USA- Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a global leader in human and animal nutrition and agricultural origination and processing company, has unveiled a new report identifying four key trends reshaping consumer preferences in the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry.
These trends encompass vibrant colors, cost-effective offerings, holistic well-being, and local flavors, and they are set to drive innovation in the coming year. The report leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and insights from ADM’s flavor and color experts, amalgamating online and offline shopping habits data to draw its conclusions.
This report arrives amid growing interest among consumers for natural and free-from products that cater to those seeking a healthier lifestyle.
According to the report, consumers increasingly opt for flavors and colors that mirror their personalized desires through mouthwatering flavor choices and aesthetic hues.
Furthermore, the report suggests that taste preferences will “transcend tradition and geographic boundaries” as consumers eagerly explore new flavors and formats.
“Color trends and corresponding flavors in foods and beverages provide unique insights into the human condition, revealing how we are responding and adapting to macro forces far beyond the table,” Hélène Moeller, Vice President of Global Product Marketing for Flavors and Colors at ADM, commented.
“From focusing on well-being for themselves and the planet, compounded by concerns for affordability, the color and flavor trends we identified in this report indicate what foods and beverages consumers will reach for on product shelves,” she added.
Moeller emphasized the dynamic nature of flavor trends, which are influenced by cultural events, viral social media phenomena, and emerging consumer tastes.
Affordable and “phygital” experiences
ADM’s first trend, which centers on self-expression through food choices, sheds light on “Phygital” experiences—a fusion of the physical and digital realms—that consumers increasingly connect with.
This phenomenon is particularly evident through the embrace of viral food trends in the consumer packaged goods industry.
The report also underscores consumers’ gravitation toward bold and satisfying foods and flavors, a sentiment shared by leading flavor and fragrance company Givaudan that standout colors and diverse applications that inspire consumers are in high demand.
Cost-effectiveness is another crucial aspect, as indicated by the second trend in the report. Economic offerings that authentically recreate consumers’ cherished products are expanding beyond fashion and personal care into the F&B segment.
ADM emphasizes the importance of “brilliant color mimicry and flavor authenticity” in providing visual and taste experiences that exceed consumer expectations for natural ingredients, authentic regional cuisines, and convincing alternative formulations.
Holistic health focus
The third trend regards flavors and colors as “powerful cues” that support product positioning through consumer associations, with shoppers increasingly seeking functional foods and beverages that help holistic health.
The report also acknowledges the impact of fermentation on digestive health and views it as a pathway to overall well-being. The growth of pickling, vinegar, and kombucha is notable, with more sour notes appearing in unexpected places to provide contrast and complexity in foods and beverages.
Additionally, the rising affinity of consumers for healthy drinks like kombucha has prompted beer formulators to reinvent their beverages to meet the growing demand for no- and low-alcohol options.
According to ADM’s report, better-for-you offerings encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from relaxation to hydration and mental and physical wellness. Consumers increasingly seek these associated benefits without sacrificing the sensory experience of food, as they view such products as the “norm instead of the exception.”
The report also highlights that key ingredient players employ consumer intelligence teams, market research, and supplier partnerships to drive innovation in sodium and fat reduction, gut health, positive nutrition, and plant-based alternatives.
Hélène Moeller emphasizes the pivotal role of color in the world’s food, fashion, and content consumption. The fourth trend predicted by ADM is a focus on vibrant colors, indicating that experiences, once considered rare, are now favorites and will become commonplace in the future.