AMERSFOORT, THE NETHERLANDS — Planet-first nutrition and active aging are among the trends FrieslandCampina Ingredients sees driving the food, beverage and supplements industries in the year ahead.
The ingredient supplier’s third annual consumer trends magazine, titled “Shaping the future of nutrition,” offers insights into current consumer drivers to help brands identify new areas for innovation and new product development in the adult nutrition sector.
The first trend identified by the company is “building trust for planet-first nutrition.” The health of the planet has cemented itself as a top priority, outranking the health of the population for the first time in 2022, according to the magazine. While concern for the planet is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical. FrieslandCampina Ingredients cited data from Mintel and Compare Ethics that show nearly 40% of consumers do not expect companies to be honest about their environmental impact, and 83% are more likely to trust sustainability claims that are verified by a third party.
“To truly stand out from the crowd, brands will need to bolster trust and credibility to win the faith of consumers, especially when it comes to sustainability,” said Vicky Davies, global marketing director for Performance, Active and Medical Nutrition at FrieslandCampina Ingredients.
The second trend centers around “resilience and the power of positive nutrition.” As the world adjusts to post-COVID life and a global cost of living crisis, people are dealing with stress by seeking out a sense of balance to build resilience, according to the company. Consumers are turning to positive nutrition, which means they’re adding more beneficial food and beverages instead of removing less nutritious products. As a result, they’re looking for solutions that offer healthy indulgence. FrieslandCampina Ingredients predicted fortified and nutritious desserts, drinks and snacks that satisfy both the body and the mind will be high on the consumer agenda in 2023.
The year ahead also will see alternative proteins “finding their own feet,” according to the company. With plant-based becoming more mainstream, consumers increasingly expect high quality and highly nutritious products that go beyond replicating animal-based applications. Precision fermentation and other emerging technologies are creating new opportunities for brands, but mastering texture and taste remains crucial. FrieslandCampina Ingredients expects the protein market will continue evolving in 2023 and beyond, with food and beverage makers combining animal, plant-based and novel proteins to feed the growing global population and keep up with consumer lifestyles.
The fourth trend is “going for gut health.” It taps into the growing consumer awareness of the gut microbiome’s role in supporting mental health, stress reduction, sleep and more. Brands have an opportunity to attract consumer attention by creating accessible self-care moments. The company predicted ingredient innovations will allow for the creation of unique and trending formats, like teas, shots and fortified gummies featuring gut-friendly ingredients such as prebiotics.
The fifth trend focuses on “the era of active aging.” The world is home to a growing number of older individuals, prompting a shift in emphasis from “healthy aging” to “active ageng,” according to the company. The trend offers opportunities for brands to create solutions that target emerging markets like Japan and South Korea with products that support mobility, balance and long-term strength.
“We’re living in tumultuous times,” Davies said. “So, it can be difficult to predict exactly what the future will hold. However, what’s clear is that in 2023 consumers will continue to prioritize health — both their own and that of the planet. Despite several market challenges, there is huge opportunity for brands to tap into these evolving trends.”