A report which explores changing trends in the prepared meals sector shows the increasing diversity in consumer diet habits and the ways in which the market is responding.
The ‘Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017’ outlines the key consumer and innovation changing trends which are currently impacting core categories in prepared food.
The report found there to be a gradual shift occurring in response to health trends, and identified some key trends impacting innovation in prepared foods. One of these was the need to go meat-free due to the rising veganism and awareness of the impact that eating meat can have which is driving demand for meat-free, alternative products. Another is the desire to eat ethically, with consumers connecting ethical and sustainable lifestyles with wellbeing and wellness, which is creating demand for more ethically-produced foods.
The report considers the potential for more ethical, sustainable approaches to meat production stating: “With meat consumption being continually blamed for negative effects on the environment, lab-grown meat may make its way into the mass market to combat these concerns.
“A group of social-savvy tech teams are promising cruelty-free cultured ‘chicken’ will be available by 2022.
“Consumers perceive an ethical and sustainable lifestyle to be an important part of their wellbeing and wellness, and prepared foods aligning with ethical and sustainable issues will appeal to many consumers.”
Changing consumer trends are shown to be happening across the world. In Germany, 44% of consumers follow a low-meat diet, increasing significantly from 2014 where just 26% of people considered themselves on a low-meat diet. In the US, 6% of consumers now claim to be vegan, a huge rise from the 1% of vegan consumers recorded in 2014. Additionally, vegetables are the most frequently consumed food globally, with a quarter of global consumers eating them at least once a week.
This is not the first report to predict big things for the plant-based packaged food industry, after another last year, claimed the sector could grow by 10% (CAGR) by 2020.