Clean, clear, connected and imperfect: Ingredion’s food trend predictions
Transparency, trust and technology are the key themes to emerge in Ingredion’s new report into the future of clean and simple food.
Mobile technology and social media will increasingly facilitate consumer access to wide-ranging food related information. From farming and production methods to ingredient sourcing and product composition, technology will drive transparency and build trust between manufacturer and consumer.
2020: The Future of Simple, Natural and Clean Label Food draws together the views of industry experts including regulatory consultants, ingredient suppliers and food futurologist, Dr Morgaine Gaye.
It looks at how the clean and simple landscape could develop and the level of impact on the food sector. The future of four current food industry trends are explored in the report: clean label, natural, free-from and organic.
Gaye, food futurologist, comments: “The demand for clean and simple foods is informed by wider macro trends such as imperfection and disruption, and the shift at a societal level away from the perfect.
“This means producers will be less pressured to make uniform products, while the word natural will come into its true manifestation of unfiltered and not homogenous.
“At a micro level, the trend towards quieter, simpler labels will continue. Consumers are jaded about the back stories crammed onto labels and often don’t believe them.
“Mobile technology will make it easier for information to be taken off-label and on-line, yet still accessible at the point of purchase. This will also drive transparency, trust and a better understanding of the relationship between production, ingredients and manufacturing by consumers.”
Alongside clean and simple, the rapid rise of the ‘free-from market’ is expected to continue and as choice and quality of products increases, it will become established as the norm among consumers. Complementing free-from will be an increase in positive messaging.
Charlotte Commarmond, European Marketing Director, Ingredion, explains: “The range and quality of products that are free from allergens will improve as ingredient replacement, formulation and manufacturing techniques become more sophisticated. As such, the perception that these products compromise on quality, will disappear.
“We believe there will be further interest in foods that deliver an added function and lifestyle benefit, including supplementary vitamins, fibre and protein. Technology will play a key role in this with, for example, improved diagnostics enabling a move towards more personalised nutrition for the consumer.
“We also expect to see new ingredient functionalities emerging, such as fermentation. Consumers are familiar with these natural processes and therefore they can be a positive way to build trust and transparency between manufacturer and consumer.
“Overall, natural will continue to exist as an important positioning but will evolve as part of a wider drive towards authenticity and realness. This demand for the ‘real’ will be supported by the Millennials coming of age and wanting home-style food using sustainably produced and recognisable ingredients.”
Findings in the report include:
- Ease of access to information on food production and ingredients will bring greater transparency and create more trust between manufacturers and consumers
- Technology, particularly mobile and social media, will be a key driver in label simplification
- Labels will be quieter with less ‘story’ and more inference as information increasingly shifts online
- Sustainability, seasonal and local will overtake organic to become the consumer drivers of choice
- Personalised nutrition begins to emerge as technology drives diagnostic advances
- Minimal processing will continue with the emphasis on recognisable ingredients and making the most of what is available in its unmodified state
2020: The Future of Simple, Natural and Clean Label Food: download a copy of the report here.
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