From year to year, consumers’ food and beverage choices naturally evolve. Yet this past year was far from ordinary. As Symrise found in our Trendscope 2021+ study, many of the overarching consumer needs, wants and fears that inform food and beverage trends have been heightened. Many of the trends that were already underway, such as the shift toward consumption that supports holistic health and sustainability, have been accelerated by COVID-19.

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And while the study was compiled during the pandemic, the findings are by no means limited to this environment. Even when daily life around the world resumes without the pandemic being so present, consumers will likely continue to seek out food and beverage options that make them feel good physically and mentally, have an experiential component, and support an overall healthy society and planet.

Through interviews with trendsetters in 12 global hotspots around the world, meta-analysis of research reports, social media analysis and more, Symrise has identified 12 global trends spread across four main megatrends. These clusters will be familiar to those well-versed with our North America flavor trends report, as both include the same overarching categories.

However, the specific findings from our Trendscope 2021+ study differ both in terms of being global as well as by diving deeper into the lifestyle trends that help inform the products and experiences that food and beverage companies offer. In many cases, these trends are driven by choices made by Millennial and Gen Z consumers who are driving innovation forward in ways that affect the broader market long-term.

Overall, the Symrise global Trendscope 2021+ findings include the following 12 trends:
 
1. Touching Nature: Consumers want to reconnect with nature.
2. Second Love: More conscious consumption causes a desire to reduce food waste.
3. Climavore: Environmental concerns inform eating habits.
4. Easy Health: Healthy food should be simple, not part of a complicated diet.
5. Rest & Recharge: Food and drinks can help consumers unwind.
6. Holistic prevention: Food as medicine and beauty from the inside-out take centerstage.
7. Conscious Hedonism: Consumers enjoy and are willing to pay for high-quality, ethical products.
8. Immersive Experiences: Indulging in food and beverages can provide life-enriching moments.
9. YOUniverse: AI and other technology can be used to personalize nutrition.
10. Emotional Retreat: Enjoying food and beverages at home can provide comfort and stability.
11. Happytopia: Consumers are turning to food and drinks that make them feel positive.
12. Dreaming of Travel: Exploring cuisines can be a way of exploring the world.
 
Altogether, these trends mean that the food and beverage industry has exciting opportunities to win over consumers after a very difficult year. Consumers aren’t just looking for sustenance but want to enjoy meals, snacks and drinks as experiences. And they are often open to exploring new ingredients and flavors that tie into areas they value, such as sustainability, craftsmanship and holistic health.

So, whether your brand offers direct-to-consumer food products, sells through grocery stores, or operates bars and restaurants, you can appeal to consumers looking to get more enrichment from their food and beverage choices.

Want more insights into how your brand can tap into these trends? Partner with Symrise to support your continued innovation. Get in touch with our team today.

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