Symrise reveals new edition of trendscope to decode current and future consumer trends in food and beverages

A combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, trendscope has identified natural, healthy and climate-friendly products as driving forces for the development of market relevant innovation in taste, nutrition and health

The new edition of the Symrise trend tool trendscope 2024+ has provided an overview of current consumer trends and future developments in food and beverages. According to it, health and naturalness continue as the most relevant trend drivers. At the same time, climate-smart innovation and circular consumption will become more important while digitalisation exerts a fast-growing effect on consumer lives and the industry.

Consumers today expect a lot from the food and beverage products they choose. They are looking for sustainable, healthy, and tasty options. This leads to the question: How do these expectations translate into food and beverage trends, and how can Symrise best respond? Thus, trendscope provides comprehensive information on trends and investigates how they drive innovation. The results of the tool go into different trendscope reports, and in turn, Symrise uses these insights to translate consumer wishes into innovative food and beverage concepts with inspiring taste, nutrition, and health solutions.

“Consumer behaviors and mindsets change over time and so do their demands for food and beverages,” said Leif Jago, global marketing manager of food and beverage at Symrise. “trendscope™ allows us to closely monitor and anticipate market shifts. This creates an important basis to design solutions that deliver against these evolving needs.”

Combining qualitative and quantitative research

To decode latest food and beverage consumer trends, trendscope combines different methods of analysis. The qualitative research contains for example a meta-analysis of consumer reports, start-up and social media screening, an innovation scan, and insights from the Symrise taste treks with the chef network StarChefs. The quantitative research comprises a meta-analysis of existing studies and surveys and polls related to consumer behavior and mindsets. In addition, social media listening, and AI-based trend forecasting support the findings. This goes hand in hand with an analysis of global urban hot spots. In twelve global locations, Symrise conducted 24 interviews with selected trendsetters like food bloggers, journalists, and trend scouts.

“The tool’s global scope allows us to tailor trends to regional specifics. Based on this, Symrise can develop taste, nutrition and health solutions and tailor them to consumer demands in specific regions and categories. This, in turn, helps our customers to respond to decoded consumer desires with the right food and beverages,” concluded Jago.

The new offer of trendscope 2024+

To increase the relevance of trendscope further for the Symrise teams and customers, several key changes were incorporated. The current edition puts a spotlight on health as consumer health awareness is growing and has evolved into a key innovation driver. In addition, digitalisation and sustainability are now forming standalone megatrends. Both exert a huge influence on consumer lives and industries. From a research perspective, trendscope 2024+ uses more quantitative data sources. This includes social media listening and surveys.

The trendscope 2024+ edition was compiled during a global polycrisis. Consumers face a crisis continuum ranging from COVID-19 and its effects to the Ukraine war, rising cost-of-living, surging inflation, and looming recession. As a result, consumers look for stability and emotional anchors. At the same time, they change their buying behavior due to cost-consciousness. Overall, the polycrisis serves as an accelerator of change that boosts or slows down specific consumer needs.

Six global megatrends with several sub-trends identified

Symrise has identified six megatrends. “Digitalisation” forms an underlying macrotrend that permeates all areas of life. It has become a game changer for innovation. The other five items represent trend clusters with several sub-trends.

“Purposeful Sustainability” focuses on the urgency to act in a resource-saving manner. It also includes the consumer wish of making product choices with a positive impact on the climate. Regenerative eating and circular thinking play a key role here.

Meanwhile, the “Natural Goodness” cluster centres around the wish for natural and clean label plant-based products. This comes with a more critical eye toward ingredients and production methods.

Another cluster relates to “Healthy Lifestyle”. Consumers have started considering mental and physical wellness combined. Products supporting mental health and emotional wellbeing experience a boost. At the same time, consumer look for guided health choices to navigate the complex landscape of inflationary health claims. “Emo

tional Discoveries”, on the other hand, presents the wish of consumers for social connection and memorable experiences after the pandemic. At the same time, they demand higher standards of originality, quality and authenticity when discovering new tastes.

Last but not least, the “Premium Indulgence” cluster is strongly characterised by value orientation. Consumers look for indulgent moments in times of rising costs of living. They try to find bliss in little things to treat themselves.

The Symrise experts use these trendscope™ insights to investigate what they mean for the company’s portfolio. “We operate very agile and keep an eye on the competencies we need to address in view of important consumer needs. We want to support our customers in achieving their goals while contributing to Symrise’s sustainable growth,” added Regine Lueghausen, vice-president global marketing of food and beverage at Symrise.