6 Shopper Insights |
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Shoppers seeking bold, ethnic flavors, continued interest in plant-based protein, and food and ingredient alternatives are expected to impact the candy and snack markets in 2019.Market research companies and industry analysts highlights six consumer trends to watch in the new year.


Adventurous Consumers Shoppers are exploring bolder flavors and multisensory food experiences and CPG companies are increasingly working to meet those demands. Innova Market Insights anticipates even more focus being placed on heightened sensory delivery, often combined with unexpected elements.“Consumers want to be ‘wowed’ when it comes to the food they’re eating, so I think we’ll see companies push the envelope when it comes to incorporating inventive new ingredients, such as gochujang, a Korean siracha,” adds Melissa Trimmer, corporate chef and senior manager for cookie brand Otis Spunkmeyer.


More Alternatives Shoppers are focusing more on health and sustainability, bringing more attention to replacement foods and ingredients, Innova reports. In fact, health is the number one reason consumers buy alternatives to bread, meat or dairy, according to Innova. For instance, the search for alternative proteins has raised the stock for black beans, lentils, chickpeas and even insects as viable alternatives.


Greener On The Other Side Going hand-in-hand with the alternatives trend, consumers’ expectations for sustainability across supply chains, whether ingredients or packaging, is causing manufacturers to search out solutions through initiatives ranging from water reduction plans, upcycling ingredients and making post-consumer recycling easier, according to Innova.


Snacking Is An Occasion Snacking is part of life for modern consumers, turning it from an option to a definite occasion, Innova reports. As a result, it has become a central focus of innovation across categories, as during the past five years there has been 10 percent average annual growth for product launches making snacking claims.


Plant-Based Mainstream consumers are showing continued interest in adding more plant-based options to their diets. However, for most shoppers the goal is to strike a balance between meat and vegetable consumption as opposed to adopting an all-or-nothing approach. Sterling Rice Group notes shoppers are showing interest in unique vegetables such as cassava, Japanese yams, parsnips and jicama.


The Where Factor Ingredient sourcing will continue to trend this year — as consumers want to know more about where ingredients come from, according to Otis Spunkmeyer. Highlighting this trend, the commercial baker uses wild blueberries in its muffins, Madagascar vanilla and chocolate sourced from Barry Callebaut, which “are clearly labeled on the packaging and something we’ve found has resonated well with consumers,” Trimmer says.