Like many other industries, millennials are reshaping how food companies conduct business. Larger food processors are attempting to keep up with changing consumer needs, but smaller, newer producers are more up to speed with what today’s consumers mean by food quality. There is a strong focus on fresh food, health and nutrition stats, and transparency.
This is because millennials view their nutrition needs as unique from their fellow shoppers. One may be vegan while another is gluten-free. As a result, millennials are sticking to the outer aisles of grocery stores such as the deli, dairy, and fresh produce areas. Dried, pre-packaged goods are experiencing losses while perceived healthier alternatives are soaking up the gains. If food and beverage manufacturers want to remain competitive, they’ll need to consider the following trends revolutionizing the industry.
Fluctuating Consumer Preferences
Millennials focus on healthy meal options more so than previous generations. They also want new, striking flavors to keep their meals interesting. Adding a further layer of complication, they want to be involved in the meal preparation process. As a result, meal subscription services will likely continue to progress and flourish. When it comes to their snacks, they want them to be fresh but quick and easy to obtain. They want convenient containers such as quinoa bowls or cheese and nut single serving packages.
Millennials are not alone with it comes to consumer curiosity. People of all demographics want to know more about where their food comes from as well as the company supplying it. They want to know if food producers are green, if they share their excess products with the needy, if they take steps to control how much water they use, if they invest in alternative energy sources to power their facilities, and more. Some companies balk at the expense related to these sustainable measures, but it is worth considering the long-term savings. Certain green systems recoup their cost within a few years, and companies can receive tax credits for service such as food donations.
Leveraging Data to Meet Consumer Needs
Given all of the information consumers want to know about their food, it is no surprise many of them turn to the internet to find answers. People want to know which protein-packed snack is best before a workout, which beverages provide antioxidant benefits, and more. Food suppliers can use this data to provide the answers to these questions. Whether they build the information into their labels or they provide it on their website, connecting with consumers in a way that is meaningful to them is vital to succeeding in the ever-changing food industry. To learn more about how these trends will affect food manufacturing in the coming year, contact the experts at Trion today.