THE RAPS TRENDREPORT 2023
Until recently, the coronavirus pandemic was the central issue around which almost everything in our society has revolved. One crisis is just subsiding, and we are already confronted with other new challenges. We are experiencing a changing world and realize that we live in a more volatile and uncertain world. As consumers, we juggle many different tasks at the same time every day.
Be it to continue to find ways to live and eat healthier, as we increasingly did in times of the pandemic crisis, to feel safe and comfortable while conserving resources. Ordo what we can to better control the environmental impact , consciously making changes in our own consumption patterns and attitudes by focusing more on what we really value and what we are willing to spend time and money on.
As if this were not challenging enough, we are now experiencing a further turning point due to the changing economic context of the Ukraine war and its effects. It is now necessary to reconcile our desire for enjoyment with the new necessities in a new way.
This is where the first trend comes in, which we want to present in more detail in this trend report:
The "AFFORDABLE NUTRITION" trend.
It is not surprising that more than 90% of consumers react with uncertainty in times of economic and political instability and have changed their behavior in one way or another in response to persistent inflation, as stated in the GfK Behavior Scan. In particular, the high financial burdens lead to an increased demand for affordable products. At the same time, however, good food products are being demanded all over the world in the sense of strong nutritional benefits, so that it is best to consider the same as before – or more – for less.
Interestingly, the topic of sustainability remains of central importance for the consumer. Only the omens change a little, as we did with the trend "PLANT BASED REVISED?". Consumer demand is shifting here too. Plant-based products are no longer just a substitute to mimic animal products, but are increasingly becoming a segment in their own right. Consumers are looking for vegan products that meet culinary creativity while meeting high quality and nutritional standards.
This raises the question "What is meat in the future?", but also "What will consumers use as a basis for food shopping in the future?" We deal with the latter question in the trend "REDEFINING VALUE".
Consumer voices are loud and clear about the direction food and beverage companies need to take to live up to shared responsibility for our common planet. At the same time, consumers appreciate transparent brand communication from companies that strive for sustainability goals, even if they are not always perfect in implementation.
Customer approach is important. Consumers want to know which products they consume, where, how, by whom and with what they were produced and what impact their consumption has in ecological, social and health terms. We take a close look at this topic in the trend "UNPUZZLE HEALTH".
On-pack messaging is a one-stop shop for consumers who want to know about the health and nutritional value of a product. In order to strengthen belief in health claims, this information must be clear, concise and supported by trusted certifications. Not only "organic", but also the topic "Nutriscore" will play an increasingly important role in the future.
Home cooking also plays an important role. While it has just experienced a renaissance during the corona pandemic, it has now arrived in all sections of the population and has taken hold. The combination of "convenience" with "home cooking" has now also been added. The "QUICK QUALITY" trend is all about this. There is a demand for time-saving comfort, which can be combined with fresh products and recipes with a tasty effect, adding value and extending a helping hand.
The Innova platform for market research has analyzed the markets of more than 70 countries for our customers from the food industry, retail and butchery trade. Interesting new product developments, food trends and innovations have been identified. We have summarized a part of the results in the RAPS trend report 2022. Use the opportunity to recognize changes of the food market at an early stage and expand and develop your product range accordingly.
RAPS is constantly monitoring all these trend topics and offers appropriate product solutions. We are pleased to answer all your questions and provide further information.
Consumers are feeling the pressure from the significant price increases we are seeing around the world, forcing people to adjust their spending habits. In its simplest form, this trend is about removing all 'product embellishments' and providing a product that is simple, affordable, and nutritious.
Affordable nutrition has been a key issue in low- and middle-income countries for years. It is now necessary to focus even more on making essential nutrition affordable, ideally without sacrificing quality.
But there are also other ways of saving costs respectively energy saving, especially since cooking is one of the most energy-intensive activities we carry out at home. Whether you find ways to reduce your electricity consumption during cooking, or even develop recipes that do not require a stove, oven or microwave when cooking, new product innovations and trends such as 'passive cooking' are emerging from the current cost of living crisis. Consumers have a clear idea of what they want from the food industry:
Plant Based Revised?
The rapid rise of the Plant-Based sector has almost inevitably encountered some obstacles that require a reorientation towards consumer demand for high-quality, flavorful products. While consumers still want improvements in taste and texture, they don't necessarily expect meat/and dairy products to be mimicked. In the VEGAN sector, two new paths are emerging on the meat-free market. One is typified by authentic, highly processed meat analogues to replicate real meat. The other celebrates the inherent variety and healthfulness of natural plant ingredients and excels at clean labeling. From the point of view of many market and trend research institutes and experts, recognizable plant-based ingredients will prevail in the end.
With the rise of global instability, it becomes important to understand which aspects of the product are most valuable to customers and where they draw the line for compromise. After two years of COVID and a supply shock we have seen this year, the food and beverage industry is currently facing many challenges, such as shortages and price increases. Therefore, consumers and brands need to consider whether they want to compromise things like environmental or ethical values when products become more expensive. Consequently, it is important to identify what the target group values and to prioritize these aspects in terms of formulation, research and development and to bring them to the fore. Consumers are looking for brands that match their core values at economical prices.
Not only our own health, but also the health of our planet is up for grabs. No wonder, then, that one tries to unpuzzle which factors are decisive to ensure and promote health in the long term. Organic food, which is perceived as more sustainable, pure and animal-friendly and healthier, meets consumers' desire to go 'back to basics'. Organic food is no longer considered traditional or old-fashioned, but is trendy. Especially the younger generations are enthusiastic consumers of organic products. Almost 21% of consumers in Europe consider food products with an organic claim to be 'clean' eating. In addition, 17% of European consumers opt for more sustainably grown/produced products (i.e. organic) if they want to take action to be more environmentally conscious in their food choices.
There are a variety of different organic certificates that want to give the consumer orientation and build trust. Especially in the organic sector, a strong escalation in the various product claims can now be observed. It's all there. From packaging claims such as 'good agricultural practices' and 'ecological footprints' to claims about 'proper traceability of ingredients'. The consumer wants to orient himself.
Of course, this is all the more true when it comes to one's own health. In addition to the listing of ingredients on product packaging and the resulting trend towards ever cleaner labels, Nutriscore labelling will play an increasingly important role in the fast and easy qualitative product evaluation by the consumer in the future.
From being known as a natural way of cultivation, now organic has a broader definition linking it now with sustainability and being environmentally friendly:
The trend toward cooking from scratch, which flourished during the pandemic, remains popular and now needs to fit into the 'back to normal' routines.
Cooking from scratch is an important method for younger groups, higher-income individuals, and couples with children to save money. However, they are not only concerned with finding an affordable way to maintain a healthy diet, but also with a high quality of food. However, since home cooking is usually associated with a greater expenditure of time, there is a need for new convenient solutions in the field of home cooking. This is where so-called meal kits come into play.
Fresh, clean 'meal kits' allow consumers to get a feel for do-it-yourself cooking, with the added benefits of 'convenience' and 'nutritional value'.
True to the motto 'Nutrition made easy through product innovations', the consumer receives a delicious recipe, clean ingredients, a tasty effect and ultimately a helping hand.
For consumers, QUICK QUALITY embodies a do-it-yourself feeling while allowing them to finish quickly (with cooking) without compromising quality.
The quality of the ingredients and the commitment to creative home cooking through the guidance of the 'Meal Kits' thus offers an enhanced experience to consumers who want to maintain or expand their culinary offerings. 'Pride' is the secret ingredient.