We studied various consumer surveys and data reports to bring you what we believe to be the three hottest consumer “wants” in food right now. Take a look:1) Tracking and transparency advances
People are getting smarter when it comes to food choices and they’re asking more and more questions about products than just what’s in the nutrition facts—such as, “Is this a locally-grown vegetable”, “What was this cow fed?” or “Where did this Salmon come from, and is it really even Salmon?”
These are tough questions that require real answers. Thankfully, there are new technologies, such as blockchain, that provide everyone, not just food science professionals, with more background information about their food. Shoppers will soon be able to scan a bar code with their smart phone and see the farm a chicken came from, how far it traveled, and even view a picture of the farmer who raised it.
According to SmartBrief, 39% of shoppers today would be willing to switch brands and start using new products that feature more transparent or “clean” labels. So we should expect blockchain and other clean-label technologies to really start expanding in the near future as the demand for true transparency and “farm to table” tracking becomes a key purchase incentive.
2) Powerful proteins in all different forms
The increasing demand for protein feels like a recycled trend every year, but consumers are finally beginning to look for new, healthier, more humane ways to get their daily dose. Since 2014, consumption of organic beef, chicken, pork, and turkey have each been on a steady incline, reaching record highs in 2018—and this growth is expected to continue through 2019.
Let’s not forgot though, there are plenty of other good source of protein. And those, too, are garnering more attention from both food scientists and consumers of late.
3) Personalized foods for the mind, body, and beauty
We are entering an era in the food industry when more people will be thinking more strategically about eating foods that help give them energy, focus, sharper thinking, and an overall better sense of well-being. One of the biggest parts of this movement are all the new “superfoods” being added to everyday foods and beverages that bring about positive health-driven benefits.
In an effort to provide the science of food community with actionable information that can be used in their own DEI efforts, IFT shares a case study of its recent effort to increase accessibility and inclusivity in its scholarship program.
With scholarship dollars for science of food students at stake, IFT member Bruce Ferree harnesses the power of collective giving to increase contributions to the annual Feeding Tomorrow Fun Run + Fitness Challenge.
As part of our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, IFT offered members and staff the opportunity to participate in the 7th annual Food Solutions New England 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. Here, four participants reflect on the experience.