10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2017

10 Key Trends 2017 Report Cover

Which are the real GROWTH trends in food and health?

The ones that will still matter 5 years from now?

Our annual trend survey, now in its 20th year, gives you the answers.

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Recent Case Studies Key Trend 1: Digestive Wellness 2.0 If you’ve been having a gut feeling about digestive health, you are probably right. The dynamics, messages and even key categories within this benefit are undergoing a major change. read more Key Trend 2: Plant-based foods Plant-based foods are on the agenda of almost every company: 2016 was the year when plant-based foods dominated strategy, with both Danone and Coca-Cola making acquisitions that took them into the arena. read more Key Trend 3: The Sportification of food and beverage A love of sports and sporty things is nothing new – ever since our cavemen ancestors kicked the first mammoth-skin ball about we’ve been enthusiastic about physical endeavours. read more Key Trend 4: Personalization If a giant food or drink company invests $32 million in a startup focusing on personalized nutrition, then you know that “personalization” has reached its tipping point. read more Key Trend 5: Inflammation It’s a trend in which consumers are interested – but one they’re confused about. Its potential market seems very small. read more Key Trend 6: Protein Protein has a lot going for it. It is in the lucky position of being an ingredient that’s also a benefit – and if your product contains protein you don’t have to make a claim. read more Key Trend 7: Snackification Snacks, meals-for-one, small meals, snacks in place of meals, meals on the go: whatever you want to call it, snackification has taken centre-stage in consumers’ preferences and in food and beverage strategy. read more Key Trend 8: Up with Fat, Down with Sugar It’s a seismic shift that 10 years ago was unimaginable. The rehabilitation of fat represents the end of what Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard Medical School has called “the largest public health experiment in history”. read more Key Trend 9: Good carbs, bad carbs – the calm before the storm? Three or four years ago, many companies in carb-heavy categories feared a carb-apocalypse – caught between the pincers of growing consumer interest in low-carb diets, and the rise of gluten-free. read more Key Trend 10: Fragmentation & premiumisation Fragmentation is in a cast-iron feedback loop with personalization (Key Trend 4), each feeding the other and reinforcing the trend. And both trends lead, very firmly, to premiumisation. read more
Personalisation fast becoming the “new normal”

Personalisation fast becoming the “new normal”

When a giant food company invests $32 million in a startup focusing on personalized nutrition (NNB Key Trend 4), then you know that “personalization” has reached its tipping point.

The giant is Campbell, and the startup is Habit, launched by Neil Grimmer, the founder of Plum Organics, a baby food company which went from disruptive start-up to market leader.

Grimmer got his genome sequenced, his blood tested and, with the help of doctors, embarked on a customized nutrition programme. Six months later he “felt amazing,
had lost 11kg and had more energy”. Grimmer told NNB that “the genesis
for Habit was the idea of taking a very complicated system – the process I went through – and making it available to millions of Americans at a price point that will be accessible for all”.

Personalization is already a powerful and well-established trend and entrepreneurs like Grimmer are taking it to a whole new level.

Personalisation is about consumers “taking back control”. They want to feel more empowered and confident to create their own healthy eating patterns. It goes hand-in-hand with growing awareness that diet is a personal matter – and it’s another stage in the long slow death of “one size fits all” dietary recommendations.

Fragmentation (Key Trend 10) is in a cast-iron feedback loop with personalization, each feeding the other and reinforcing the trend. And both trends lead, very firmly, to premiumisation.

The key point for all companies is this: it is becoming increasingly difficult to create mass brands in the way we understood them in the past. If your company’s strategy is based on building high-volume business at mass- market prices, then you might have the wrong strategy. The future is a series of premium-priced niches.

The emergence of these trends has been clear for a long time, as we said back in 2003:

“What few would have suspected five years ago is that consumers’ lifestyle needs increasingly connect to the idea of products for individual consumption.

“This conjoins with the increasing fragmentation of consumers’ perceptions of what is healthy.

“Personalisation will be a science-based extension of the current trend, which is based on consumer experimentation and media information. What does this mean for brands? Such personalisation could simply reinforce the trend towards a market made up of a proliferation of niche health-enhancing products.”


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Julian Mellentin

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