Welcome the new year with exciting developments in the industry: The year 2021 is dominated by the megatrends health, wellness, mindfulness and the great experience through taste. With emerging sub-trends and their counter-trends, they set the tone for new product concepts. And: As Pantone Color Of The Year, two shades were chosen this year. Here you can find out everything you need to know about the most important trends that AUSTRIA JUICE interpreted in cooperation with AGRANA for the food and beverage market in 2021.
With seasonal forecasts regarding color trends, applied color psychology and individual color advice, the Pantone Color Institute helps global brand owners to benefit from the power, psychology and emotional world of colors in their design strategy - and the new year 2021 is determined by two in a duo: “Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray "and" Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating "- they will shape the marketing and design lines across all industries worldwide in the next twelve months!
Power colors after the crisis year
Why now two and these shades? After the color "Classic Blue", which was selected last year for its calming effect by the Pantone trend experts of the Pantone Color Institute, the new trend colors for 2021, after the year of the Corona crisis, are primarily based on their psychological effect: The bright yellow is the color of the sun and spontaneously radiates optimism, joy and vitality. In addition, the soft, neutral gray strengthens the now so important feelings of serenity, stability and resilience. Together, yellow and gray are a strong duo: They stand for inner strength and confidence, and we will need both in the post-corona year - depending on how the new year will develop.
Yellow citrus and exotic fruits are coming
Tip: Now integrate these colors into your packaging design or express them in the products themselves. For the color "Illuminating" this year there are exciting worlds of flavors with citrus fruits and exotic notes. Yuzu is becoming more and more popular as a refreshing, fruity citrus alternative and will in future also increase its popularity in Europe. In times of increased health awareness, ginger is experiencing a permanent high and pineapple, honeydew melon, mango and passion fruit satisfy the wanderlust of many people, which has probably become stronger, during travel restrictions.
After Corona the following applies more than ever: drinks and food that satisfy the need for well-being are still at the top of the consumers hit list. It is hardly surprising that the pandemic continues to contribute in different ways to the fact that “Active Nutrition” continues to increase!
The big topic of "Body Resistance" plays a decisive role. Out of this movement, new beverage and food concepts, which take a role on the supporting function of nutrition in order to cope with the various challenges of everyday life that different age groups face in the best possible way.
Body Resistance focuses on products that, thanks to their ingredients, can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Holistic product solutions with long-term benefits in terms of supporting physical, mental and emotional health are on the rise - for example through less sugar and based on pleasant mixtures, for example with tea.
After Corona at the latest, there is no longer any doubt that the stress level for many people is consistently very high, and so the stress level has soared even further in the past year due to new challenges and fears.
As a logical consequence, this opens new potential both for supporting well-being and for strengthening cognitive and mental health. The Mind & Mood trend includes relaxation drinks and mixtures made from ingredients such as adaptogens, CBD and L-theanine as well as botanicals: They are all supposed to have a calming effect on the body and mind.
Since everyone has different requirements and needs, product design is now becoming increasingly individual. In the Smart & Personalized movement, more and more relevant data is being measured and recorded. In the first step, the results show the personal, biological improvement potential. In the second step, based on this data, they make it possible to provide tailor-made foods and beverages that are individually tailored to the needs of the consumer with new, functional ingredients.
By the way, “smart” also means actively avoiding high-calorie and alcohol-containing products - which studies show that this is of great interest, especially among younger generations. This automatically opens new possibilities for non-alcoholic alternatives with a good taste!
The hype of showing food and drink on social media and inspiring others to imitate unusual creations will be carried through the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in 2021.
The following sub-trends emerge:
The Artsy & DIY movements embody the desire of consumers to prepare their own dishes and drinks. This increases the demand for food and beverage components such as syrups, juices, flavor drops and mixers, which are both visually and tastefully suitable for exciting own creations.
Culinary experiences can also be achieved through Foodpairing & Fusion. Meals can merge into a single taste symphony with perfectly matched drinks. Especially in the non-alcoholic area, premium tea creations or mocktails, from fruity to floral to sour and spicy, offer new possibilities to complement exquisite dishes with the perfect non-alcoholic beverage accompaniment.
More and more consumers are specifically looking for products that they can take with them on a sensory journey - on the one hand to satisfy their wanderlust, on the other hand to enjoyable escape from everyday life and treat themselves to a culinary break.
RTD premium cocktails and drinks, some of which have exotic ingredients and flavors, make these exciting taste holidays possible in the middle of everyday life. Color and texture also play an important role in the overall experience, as they realize the comprehensive sensory experience.
In connection with the Pantone color “Illuminating”, notes such as yellow passion fruit, honeydew melon, yellow chilli and the new trend fruit jackfruit are suitable in the beverage sector. In addition to citrus fruits, the exotic “yellow” classics also include the flavors of mango, pineapple and banana.
Nostalgic flavors, reminiscent of favorite products from childhood or seasonal customs in the family, make magical moments of retreat in the middle of modern everyday life suddenly come true. They allow you to spontaneously indulge in memories from childhood. Nostalgic homemade products from grandmother's time, together with innovative flavors, make particularly emotional taste experiences come true! In keeping with the movement towards regionality and locality, local, traditional fruits in pretty yellow tones based on "Illuminating" such as mirabelle or quince are certainly also among the high potentials among the fruit juice climbers in the new year.
Trend 3: Mindful Consumption
The beverage trends go far beyond the product itself. Responsible consumers are increasingly calling on companies to put ecological and social responsibility at the forefront of their corporate strategy. The following sub-trends can be identified:
The ethics movement aims to transform economic interests into holistic initiatives that include the social and ecological effects of production on an equal footing. Procedures that are still legal but morally reprehensible are no longer tolerated by the masses for ethical reasons.
Measures such as minimum prices and stricter social standards in production are increasingly becoming a must-have in the product range of brands and supermarkets.
Of course, plant-based will play a crucial role in conscious consumption in the near future. The younger generation of consumers in particular is increasingly becoming vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians. While vegetarians and vegans actually only make up a small percentage of the population despite their high social media presence, the flexitarians movement has better chances of penetrating the mainstream. As a result, she will also continue to advance the vegetable market. The lifestyle of eating meat once and not, thanks to its diverse diet, promotes the possibility of strengthening food management and regenerative agriculture. It is based on biological diversity.
From the consumer's point of view, a holistic approach should be at the core of the company's efforts. The regenerative model of resource use, in which material flows are closed in cycles and waste itself becomes a resource, is currently on the advance. The demand for zero waste and recycling is increasing, and the implementation of this will increasingly have an impact on the purchasing decisions of critical consumers in the future. Seasonal and regional products with short distances and natural cultivation methods can help to strive for climate neutrality and even climate negativity. The progressive merging of nature and technology should also make its contribution in the future.
Trend 4: Premium by Nature: Quality from nature
Naturalness as a quality feature and driver of premium products is on the way from trend to mainstream. The trends in this area are diverse.
The Clean, Clear & True sub-trend focuses on “real” foods that include both fresh and pure and lightly processed products. Highly processed products are excluded from the true food trend. The motto is: quality over quantity!
At the same time, processed foods and beverages with natural ingredients and the shortest possible ingredient lists are popular. The following applies to everyone: Comprehensive transparency is the key to gaining and maintaining consumer confidence in products in the long term.
Increased growth in local foods is also expected in 2021. In addition to their regional origin, consumers particularly value the social and qualitative characteristics of these products, which are often associated with organic foods. They also play a role in storytelling in the context of product marketing on social media and other channels.
The rediscovery of old and less common varieties fits in perfectly with the rise of the “local” trend. Originally exotic plants can now also be grown locally. It is quite possible that even urban farming will strengthen the “local” trend in the future!
This subtrend deals with the increasing use of herbs and plant substances as well as valuable ingredients that have already become more popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. In addition to ginger, turmeric and ashwagandha, other plant components also find their way into beverages and food recipes. These serve the interests of consumers in natural alternatives that can support their well-being through nutrition!
The year 2021 is marked by hope, confidence and more awareness on all levels. Above all, health, sustainability, ethics and naturalness in the sense of "back to nature" are the focus in the new year. The Pantone Color Institute has chosen two colors for the "Colors Of The Year" in 2021: "Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray" and "Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating" stand for strength and confidence after the crisis year and will be in the next twelve months shape the marketing and design lines across all industries worldwide.
Well then: To a positive, outstanding 2021!
AGRANA 2021 Consumer Trends
Food Report 2021, Hanni Rützler
Director of Marketing & Communication