“Tell me what goes into your food product and tell me that it’s good for me,” consumers are saying. At least, that’s what seems to be trending in the United States and the U.K., an Innova Market Insights study suggests.
As a result, “The increasingly thoughtful and mindful consumer will continue to catalyze changes in the way that companies produce, package and label their products,” the report affirms. 
The following survey statistics of U.S. and U.K. consumers support the prediction: 4 in 10 increased their consumption of “healthy foods”; 7 in 10 want to know and understand the ingredient list; 1 in 5 in the United States are most influenced by “real” ingredients; and ethical claims on packaging are top of mind. 
In response, better-for-you claims continue to be on-trend, having increased their market penetration from 42 percent in 2012 to 49 percent in 2017, the company says. Simultaneously, rising levels of interest in ethical issues have propelled the use of ethical claims for food and drink new product development, resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44 percent over the 2011-2016 period.
“Today’s consumer displays a high level of mindfulness about well-being and the environment,” reports Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “So it is no surprise that consumers are becoming increasingly mindful in their food choices, wanting to know what is in their foods in order to make decisions about health, sustainability and ethical issues.”
“Mindful Choices” leads the list of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2018, whereby the company continuously analyzes global developments in food and drink launches.
The four other trends in the company’s Top 5 list included the following:
2. Lighter Enjoyment. As consumers continue to look for ways to eat and drink more healthily, lightness in terms of alcohol content, sweetness, flavor, texture or even portion size is increasing its appeal, although definitely not at the expense of a familiar, high quality and indulgent taste profile. 
3. Positively Processed. As consumers become more concerned about naturalness and minimal processing techniques, the industry is reviving traditional processes such as fermented foods and cold brew tea and coffee, alongside the development of new ones.
4. Going Full Circle. The notion of closing the circle is increasingly taking hold, with greater consumer expectation that companies and brands will be more resource-smart via developments such as tip-to-tail eating, innovative uses for food waste and more biodegradable and renewable packaging.
5. Beyond the Coffeehouse. While coffee is clearly trending among Millennial and Generation Z consumers, tea is also seeking to reinvent itself among the younger generations. With the taste and experiential associations of coffee and the healthy image of tea, the industry is increasingly using coffee and tea as ingredients and flavors outside the hot drinks and iced tea and coffee sub-categories across a wide variety of products as varied as energy bars, yogurt and jam.
Other trends identified by Innova Market Insights are :
6. Say it with Color
7. Dining Out, In
8. From Snacks to Mini Meals
9. Ocean Garden
10. Bountiful Choice