One reason is that eating is now the topic that determines the conversation. As consumers, we have never come across such abundance of choice and “food” has never become such a popular cultural element. Because with the technological changes that occurred in the short term, eating, one of the most “visual” activities to be shared, is defined as one of the most important hobbies in life by 74% of Generation Y. We don’t hide anymore the fact that we eat “with our eyes” and that we express our personality through the food we eat.
In the most recent photos we share, health and genuineness are prominent. Because beauty standards are evolving now. We define ourselves, not with the “diet” we are on, but how strong we are, how much we exercise, and how much real food we eat. Weight loss diets are now considered boring and useless. Only 18% of Generation Y say they find the “concept of dieting” attractive. That is why brands are shifting their course towards realism/simplicity from “weight loss marketing”.
At this point, the keywords are “packaging labels”. Labels that make the consumer feel as if everything is under control, are read very thoroughly. For that reason, manufacturers and retailers must keep talking about nutritional values and content to the consumer in a plain language. In addition to these, consumers also want to be convinced with regard to environmental and social impact.
We attribute too much meaning to food with the idea of “We are what we eat”. We see that 80% of global consumers are treating health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension with food. Manufacturers and retailers that would like to be successful, must look for ways to market food as “medicine” through innovations.
Our demand regarding weight loss from manufacturers will never diminish, however, opinion that this cannot be achieved through diet-labeled products, is spreading. Manufacturers must look for ways to immingle new product formats with fruits and vegetables, to increase fiber value. Enriched foods is another value proposition that will attract Generation Y.
Alternative retailers are growing. Majority of Generation Y gears towards shopping at specifically health-focused stores. Other stores just do not seem like they can be sustainable without providing guidance, supporting healthy living, offering ideas for healthy food, or helping on planning meals.
WHAT WILL WE BE FACED WITH REGARDING FOOD TRENDS?
1. FREE FROM:
Consumers would like to see the purification in food because close to 50% of consumers are concerned about the chemicals in foods and want each ingredient in the content to be natural. Our bread is now more gluten-free, our meat is more chemical-free... For example Subway is underlining that they do not use azodicarbonamide in their breads anymore, brands like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are talking about not using colorants anymore, and McDonald’s is emphasizing that no antibiotics were used in chicken.
The nutritional features that we pay attention to the most are listed here in order;
Low cholesterol/no cholesterol, less salty/with sodium, less sugar/no sugar, less fat/no fat, less calories/no calories, corn-syrup-free, less carbohydrates/no carbohydrates, caffeine-free, and gluten-free.
2. RETURN TO SELF:
We want all natural foods like in our childhood. This is followed by foods that are non-GMO, non-colored, free of artificial sweetener, and made of vegetables and fruits, in that order.
3. WE WANT MORE:
Besides our search for simplicity and naturality in content, there are ingredients that make us go, we want more. We prefer foods that are high in fiber, rich in protein, whole grain, calcium-added, vitamin-added, mineral-added, and high in non-saturated fat content, in that order.
4. GETTING “UBER”:
With the introduction of technology in our lives, food delivery is becoming “Amazon” and restaurants are becoming more and more “Uber”. In other words, restaurants have started to create their own special services within a limited menu and the cycle of a restaurant. Ubereats delivers its set daily menu to consumers in as short as 10 minutes with the help of third party drivers. Amazon is working on the delivery of its own private label foods.
5. UPRISE OF OCCASIONS:
Healthy foods are constantly growing in the snack category. However, it is still possible to find an opening in this category through occasions. Because Generation Y is tired of having to choose within the abundance of products. Therefore, brands try to facilitate the choosing by assigning especially the snack category to certain times of the day. For example, a biscuit to start the day, a biscuit for intense chocolate moments, night biscuits, etc.