CHICAGO — Plant-based lifestyles, clean and transparent sourcing, and sustainable goodness are among the eight trends ADM sees fueling current and future global growth.
Drawing on research from its Outside Voice consumer insights platform, the company’s top trends for 2022 point the way for ADM’s innovation, renovation and development platforms, the company said. Many of the trends are being shaped by the coronavirus pandemic that has lingered for the past 18 months.
“Consumers today continue to navigate a tumultuous environment that has uprooted every aspect of their lives,” said Brad Schwan, vice president of category marketing at ADM. “This has led forward-thinking brands to develop new solutions purpose-built to help consumers establish a sense of normality for themselves, their families and their pets. We’re seeing everything from foods, feeds and beverages that promote gut health to plant-based meat and dairy alternatives to biodegradable packaging.”
Heading into the new year ADM said it expects consumers to be more proactive about supporting their mind and body through a balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. The coronavirus pandemic has placed renewed interest on mental well-being, and ADM said it expects more consumers to seek effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Thirty-seven percent of global consumers expect the snacks they eat to improve their mental well-being, according to ADM’s Outside Voice research.
Another continuing trend is the shift toward plant-based lifestyles. ADM’s research shows a flexitarian approach to eating has become mainstream as consumers look to functional, wholesome, plant-based nutrition to support healthy, environmentally friendlier lifestyles. Alternative proteins are likely to account for 11% of the total protein market in 2035, ADM said, driven primarily by COVID-19, which has accelerated interest in plant-based as a health-forward alternative for consumers who are paying attention to their body’s nutritional needs.
Third, consumers are seeking foods, beverages and supplements that support gut health and overall well-being. As a result, ADM said awareness of the microbiome as central to wellness has grown over time. Data from ADM Outside Voice indicates that 58% of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits that bacteria in the digestive system can have on their overall health.
Clean label has been trending for several years and ADM said it expects clean and transparent sourcing to remain a key trend heading into 2022. Most recently, consumers have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to place an increased emphasis on learning where their food comes from and trying to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their families, their pets and their communities. ADM said 58% of global consumers say they will be more attentive to locality claims as a result of COVID-19.
The humanization of pets has taken on greater significance and will continue to shape trends next year, ADM said. In fact, many consumers are transposing their purchasing values and preferences onto their pets. ADM Outside Voice found that 30% of global pet owners spent a significant amount of time researching the best food options in the last year.
Precise and responsible animal feeding, and the interconnectedness of the animal product supply chain is another trend top of mind for today’s consumers, according to ADM. ADM said companies are taking steps to provide digital documentation explaining how animals are raised, particularly related to its consumption of antibiotics and/or growth hormones. Nearly half (49%) of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products with high quality assurances and verifiable safety standards, ADM noted.
A seventh emerging trend is sustainable goodness. With nearly half of global consumers now more attentive to sustainability claims there has been a surge in demand for ethical production and sustainable sourcing practices — such as regenerative agriculture and carbon negative production to protect the food supply of the future, ADM said. Brands are responding by taking positions on environmental matters, aiming to reflect their commitments to increasing the sustainability of their production and distribution systems.
Finally, the importance of advanced renewables and biosolutions is coming to the forefront. ADM noted research showing 38% of global consumers are now willing to pay more for products made with sustainable materials. Additionally, conscientious consumers are paying close attention to seeking food, personal care and home care products that support the needs of their families, the environment and their local communities.