ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS — Quick quality and digital connections are some of Innova’s key trends for 2023.
The market research firm’s top trend for the upcoming year is redefining value, followed by trends such as affordable nutrition, increased Gen Z and millennial market share, plant-based foods and improved farming technologies.
The No. 6 trend for 2023, quick quality, builds on the existing demand for convenient foods by placing a greater emphasis on nutrition. Roughly 66% of consumers globally said they are looking for simple and convenient ways to meet their daily nutritional requirements, according to Innova, and consumers now rank health aspects as a more important factor than convenience when deciding between meal kits.
“Convenience is a little bit less important and that’s really maybe the difference,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of global insights. “Now consumers seem a bit more willing to participate in the cooking.”
Ms. Williams said that convenient, healthy foods can also address the growing movement away from short-term diets into lifestyles focused on keto, paleo, etc.
Connecting consumers with digital experiences for food and beverage products was Innova’s No. 7 trend. The growing digital connection is particularly appealing to younger groups, with 30% of consumers aged 18 to 34 saying they were curious about functional or entertaining digital experiences.
Companies already have begun exploring the space, with Gatorade launching a branded bottle that connects with a phone application to track hydration goals. Ms. Williams said companies can also leverage these experiences to address wider issues, pointing toward Doritos including scannable codes for mental health services on some of its packaging in Australia.
While consumers are spending more on food and beverages following two years of the pandemic, they also are looking to save money amid inflation-driven prices. Balancing these two behaviors represents a unique opportunity to capitalize on “revenge spending,” Innova’s No. 8 trend.
Products with limited-edition claims are the primary avenue to capture this spending, with limited-edition products growing 30% annually over the last three years, according to Innova. Additionally, 60% of consumers that say their financial situation has worsened said they would make a one-time impulse purchase for products with innovation flavors or tastes.
“We saw that Gen Z are interested in flavors, it’s a big purchase driver,” Ms. Williams said.
Innova’s No. 9 trend focuses on how consumers engage with health and nutritional information about products, particularly through on-pack messaging claims, ingredient lists and nutrition labels. Clear communication and standardized criteria can help companies capitalize on the nearly 70% year-over-year growth for products launched with a regulated nutritional warning label.
In the same vein, transparent messaging, particularly about sustainability, is Innova’s final trend for 2023. The firm’s survey found 60% of consumers said their trust in a brand increased when the brand clearly communicated challenges the product was facing, and 62% of consumers felt more involved in a brand’s sustainability efforts when challenges were communicated.
“The whole idea of being involved in a brand’s journey is very important,” Ms. Williams said. “I think it’s not a bad idea to figure out how to do it and how you communicate that.”