ADM, a global leader in nutrition that powers many of the world’s top food, beverage, and health and wellness brands, has released its second annual list of global consumer trends.
Based on in-depth research from ADM’s proprietary Outside VoiceSM consumer insights platform, ADM provides a breakdown of each growth space poised for take-off in the new year. These insights are used by the world’s leading consumer brands to fuel product innovation.
Brad Schwan, vice president of category marketing for ADM, explained, “Consumers today continue to navigate a tumultuous environment that has uprooted every aspect of their lives. This has led forward-thinking brands to develop new solutions purpose-built to help consumers establish a sense of normality for themselves, their families and their pets. We’re seeing everything from foods, feeds and beverages that promote gut health to plant-based meat and dairy alternatives to biodegradable packaging.”
Below are the eight key consumer trends fuelling current and future global growth that point the way for ADM’s innovation, renovation, and development platforms.
1. Nourishment for the whole self
Consumers want to be more proactive about supporting their mind and body through a balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. While this is a long-term trend, the recent global pandemic has placed renewed interest on mental well-being, with many looking for more effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Wholesome nutrition is one important way consumers are looking to support their holistic well-being. In fact, ADM Outside VoiceSM finds that 37% of global consumers expect the snacks they eat to improve their mental well-being.
2. Plant-based lifestyles
A flexitarian approach to eating has become mainstream as consumers look to functional, wholesome, plant-based nutrition to support healthy, environmentally friendlier lifestyles. In fact, it is expected that alternative proteins will very likely account for 11% of the total protein market in 20352. This is fuelled in part by COVID-19, which has accelerated interest in plant-based, as a health-forward alternative for consumers who are paying close attention to their body’s nutritional needs. Food and beverage brands, in response, are broadening the landscape of nutrient-dense plant-based options for consumers, aiming to meet their growing demand for products that are sustainable, health and wellness oriented and safe.
3. Microbiome as the root of wellness
Awareness of the microbiome as central to wellness has grown over time. Data from ADM Outside VoiceSM indicated that 58% of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits that bacteria in the digestive system can have on their overall health. Today’s consumers are looking for foods, beverages and supplements that support gut health and overall well-being. Linked by consumers to immune function, aspects of metabolic health and even mood, mental acuity and feeling energised, consumers’ approach to supporting a healthy gut is evolving from reactive (seeking foods to alleviate discomfort) to proactive (tailored and customised pre-, pro- and postbiotic solutions) as they strive to achieve greater empowerment over their personal health and well-being.
4. Clean and transparent sourcing
Consumer demand for ‘clean label’ products, which they consider to consist of real, kitchen-level ingredients, has become table stakes. Today’s shopper is consistently searching for foods and beverages containing real, simple ingredients that promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This has led to a desire for transparency across the entire product lifecycle, from how it’s made to how it’s packaged, and beyond. This is especially true during COVID-19, with consumers placing an increased emphasis on learning where their food comes from and trying to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their families, their pets and their communities. As consumers become more sophisticated in their understanding of the products they consume, 58% of global consumers say they will be more attentive to locality claims as a result of COVID-195.
5. Humanisation of pets
Pets are more commonly seen as part of the family – a trend that has been present over time but accelerated in strength during the pandemic. This extends to what their pets eat, with many pet parents transposing their purchasing values and preferences onto their furry companions. There’s been a 41% increase in “all natural” pet foods launched globally3. Likewise, ADM Outside VoiceSM also found that 30% of global pet owners spent a significant amount of time researching the best food options in the last year1. As consumers are challenged with changing lifestyles and a return to work, they will continue to monitor their pets’ overall well-being to ensure they’re providing foods and supplements aimed at caring for their minds and bodies.
6. Precise and responsible animal feeding
The interconnectedness of the animal product supply chain is top of mind for today’s consumer. There is an increased demand for optimised feed solutions that support human and animal nutrition in an efficient, environmentally friendly manner for a range of animal species. This is driving brands to begin providing digital documentation explaining how