sustainability. Shoppers will be on the hunt for replacement foods and ingredients in particular alternatives to bread, meat, or dairy.
Dive into this trend with products that call out their alternative ingredients like thinkThin®’s Plant-based protein bars .
Other items to be on the lookout for are those made with no artificial ingredients like the Unreal® line of chocolate candies and nut butter cups.
Trend #4: Greener on the Other Side
Going hand-in-hand with the alternatives trend of 2019, consumers will have increased expectations for sustainability across supply chains, whether in ingredients, or packaging, or both. As a result, manufacturers are seeking solutions from water reduction plans, upcycling ingredients and, making post-consumer recycling easier. Labels like ‘Fair Trade’, ‘USDA Organic’, and ‘Rainforest Certified’ are key when incorporating this trend.
There are many confectionery manufacturers who fall into this category. Project 7® created a line of unique gum and gummy candies that is manufactured in the US with a minimum of 10% of the company’s profits going to non-profits around the world that support environmental activities, clean drinking water, and ending hunger. Another brand in the ‘good for the earth good for you’ category is the Endangered Species® line of chocolate bars made with fair trade ingredients and 10% of all proceeds going to help endangered animals.
Also check out the Divine Candy Bar Line , as it is the first 100% Fair Trade chocolate company in the world that’s co-owned by the cocoa farmers themselves.
A rising star in the fruit chewie industry is Torie & Howard™, which is manufactured with no artificial ingredients and select ingredients are sustainably sourced.
Trend #5: Snacking is an Occasion
This is not as much a trend as an observation. Snacking has moved from an option to an occasion for customers. Manufacturers are responding with a focus on innovation across all categories. Keep this in mind when dedicating space to snack items and keep an ear to the ground for emerging innovations which can help make these occasions memorable for customers.