Consumers Know What They Want from the Food and Beverage Industry

Consumers Know What They Want from the Food and Beverage Industry

In the food and beverage industry, standards are constantly emerging and changing, although many carry over from year to year. With so many hot topics emerging and some older ones gaining traction, here are a few of the trends gaining prominence in the marketplace and influencing the kinds of jobs the industry needs to fill to keep up with them.

MRINetwork recruiters specializing in the food and beverage industry report a jump in both the number of placements they are making to support these trends and in the salaries these positions command. Competition is keen for candidates who have the right qualifications to help companies meet consumer demands.

Next-generation plant based. For some time now, plant-based alternatives for meat and dairy products have been on the rise and evolving at a rapid pace. In fact, many consumers now consider themselves flexitarians – the union of “flexible” and “vegetarian” – or people who are incorporating more plant-based options into their diet while being very aware of their meat intake. As more people embrace other animal- and plant-based proteins, many ingredient companies are developing more options.

Transparent supply chain. Consumers want to know exactly where everything they’re eating and drinking comes from. Long lists of ingredients are turnoffs, and they crave less-processed foods with more natural ingredients that are familiar. With this comes interest in supporting innovative farming technologies that help lessen our carbon footprint, such a regenerative agriculture, vertical farming, crop rotation and plant breeding.

Sustainable packaging and sourcing. Sustainability is at the forefront of almost every industry today – with a spotlight on the food beverage industry. More consumers are paying attention to company sustainability initiatives, which include everything from recyclable packaging to new economies being created in underserved areas.

Continued focus on wellness. F&B fads come and go, but one thing has remained the same: a focus on health and wellness. The majority of consumers make healthy choices at least some of the time, indicating that the perceived association between healthy eating and a strong immune system continues to influence consumer choices.

Global flavors. Consumers today are very interested in sweet and spicy sauces. They like food and drink products with new and unusual or exotic flavors. They’ve become more adventurous and want to try new flavors from around the world. Consumers are also more willing to make one-time impulse purchases if food and beverage flavors are innovative; this is especially true of young generations such as Gen Z and Millennials.