After a year of discord and division over the politics of governance, consumers in 2017 will turn to something we can all agree on. Food and drink will bring us together with a greater force than ever before. It will connect our families and communities – revered as nature’s gift and delivered with the powers of emerging science and technology. We won’t return to three square meals at the family table; rather, food and beverage will be the super glue that binds us in new and different ways.
Technology Will Radically Remake Food Acquisition
Paradoxically, we will increasingly depend on technology to provide “all natural” food and drink – exactly when, where and how we want it. Food delivery and meal kit services will continue to change our food ways…and yet continue to face profitability questions. In 2017, SmartLabel technology will also allow us to know practically anything about the foods we eat and drink. The resulting “extreme transparency” will challenge foodmakers, delight some consumers and overwhelm others.
Consumers Will Act to Limit Food Waste
Sustainability experts have gotten their message across: Our society is wasting food to a shameful degree. Consumers feel this at an emotional level, and will respond in 2017 with thoughtful food waste reduction efforts – from zero-waste recipes, such as carrot-top pesto, to snout-to-tail butchery. The associated cost savings will make this a trend that sticks.
Food Will Pervade Social Media Conversations of All Kind
With food emerging as the leading topic of conversation on social platforms, food bloggers have become powerful social influencers with four times the following of other bloggers. That’s only natural – food is a common interest with endless variety and frequent consumption. Food attracts clicks in huge numbers. That’s why in 2017, every consumer brand manager will be asking: How can we use food to start a conversation about our brand?
Consumers Will Rely More on Nourishment for Healing
As the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation continues to suffer, life expectancy declines and the health insurance landscape faces destabilization, consumers will invest differently in their health. In 2017, food will increasingly become their favored “medicine,” in both meals and food-based supplements. Even doctors will increasingly get on board.
Brands Will Become Hyper-responsive to Consumers
Reviews and ratings have reached a high art, and consumers – especially younger ones – won’t even think about buying a product or meal without them, even if the expense is modest. Knowing this, marketers will be going all out to rapidly craft and evolve food and beverage products to win raves and thereby consumption. Products debuting to bad reviews may be withdrawn as quickly as a panned Broadway show. Online food shopping will continue to thrive, in part because the reviews are baked in.
About MSLGROUP’s Food & Beverage Team
A category leader, the Food & Beverage Team of MSLGROUP is devoted to creating economic value for the world’s food and beverage industry. It operates in markets around the world, representing leading food and beverage brands, and manages a state-of-the-art Culinary & Nutrition Content Studio in Seattle.
Steve Bryant, Director, Food & Beverage Marketing & Public Relations
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