Consumer trends are once again giving direction to the industry in 2017. We have been looking closely at the latest developments in the food market. The result is this Trend Report 2017, designed as a gauge for retail, trade and industry. Explore some of the developments that are gaining ground and innovations that will be selling more this year.


Again we’ve analysed comprehensive data sets – information from more than 70 countries – from our Innova market research platform and combined this with Hanni Rützler’s FOOD REPORT to identify key trends that we want to show you more closely. Use the ideas from this Report as a source of inspiration for your business. The Trend Report 2017 is merely an excerpt of what’s new in the food industry. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.



Discover the latest trends that will impact retail, trade, industry and consumer habits in 2017.


Disruptive Green

Rise of the plants

Vegetable milk, meat substitutes, vegan products – plant-based applications are mainstream nowadays. Because of this, innovative products which allow consumers to use the benefits of plants in their own diet are on the rise. This includes alternative protein sources for vegetarians and vegans, healthy herbs and spices, and surprisingly colourful foods (like elderberries and spirulina), all of which are rising remarkably quickly in popularity. Plant-based drinks are also on the up. Many dairy companies are using the functional and technical benefits of plants.


Body in Tune

Self-optimisation through diet

FODMAP, Paleo, Nutrients – consumers are consciously experimenting with their needs these days and looking specifically for products, diets and ingredients that improve their feeling of wellbeing. Health-conscious eating is therefore a growing personal theme. Protein content plays a key role. Sales of foods and beverages with added protein – animal and vegetable – are growing fast all around the world. The ‘free of additives’ trend also remains with us in 2017. In the bakery segment for instance, the number of gluten-free products has grown considerably. Increasing attention is also paid to foods that help people to ‘self-optimise’ in the sense of increasing their performance or enjoying health benefits, such as snacks, power bars and ready-made meals.


Kitchen Symphony

Appetite for authenticity

Asia, America, Africa – Globalisation in every area of life has made today’s consumers connoisseurs and experts in all kinds of international cuisines. It’s because they themselves travel the world. So there’s little surprise that the demand for authentic products and special ingredients from other culinary cultures has become a recognisable trend. Exotic, culinary adventure and diversity are in demand at home, in restaurants, and even in canteens and refectories. When it comes to ethnic flavours, the Italian kitchen remains the world’s number-one for foods and beverages. But the kitchens of Thailand, Mexico and Japan are also gaining more and more followers. Authentic taste is the key.


Fuzzy Borders

Reconciling the incompatible

Consumers’ desire for culinary adventure is growing and with it the demand for ever new products based around international developments. In New York, for example, there is the ‘Hybrid Food’ trend: apparently incongruous products and flavours are creatively combined and the resulting hybrids can no longer be placed in known categories. Sweet chips, pizzas wrapped in bacon, burger patties made of ramen – ‘Hybrid Food’ is breaking down product categories and combining different foods into new, exciting creations and flavour experiences. Consumers’ curiosity about products and recipes that blur conventional borders is growing steadily, and this entails a lot of potential for innovation in the food industry.


*Claims related to energy, e.g. energy, energize, boost and fuel on the packaging front page


Clean Supreme

Transparency is the key to success

More and more consumers want to know what’s in their food – which is why Clean Labelling will remain a standard for 2017 and is growing to include new categories all the time. The most frequent declaration in communicating clean products remains ‘no chemical additives/preservatives’ but the organic label also offers important orientation and is associated with healthy food.

Also increasingly important is an indication that a product doesn’t contain any genetically modified organisms (GMO), although such declarations are voluntary. Given the image of genetic engineering, many food manufacturers are willing to provide their customers with this assurance – knowing that transparency about ingredients and clean product composition is becoming a stronger and stronger reason to buy.


*Claims related to clean label: no additives, natural, organic and/or GMO free.



2017 once again spicy and hot

Hotter, spicier chilli flavours – a trend which was already playing a major role in new products last year – will remain in demand in 2017. Of all the many and various chilli varieties, jalapeño, chipotle and habanero stand out. Chilli’s consistent and growing popularity can be combined very effectively with other key trends this year, such as when used as a flavour-enhancing ingredient in hybrid product concepts and for authentic, exotic dishes.