Ageing, urbanisation and migration continue to be major factors shaping global population. The number of seniors around the world is expected to grow and with it the focus on wellness and health to increase. Meanwhile, rapid urbanisation and intensifying international migration is expected to have long-term implications for socioeconomic development across the globe.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show took place in Chicago from 21-24 May 2022. As the foodservice industry recovers from the challenges of the pandemic, companies are focused on innovation to drive business. The show hosted attendees from around the world and featured the latest developments in food, drinks, packaging, and technology for the restaurant industry. Euromonitor International analysts attending the show observed several key trends driving innovation.
Plant-based meat could become a real future snack staple in the US. Demand is being fuelled by millennials and Generation Z, who want high protein, low carb, on-the-go snacks. Plant-based jerky ticks the same convenience and nutritional boxes as meat jerky, while avoiding associated health risks. Customers browsing the jerky aisle for sustainable snacks could become regular purchasers of plant-based options.
Consumers became more aware of their eating habit during the pandemic. Staying at home resulted in people having more indulgent snacks with higher fat, sugar and carbohydrate content, whilst being less active. This forced some to think about permissible factors to find balance in their chosen diet.
During the pandemic conventional dietary habits were challenged, and daily use products were reconsidered. Consumers’ expectations of gaining some health-boosting benefits from food increased, as it appeared that immunity, obesity and other underlying health factors could be key when faced with COVID-19.
As the pandemic has impacted our lives, so it has impacted our food choices. Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to shape our environment, accelerating and consolidating emergent trends into longer term probabilities. The pre-pandemic "normal" for eating out is unlikely to return for some years to come, and three in four food industry professionals think that health and wellness will remain a paramount concern through to 2025.
Working-from-home is likely to remain a lasting trend, which companies need to address. For food, this primarily means that more lunches are being eaten at home. Consumers will have less need for lunch restaurants and more need for ready meals, time-saving cooking solutions, home delivery of meals and retail food for cooking.