"Food is not static. Our tastes change, our priorities rearrange, and the way we enjoy food and beverages evolve as a result," begins a post by Alicia Enciso, chief marketing officer of Nestlé USA. The marketing chief identified four trends Nestlé is most excited about in the coming year. They are, in her words:
1. The plant-based boom is here to stay, driven by evolving consumer priorities.
Every day, more Americans are embracing plant-based options as part of an increasingly popular flexitarian diet. In 2020, 57% of American households purchased plant-based foods. Consumers choose flexitarian or plant-based diets for many reasons, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that, especially in younger generations, sustainability is driving the popularity of plant-based foods. According to our data, as many as 65% of Gen-Z Americans want to adopt a plant-forward diet, and 55% say they’re more likely to buy environmentally friendly products.
2. Working from home has inspired a breakfast and lunch revolution.
Working remotely has changed so many things about our lives – the way we connect with family and friends, the way we show up for work, and the foods we choose to enjoy during mealtimes. Breakfast and lunch have changed enormously in the past year with more people eating both occasions at home than pre-pandemic. What once used to be a coffee date with a colleague may now look like a relaxing moment with your barista-inspired coffee creation.
With this increased interest in breakfast and lunch at home, those meals have become innovation battlegrounds. As we look to 2022, food companies need to ensure we’re meeting consumers in this new hybrid space, providing the best options for these meals. Nestlé USA’s portfolio is well positioned for this challenge — offering a broad variety of convenient and flavorful options for breakfast and lunch.
3. Grocery store shelves increasingly live online, and e-commerce adoption will only speed up.
In the past, consumers would either buy their groceries online or in-store. That behavior has changed, and many consumers are now buying from both, recognizing the unique benefits of each option. Spending more time at home has changed the landscape of e-commerce, and our research indicates that many shoppers will not return to pre-COVID behaviors – as many as 85% say they will continue to use online shopping a year from now.
4. America’s increasing diversity and the power of social trends are encouraging consumers to try global flavors at home.
For many of us, local restaurants in our community are a gateway to world cuisine. So, when restaurants closed in early 2020, many Americans were looking for ways to bring international flavors they loved home to their kitchen. Social media became a driver of this trend – with an increasingly diverse group of American and international content creators sharing exciting ways to bring authentic cuisine and niche flavors home.
“Consumer tastes evolve quickly, and so do the innovators at Nestlé USA,” Enciso summed up. “We’ll keep up that pioneering work in 2022. I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.”
Visit Medium.com, an open blog platform, to ready Enciso’s full post.