As we approach the final weeks of 2022, it means that food and drink brands can start looking ahead at the trends that will set the tone for 2023. To plan and strategise for the future, it helps to use insight into anything that could affect industry developments in the following months.
The world of food and drink has undergone its fair share of change over the past few years. It’s an exciting time as brands continue to innovate to overcome challenges and seek opportunities for growth.
To aid your 2023 preparations, here’s a list of 5 food and drink trends to keep an eye on.
1. Rising operational costs and price-conscious consumers
Whether it’s inflationary pressures or supply chain disruptions, costs will be a huge challenge for food and drink. Since January 2022, UK prices are up 14.6% – brands should be aware of the impact this can have on their brand perception and be sure to adjust comms strategies to mitigate any issues.
For more premium brands, changing promotional efforts and communication strategies to better communicate their value proposition in an authentic way is vital. To have a resilient brand, your branding and differentiation must meet your consumer need, and this need can often change in nature and level of priority.
2. Plant-based Innovation
The plant-based sector has been rapidly rising, and over time, has refocused on consumer demands for high-quality, high-flavour products.
Consumers want to see developments in taste and texture, but as more flexitarians experiment with plant-based products, there is significant opportunity for brands to expand and diversify. Whether through worldwide flavours or more creativity with cooking options, there seems to be more desire to try plant-based versions of traditional cuisines. With the large increase in plant-based ready meals, there is scope for meal kits and innovative recipes.
3. Functional foods
This isn’t an entirely new concept or trend, but the opportunities remain promising. As we mentioned in a past blog, there are still category gaps which brands could fill with products with functional claims. Here are three category gaps we identified.
Focus, productivity and emotional wellbeing and popular functionalities that consumers will seek in 2023. We’d expect to see food and drink brands that promote optimised brain function, cognitive capacity and reduced stress. Brands such as our recently dubbed ‘Brand of the Month’ Three Spirit Drinks fit this category perfectly, using active (and natural) ingredients to boost good moods.
Science-backed advancements in food and drink may pave a new path that aligns with consumers’ wants to live healthier lifestyles, both physically and mentally.
4. Minimalist Messaging
When it comes to brand communications, clarity and simplicity will be the winning formula. Consumers will prefer more streamlined on-pack claims that focus on the most important benefits. Clean product and packaging designs will satisfy shoppers’ need for information without an overload that can stun them into choice paralysis. However, with over 30k people a month typing ‘KN Car’ into Google in search of the KIA, it begs the question, how simple should designs be? Testing out new design concepts in consumer groups can highlight issues like this before you launch!
5. Changing Consumer Tastes
With more and more new products and packaging emerging, it’s clear that consumer desires are shifting and so, brands are responding. Niche dietary requirements like gluten or dairy intolerances, are poised for expansion in the new year. We’ve seen consumer demands and preferences have changed over the past few years and so, in order to stay up to date and seize opportunities to get in on and even lead emerging categories, your brand needs to optimise your strategies with solid consumer insight.
This list is not exclusive and we’re sure we’ll see many more rising trends within the food and drink sector. It is crucial that you understand your consumer’s headspace and are actively pursuing to understand your category drivers. With these insights you can create a short term and even a 6-12 month plan that will allow your brand to remain resilient, even through challenging times.
According to McKinsey & Company, organisations must:
- adapt to identify new customer demands
- meet these demands with high-potential ideas so they can scale rapidly
- effectively implement open innovation to unlock potential
When you’re ready for your brand to get a head start on 2023, let’s have a chat!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07799 131981