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The top trends 2022
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The trends towards indulgence, health and sustainability continue to merge, and mental well-being is increasingly coming into focus. Here are the most important food and beverage trends that will accompany us in 2022.

Post Covid & Mindful Consumption

The pandemic, economic upheaval and global events of the last two years have changed consumer behaviours, attitudes and values. This transformation is also expressed by the current Pantone colour of the year 2022 "Very Peri", a purple shade that will accompany us across all industries as a trend colour. Mintel identifies seven drivers of the current evolution: wellbeing, experiences/stimulation, rights, technology, identity, values and environment.

According to Covid, more than ever, beverages and foods that satisfy the need for well-being, health and sustainability are at the centre of consumer interest. Products with potentially stress-relieving ingredients  and so-called botanicals will continue to gain popularity in the coming years, trend researchers predict.
Sources: Mintel Consumer Trend In Control; FMCG Gurus: Peace of Mind & Reality resumes

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Active Nutrition & Functional Drinks

In addition to hunger - and especially thirst - for pleasure and new experiences, consumers are paying close attention to their health. Foods and ingredients related to a strong immune system continue to be in high demand.

Consumers around the world are not only looking for healthy free-from drinks, but also for drinks that actively promote their health. Today, they want holistic solutions that help them change their lifestyle in all areas of life. The ingredients in food and drinks should be natural and preferably organic, the production sustainable, the taste unique and the effect on the body or psyche targeted and comprehensible. According to these trends AUSTRIA JUICE developed a great variety of beverage solutions for diverse applications and industries.

Food expert Hanni Rützler writes about this in her Food Report 2022: "The (forced) shift of eating into one's own four walls has led to a more conscious examination of the topics of purchasing, storage, preservation and disposal. The focus of many people is now even more on health and sustainability, and regionality is also becoming even more important." Committed producers, retailers and restaurateurs have also responded to this. So the motto is: "Good Food, Good Mood"!
Sources: Hanni Rützler: Food Report 2022; "3 Beverage Trends for the Year 2022", Mintel

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Taste Experiences

Having survived all the lockdowns, consumers are eager to break out of their limitations and have new experiences - both virtually and in the real world. So over the next twelve months, the search for joy will take centre stage. The next 18 to 24 months will be about sustaining joy, and the following five years will be more about finding happiness more within themselves - through mindfulness, for example - than through external events.

Today, for example, 88 per cent of Polish consumers say they seek joy in all aspects of everyday life. 24 per cent of UK consumers say they escape reality through video games and 42 per cent of French consumers say they enjoy generating pleasure through beauty and personal care products.

In addition, taste experiences are another key success factor for beverages and juices. "Taste Experience" is a current megatrend that is impressively shaping the beverage industry. It is about taking the consumer on an adventure triggered by sensory, visual and tactile experiences. Unusual, spicy or exotic flavour combinations ensure exciting taste experiences, especially in times of Covid-19 with its travel restrictions. The possibilities of fruit and vegetable juices are therefore diverse - in terms of taste and concept.

According to FMCG gurus, 80 percent of global consumers who are interested in new and exotic tastes like fiery and spicy flavours. The most important product features they are willing to pay more, are for are good taste (78 per cent), followed by health benefits (74 per cent), additive free (71 per cent), environmentally friendly (66 per cent) and GMO free (65 per cent). In summary, this means: "Consumers want products that they believe to offer taste sensations while containing only genuine and authentic ingredients that do not harm their health and the environment. This further underlines the demand for products that people consider safe and nutritious."

To this end, Mintel locates three beverage trends that will define 2022: In addition to drinks with immune-boosting properties, hybrid drinks will provide exciting taste experiences. As an example, the experts cite a drink from the bar scene - the Espressotini, a cocktail consisting of espresso and vodka served in a martini glass.

Another trendy drink is the Proffee: the drink, which is a mix of coffee and protein shake, is particularly popular with young "gymfluencers". In addition to coffee, teas such as matcha, oolong, Earl Grey and Co. also offer interesting flavour profiles for cocktails. In addition, previously undiscovered plants from other markets can provide surprising elements in terms of taste and/or appearance. As can be seen on social media, Butterfly Pea Tea is slowly making its way into the Western world. Infused with hot water and combined with lemon juice, the butterfly pea tea, which originates from Southeast Asia, changes its colour from a fascinating royal blue to a striking purple.

In addition, barista and health trends are also conquering hot drinks. There is one coffee trend in particular that no one has been able to ignore since 2020: Dalgona Coffee originally comes from South Korea and is now also becoming increasingly popular in Germany. It is a type of coffee latte in which equal amounts of soluble coffee, sugar and hot water are mixed into a cream. Also popular are colourful creations such as beetroot latte, moon milk or golden milk with turmeric. Here, vegetables and spices are the star ingredients and entice with health benefits in addition to their visual appeal.

Sources: "Top Trends for 2022", FMCG Gurus January 2022; 3 Beverage Trends for 2022, Mintel ;

Premium by Nature & Indulgence

Consumers want to enjoy uncompromising moments of indulgence for reward purposes and to escape from everyday life. For example, 59 per cent of global consumers say they enjoy consuming sweets on a regular basis.
However, they do not want this to fundamentally conflict with their health goals. So the new imperative is conscious indulgence and balance as the key: products may well be labelled with Better for You benefits.
Sources: „Top Trends for 2022”, FMCG Gurus January 2022; https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/article/160769/food-and-beverage-trends-2022/

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Holistic beverage concepts

In the future, however, it will no longer be just about one's own health-conscious diet, but about a responsible eating culture that also includes the health of the planet. Beverages and food that meet the need for control, health and sustainability continue to recover. This shows the need for beverage and food manufacturers to focus more on healthy products and clean labels.

The flexitarian trend continues to grow globally as more people seek to moderate or abstain from animal products for health, sustainability and ethical reasons. At the same time, they may be aware that they are missing out on vital nutrients as a result. This is something that creates an opportunity for strengthening in the markets for plant-based meat and dairy products.

In addition, interest in herbs and ingredients associated with historic times is increasing, especially as consumers become more interested in alternative forms of health and wellbeing in general. This is driving demand for 'pure' ingredients that are associated with rawness and purity and has a positive impact on a variety of health areas.

Consumers are realising that small changes in their diet and lifestyle can make a significant difference in protecting the planet. As a result, they are changing their eating and drinking habits to become more sustainable.

The "Real Omnivores", writes food expert Hanni Rützler, are tech-savvy and much more open-minded towards new developments in the food sector - especially when it comes to food tech. They are looking for more options for a balanced, sustainable diet that is not only characterised by the omission of foods that are perceived as problematic. "In the future, real omnivores will also cover their nutritional needs - often shortened to protein requirements - by eating products made from algae, mycoproteins and insects, eat predominantly plant-based foods, eat (when they consume meat) not only the "noble" parts and are among the early adopters when it comes to in vitro meat and fish from cell cultures," says Rützler. In short: they become the eating types who combine pleasure with responsibility.
Sources: "Top Trends for 2022", FMCG Gurus January 2022; Hanni Rützler: Food Report 2022

CONCLUSION:

Conscious consumption has been a priority for consumers since Corona. Drinks should not burden health and well-being through their ingredients and even better contribute to an active lifestyle. Thus, beverages with ingredients associated with a strong immune system are particularly sought after. However, consumers also appreciate products that they can buy with a clear conscience regarding to the well-being of planet Earth. Sustainability and zero waste go down well with conscious consumers. After the lockdowns, the main way to score points is with intense taste experiences that bring variety and moments of joy to the home.

Cornelia Kerschbaumer

Cornelia KerschbaumerAuthor

Director of Marketing & Communication

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