The race for health, functional and natural food continues: according to an interesting report realised by Nielsen, among the ingredients that especially worry consumers, preservatives and artificial flavours stand out (tied for 62% of the involved consumers), followed by dyes (61% ), and livestock products produced by farms that use hormones and antibiotics (59%). The latter, in particular, seem to be the main concern among European consumers (65%), also because of the uproar procured from TTIP, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would also put forth the liberalization of imports from the USA of treated products. Next to the perception of the ‘risks’ coming from products which may cause allergies, both search and consumption of natural products are increasing, preferably cruelty-free, health- friendly, and skin-friendly ones.
The main trends to watch for 2017 would include at the first place the request for traceability in the supply chain and complete transparency by consumers who want to rely on clean and clear label. In second place there is a trend defined as ‘disturbing Green’. Today the consumers who are looking for innovative options (vegetable ‘milks’, vegan alternatives to meat) in order to guarantee in their nutrition the benefits of a plant-based diet are not a niche any longer.
In third place there is the difficult balance between reduced sugar content and creation of however ‘indulgent’ experiences. Many food companies in response are either cutting sugar levels in all their products or finding alternative natural sweeteners.