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What can we expect for the year 2018? What do you think the food and beverage industry will bring to our dining tables this year? You may have a lot of questions, but one thing is for sure, delicious and healthy improvements are in the forecast. Concentric, a leading marketing and branding agency, curated the top seven food and beverage industry predictions for 2018. Let’s take a look!

1 – Instagrammable Food Packaging

Is it “Instagrammable?” If it is, then most likely the food or beverage product will be shared by thousands, if not millions, of people on social media. Free and instant exposure—and this makes it a good selling point for manufacturers. Concentric expects to see an upsurge of carefully organized breakfast bowls that may be too appealing to destroy. And of course, brands would delve into the heightened aesthetics of their packaging.

2 – Light Snacking

Small, frequent feedings have been a slogan of a lot of diets which has led to the rise in snacking. Shoppers’ search for light snacks has been in full swing for the past few years. This year will be a bit different with food manufacturers rolling out “light” snacks and drinks, instead of the outdated and overpowering flavors. Food and drink producers are now geared for lighter tasting options like floral enhanced waters, less sweetness, less alcohol, and lighter ABVs as a whole.

3 – Exotic Flavors

More and more US consumers are embracing various ethnic flavors. As the American palate becomes more and more accustomed to International dishes, newer flavors are being introduced in the market. Think in the lines of za’atar, harissa, tahini, falafel, and pita to name a few.

4 – Plant-Based Still Going Strong

While this trend is nothing new, the innovation and technology behind this growth are evolving. The direction of going plant-based is growing by leaps and bounds with introductions like plant-based egg substitutes and veggie burgers. Also, think of foods in the lines of jackfruit and zoodle pasta dishes.

5 – Natural Processing

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A lot of diets debuted in the past few years totally eliminated processed foods in the diet. So, this may not be new but naturally-processed foods will be a big hit in 2018. We are slowly evolving into the mindset of “less is more.” And this is the niche where smaller companies can explore and seize opportunities by being able to deliver naturally-processed, no-preservative, and higher quality food.

6 – Sustainability and Sourcing

We’ve heard a lot of phrases like farm-to-fork, farm-to-plate, sustainable sourcing, local sourcing, fair coursing, etc.—all these means sourcing and sustainability practices. The food industry is reducing their footprint while making food fresher longer and saving money. It is seen that the food industry is looking into kelp and seaweed for a more nutrient rich and sustainable food option.

7 – Transparency

This has been an age-old fight between consumers and producers, but it is seen that in 2018 food manufacturers are more than ever going to strive harder for brand and food transparency or else risk losing their market. 2018’s consumer is more probing and meticulous when it comes to their food than ever.

Final Thoughts on Predictions

2018 is going to be an important year for the food and beverage industry. Many of the new products and reformulations have been in the works over the past 18 months and their launches will be critical. Be on the lookout for products utilizing multiple trends mentioned above to attract consumers. A variety of products with GrandFusion launching in 2018 will pair plant-based and light snacking trends together. These superfood snacks will pack a nutritional punch from GrandFusion’s plant-based vitamins without impacting the flavor or texture. Interested in learning more? Download our GrandFusion R&D Resource Kit.

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