Sustainability, Health & Wellness, and Convenience to Reshape the Food & Beverage Industry in 2019

New trends in sustainability, health and wellness, and convenience will drive formulation, packaging, marketing, and more in the food and drink industry this new year and beyond, according to Mintel.

In its new Global Food and Drink Trends 2019 report, the market intelligence agency outlines three forward-looking trends – Evergreen Consumption, Through the Ages, and Elevated Convenience – which will lead the momentum of global food and drink innovation, and explains what these trends mean for the industry and consumers.

Evergreen Consumption

In the report, it notes that there will be a more circular view of what sustainability means. The definition of sustainability will extend to encompass the entire product lifecycle from suppliers to consumers.

According to Jenny Zegler, Associate Director of Mintel Food & Drink, “In 2019, support of and demand for more corporate sustainability programmes will grow as consumers better understand what’s required to get closer to achieving a truly circular food and drink economy.”

This approach will require companies, retailers, and consumers to embrace their roles in the sustainable sourcing, production, distribution, consumption and disposal of products, outlined Mintel.

There will also be a “seismic shift in how consumers think about plastic” as awareness on the damage that plastic waste brings about to the environment increases. As a result, it is predicted that coalitions, governments, manufacturers and packaging industry councils will continue to make commitments to improve the circularity of packaging materials and the recycling, reuse or compositing of food and drink packaging.

In line with this, the report also highlights that bio-based packaging materials will be key components to responsible packaging, referencing Australian retailer, Coles, as an example which already uses a recyclable bio-based layered polyethylene terephthalate for its private label meat and poultry.

Zegler adds, “These sustainability efforts will include not only improving access to recycling, but creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance to regenerative agriculture practices.”

Regenerative agriculture is designed to improve soil health and fertility, as well as increase biodiversity, enhance ecosystems, improve water quality, reverse climate change and empower farming communities.

Through the Ages

With the proportion of the global population aged 60 and above continuing to grow, more consumers are taking an active interest in long-term health and wellness, according to Mintel analysts in the report.

As such, we can expect to see more food and drink formulations be developed for people to efficiently consume vitamins, minerals and other supplements like choline and omega-3 that are potentially beneficial for bone, joint, immune system and brain health.

Mintel also foresees a rise in the use of ingredients like ginger, turmeric, green tea extract and medicinal mushrooms as consumers seek food and drink products that reduce inflammation.

Additionally, the report notes that food and drink manufacturers can also draw on emerging research into nutrition and longevity, as well as traditional medicine practices such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, to develop products catered to an ageing population.

“Expect to also see food and drink manufacturers look to the beauty and personal care industry for inspiration for healthy ageing product development. More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns, be marketed with positive language that rejects terms like ‘anti-ageing’ for its negative connotations, and appeal across ages,” notes Zegler.

In fact, according to the report, there has already been a crossover between the beauty and personal care, and food and drink industries, with similar functional ingredients being used in products in both categories. For example, South Korea’s Yakult Beauty Plus+ Drinking Yogurt for Your Skin is formulated with five ingredients believed to contribute to skin beauty including collagen and vitamin C.

Elevated Convenience

Mintel further expects an upgrade in the types of convenience food and drink available in response to the premium expectations of consumers in today’s on-demand environment.

This premium preferences from consumers are advancing the demand for more natural, nutritious, or customisable products that help people keep pace with busy schedules without sacrificing their health goals or curiosity for new ingredients, flavours, or formats.

“We predict the rising segment of consumers who are often on-the-go, yet want to spend more time at home will increase demand for upscale, ‘speed scratch’ solutions and restaurant-quality, ready-to-consume products.

“As meal kits and foodservice-inspired beverages lead the way, there will also be more opportunities for brands to develop healthy, flavourful, customisable, and quick premium convenience products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert occasions,” says Zegler.

Technological advancements will also increase consumers’ expectations of convenient food and drinks options, especially when they currently have a range of on-demand options in other parts of their lives.

The report highlights that more smart mobile, home appliance, and retail solutions will help to further streamline the planning, shopping and preparation processes of food and drinks to help consumers save time without compromising on quality.

For example, automated convenience stores, such as Amazon Go in the United States or JD.ID X-mart in Indonesia use mobile apps and cameras that virtually track purchases without the need to queue for checkout, making the retail experience nearly as fast and as seamless as fast food, drive through, or ordering for delivery.

Download the full report at

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