Leveraging its own proprietary research and external sources, Glanbia Nutritionals recently hosted a webinar to identify and explore five MegaTrends that have the ability to impact the nutrition industry, as well as redefine consumer values and daily life in significant ways. The webinar was presented by Niki Kennedy, director of marketing and content, Glanbia Nutritionals.

At any given time, numerous trends are rising and declining. However, in the midst of these, there are a few fundamental themes with the potential for large-scale impact. These trends, known as MegaTrends, have the ability to impact the nutrition industry, redefining consumer values and daily life in significant ways.

The five trends included:

  • Finding "Eatopia": “Eatopia” is defined as consuming your way to the perfect state of holistic wellness. Glanbia found that the snacking occasion is a great access point for consumers to achieve this, and also one where brands can achieve innovation. Additionally, they found there’s a potential positive impact global regulatory bodies might have on this trend. 
  • Refocus: This MegaTrend is defined as the new metrics around health and vitality with two primary drivers. Health continues to be a high priority in tougher economic headwinds. Glanbia's most recent U.S. consumer data from October indicates the shift to the focus on health is a staying trend. Consumers still value their health. More than 10% of consumers indicate they are buying more cereal, cheese, and are particularly interested in vitamins, minerals, and supplements. And the majority of the consumers are buying those categories at the same rate, which illustrates the value consumers are placing on their health today. Source: Glanbia Nutritionals Monthly U.S. Consumer Tracker, October 2022.
  • Personalized performance: Personalized products will have the biggest impact on performance-focused consumers. First the stratification of the athlete: there is no one-size-fits-all athlete anymore and their complex needs are starting to play out in the products created for them. Personalization obviously exists today; however, most performance nutrition drink brands that offer personalized products are one-dimensional. The step-change will be driven by wearables and measurables that give consumers real-time access to data about their nutrient needs and AI will help them calibrate.
  • Authenticity: "Authenticity" meaning what Glanbia sees happening in sustainability, transparency, and influencers because it’s more in touch with the consumer experience. Consumers are surrounded by so much noise around choices, authenticity speaks to giving consumers a choice about what feels genuine to them and can be as complex as consumers themselves. Sustainability is an integral aspect for food manufacturers and brands to address because, outside of government bodies, consumers expect food and beverages manufacturers to be leaders on climate change (56%). Source: Datassential, 2022 Plant-Forward Opportunity, June 2022.

    Influencers are at the frontier of authenticity and leading the next major channel shift into S-commerce, or social commerce. One in four consumers are learning about new food trends through influencers. Half of the content consumers look to influencers for is food related, and another third is related to wellness, nutrition, and exercise. Influencers are major drivers of trends in our industry. Here’s the tough part: it’s not as simple as hiring an influencer to get your message out. Many consumers (56%) think when brands get involved, authenticity flies out the door. Source: Datassential - Food Influencers, August 2022.

  • Co-creation: Co-creation is based around two key concepts: feedback, and the lift of the “limited time offer” or LTO. Feedback is two-way communication between brands and consumers that helps build trust. More than three in five consumers globally say that their “trust in the brand” increases when the brand communicates the challenges that they are facing on the product. And more than three and four global consumers agree with the statement: “A company should listen to consumers more when developing products, flavors and strategies.” Sources: Innova Market Insights, Top 10 Trends 2023, Positively Imperfect; 2: Innova Market Insights, Top 10 Trends, #5 – Voice of the Consumer, June 2022.
    There is a lift that comes with an LTO and it’s driven by impulse and seems to be working. 63% of consumers’ last LTO purchase was an impulse purchase and even in tougher financial situations, impulse is effective especially if you’re offering an innovative flavor. Source: Datassential, Fun and Freaky LTOs, October ’22; Innova Market Insights, Top 10 Trends 2023: Revenge Spending.