Dietary awareness continues to grow in 2019, and with it the demand for ‘free of’ products and clean label solutions in every market segment. Natural products are in demand, additives and preservatives are disappearing from ingredient lists. Culinary adventurousness is also growing; consumers are willing to discover new taste compositions and like to be surprised.


Market research platform Innova once again analysed the markets in over 70 countries for the food trade, retail and industry, in order to identify new developments, trends and innovations. We have summarised some of their findings in this RAPS Trend Report 2019. Use the opportunity to keep up with changes in the food market and expand or develop your product range accordingly.


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Discover the new

New kinds of taste compositions are in demand

Globalisation has brought more curiosity, and the ‘explorer’ gene in many consumers is affecting the way they eat. Products newly launched in 2018 demonstrated an immense turnover growth of 35 percent whenever they used the ‘discovery’ and ‘surprise’ themes in their claims and slogans – in other words, when they promised new flavour experiences. People used to avoid what they did not know, but that no longer seems to be the case. Instead, people are looking for unexpected flavour mixtures, new textures, unusual looks and surprising changes in taste when they eat. Products that offer unconventional flavours ‘at first bite’ are becoming increasingly popular. Two out of three consumers in the USA, UK and China confirm this trend: “I love discovering new flavours.” Newly launched confectionary with a ‘discovery’ claim grew especially strongly, rising by 180 percent in just one year (2016–2018).


Smoked, spicy, clean

Meat goods: smoked products are in vogue

Looking at preferred flavours in the years 2014–2018, ‘smoked’ and ‘barbecue’ flavoured meat goods have grown especially fast. The same applies to new smoked meat substitute products, which demonstrated an impressive rise of 86 percent over the same period. This trend can also be seen among practical meat snacks, with a growth of 15 percent since 2013. Similarly, the demand for clean label products continues to rise, especially among meat goods. ‘Gluten-free’ and ‘free of additives/preservatives’ remain top claims in this market. With a rise of 18 percent since 2003, the ‘rich in protein’ and ‘high protein content’ labels continue to grow. A growing interest in alcohol-soaked meat products and market launches involving unique flavours (tea, chocolate and coffee) can also be seen meeting consumer demand for new discoveries.


Healthy Snacking

Clean label key in baked goods

The baked goods market segment reflects a social macro trend towards greater dietary awareness. The foremost sales arguments for newly launched products in the past year, 2018 (although perhaps not quite as much as the previous year), were ‘no additives or preservatives’. In second place and rising were vegetarian baked goods.Driving forces in the development of new products are also health aspects such as foregoing trans fats and gluten and choosing products rich in fibre. Consumers are also appreciating ‘honest craftsmanship’, and the number of new products launched in the pastries segment has risen by 15 percent since 2013. Favourite pastry flavours are currently brownies and salted caramel. Newly launched baked goods demonstrate a strong demand for snacks. In line with the general ‘on the go’ mentality, new products with a ‘snack claim’ have risen by nine percent in the past five years.


Vegan Wins

Plant-based dairy products growing more popular

Dairy products launched with a ‘vegan’ claim since 2013 have risen by 52 percent year on year, and vegan cheese products have shown an annual growth of 31 percent over the same period. All in all, ‘free of’ products are growing in the dairy sector, and 35 percent of newly launched products carry such a claim. The number of lactose-free products as a percentage of the overall market has doubled from four to eight percent since 2013. One of the most important factors when people buy cheese products is still flavour. It is the basis of buying decisions for 59.2 percent of German consumers. Herb flavour products are especially popular but dairy products are also subject to the growing trend towards culinary adventure – products launched with alcohol, smoked and roasted applications are growing fast.


Back to natural ingredients

Consumers appreciate genuine, natural convenience

Convenience remains a major factor. But consumers are no longer willing to sacrifice genuine quality for it. Healthy, clean label and ‘free of’ products are on the rise and ingredients lists are getting shorter. Convenience manufacturers are turning their backs on additives, artificial flavourings and chemical substances, they are reducing salt and unhealthy fats because consumers are once again appreciating natural, genuine ingredients. Increasingly popular are old grain types (quinoa, sorghum and many more), vegetables and pulses, nuts and seeds as well as rice, all in new diversity. Seafood, ham and unusual cheese varieties are also being used more. Convenience consumers are becoming more experimental with unusual flavours and seasonings, with Indian and Asian flavours demonstrating the greatest growth in new products.