Health, wellness, technology, convenience and indulgence are all projected to be key innovation platforms for the new year
Protein from plants (not animals) is in, fat is back, sour is sweet, personal care is situational and genetic modification is consumer friendly. This is just a sampling of some of the hot new trends expected to energise packaged goods innovation and marketing in 2016.
Health, wellness, technology, convenience and indulgence are all projected to be key innovation platforms for the new year.
Protein from plants, not animals. Protein has been a superstar in the food industry for some time, but storm clouds are gathering over animal-based protein. Some of the strongest support for plant protein is coming from an unlikely source – vegetarian athletes – a group that could help link plant protein with athletic prowess. Look for plant protein's star to rise in 2016.
Fat is back. Health villains tend to come and go in the food industry, and things are looking up for one of the industry's biggest villains in recent decades – fat. Fat is actually being promoted as a health-enhancing ingredient in categories you would not expect, such as bottled water. FATwater functional water, a recent US launch, contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) derived from coconut oil.
Soft drinks get hard. Filling a gap between overly sweet 'alcopops' and more sophisticated drinks such as beer, wine or spirits, 'hard sodas' will be a trend to watch in 2016.
My new personal care routine. Personal care routines are getting more detailed and specific with time-of-day-, event- or even place-dependent personal care innovation reshaping the market. The tendency of younger consumers to change styles or looks based on the time of day should provide fertile ground for innovation in new personal care routines in 2016.
Food you can drink. Recent developments such as drinkable peanut powder and expanding innovation in drinkable soups that fill the white space between soup and smoothies suggest that the drinkable meal concept may be an idea whose time has come in 2016.
Small is beautiful. 'Big' isn't what it used to be. Consumers are showing their growing love for smaller brands and products from smaller companies. Look for more new product launches in 2016 to avoid looking too processed or mass-produced.
Say hello to GMO 2.0. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been a magnet for controversy since their inception. Longer shelf-life, reduced food waste and more efficient use of natural resources collectively make an increasingly 'green' case for new-generation GMOs.
Sweet on sour. As 2016 begins to take shape, look for consumers to be more sweet on sour. Sour flavors could be the next big flavor trend in foods and beverages, with sour flavors breaking out in everything from candy and beer to vegetables.
Permissive indulgence. Consumers are hard-wired to indulge; they are also hard wired to feel guilty about indulging. Now there is a solution to that conundrum. Adding healthful, 'better for you' iconic health ingredients to indulgent foods is a new trend that is gaining momentum.
Anti-pollution beauty. Look for innovation in skincare and haircare product designed to fight pollution in urban environments in 2016. We might even see specific skincare solutions for indoor or outdoor air pollution.