‘Storytelling: Winning with Words’ leads the list of trends for 2020, with consumers increasingly interested in discovering the stories behind their food. When it comes to sweets and snacks, value can be found not only in ingredient provenance but also in small batch or artisanal production and even in a celebration of different cultures.
‘The Plant-Based Revolution’ is a significant movement rooted in demands for more natural, healthy and eco-friendly products. Two-thirds of global consumers say that they specifically want to avoid products with ingredients that are difficult to understand (Innova Consumer Survey 2019). As a result, more recognizable ingredients from the natural world are very much in favour in snacks development. Vegan products are also extending their reach, while snack bars remain important carriers for all kinds of healthy plant-based ingredients.
Between 2018 and 2019, the number of global consumers who said that they expect companies to invest in sustainability increased from 65% to 87% (Innova Consumer Survey 2019). Therefore, it is clear that ‘The Sustain Domain’ is another very strong trend. The sweets and snacks market is tackling this issue in various ways. In Japan, for example, paper wrappers are replacing plastic on Kit Kat chocolate bars, while the food waste issue is also being addressed, with less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables appearing as ingredients in healthy sweets and snacks.
Consumers are increasingly looking for ‘The Right Bite’ as they try to balance their busy lives with staying healthy. Snacking is a crucial part of this as snacks can deliver useful nutrition when there is no time for a proper sit-down meal. One area that is expected to become more important is mood food, with active ingredients in snacks helping consumers to relax, improve their sleep or alternatively feel more energized to face the day. At the same time, sweeter, indulgent treats can deliver comfort in a stressful world.
The fifth key trend for this year is ‘Tapping into Texture’ and again this is particularly relevant to sweets and snacks as texture can be an important tool in delivering novelty. Seven in ten global consumers think that texture gives food a more interesting experience and this is particularly evident in younger age groups (Innova Consumer Survey 2019). A total of 56% of those aged 26-35 say that they care more about the texture experience than they do about the ingredient list, compared with only 37% of over-55s, so textural twists can be a useful tool when targeting the young.
On 22 January, Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, will host a webinar reviewing the top ten trends and how they are impacting on the sweets and snacks industry.