Estimated time - 4 min

Actif’s Magazine highlights several major food consumption trends, underscoring the need to adjust the food supply to meet ever evolving consumer expectations. The current era of crisis (health, climate, conflict in Ukraine, inflation) has revealed our food system limits, prompting a necessary change. Consumers’ new aspirations are shaped by these events, and the food industry is seeking to adapt to meet these expectations. 

Actif’s Magazine asked Vincent Lafaye, Foodinnov Managing Director, and Xavier Terlet, Senior Advisor at ProtéinesXTC, to share their perspectives and points of view. 

What major food trends are emerging? 

  • Pleasure foods : During difficult times, food becomes a safe haven and a small daily pleasures source for many consumers. Product launches reveal a predominance of pleasure, with innovations focused on satisfying taste experiences.

  • Reduced prices : the inflation has led to an increased demand for affordable prices. Consumers are no longer willing to pay more for products that are environmentally friendly or beneficial to health. They take these added values for granted. Some brands are responding to this demand by offering basic products that are simple and less expensive.

  • Simplicity and naturalness : Consumers are looking for a simpler, more natural food offering. Product communication must be understandable for the general public, with recognisable natural ingredients. The reduction of additives and the search for natural alternatives open up new opportunities for ingredient manufacturers.

  • More plant-based : Although plant-based food is a major trend, the market for plant-based proteins has yet to explode. Flexitarians, seeking to reduce their meat consumption, are an important target. Legumes and hybrid blends of animal and plant proteins are gaining in popularity.

  • Personalised offer : The food offering personalisation is quietly emerging. This is particularly true for senior citizens’ diets, with products adapted to their specific needs. Personalisation is a promising trend, and one that can draw inspiration from dietary supplements.

  • Nutritional balance: The nutritional composition of food products is increasingly scrutinised, influenced by rating applications and the Nutri-Score®. Reformulations are made to improve the nutritional balance of products.

  • Immunity Promise : The promise to improve immunity is a major trend, escalated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Product launches based on this promise have increased significantly.

  • Sustainable Production through Fermentation : Fermentation is emerging as a solution for producing high nutritional quality foods, in a sustainable way. Fermentation also improves the taste and digestibility of plant proteins. “Precision” fermentation also addresses the ethical concerns surrounding products derived from animal exploitation.