Five Food Industry Trends for 2021

Dear friends of Abasto, as we begin this New Year together, let us remember that it truly is a New Beginning for all of us in many ways. With the hope that the new vaccines and treatments will change the pandemic’s course in 2021, we must accept what we accomplished in 2020 and engage in the bright future that waits for us in 2021. During 2020, our food industry experienced significant changes, and while some of those changes will remain, others will vanish into oblivion.  

These are the five industry trends that will affect manufacturers, retailers, and brands.

1. Food Transparency:  Demand from food transparency will continue to gain traction worldwide, where shoppers care about ingredient sourcing, manufacturing impact, proper labeling, and transparency in the supply chain. Brands adopting new technologies and strategies addressing transparency will be successful in the food industry.

2. Plant-Based Foods: A booming business that small to medium retailers are not paying attention to, as this particular category shows that plant-based foods’ sales grew 29% in the past two years to $ 5 billion. These products are a crucial driver of growth at large grocery retailers nationwide. This specific category in the food industry is evolving into new and diverse alternatives. The world’s biggest meat companies reformulated their strategies by adopting investing in lab-grown foods companies to compete in this growing market.

3. Food Personalization: CPG companies must address the idea that consumers look for food and beverage that fit their unique lifestyles. Many consumers don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all mentality, as they expect a tailored approach to eating. Food-Tech, new products with sensory experience, and other advances will provide the opportunity for CPG companies in 2021 to grow this trend. 

Related Article: Six Areas Independent Grocers Need to Focus on and Invest in, to Thrive in 2021

4. Food Immunity: Especially during COVID-19, consumers’ concern about their immune system propelled the need to consume food products that prioritize their immune system. According to Kerry’s global consumer survey, “COVID has accelerated consumer interest in the role of nutrition in immunity, with a 670% increase in Google searches for ‘food’ and ‘immune system’ between February and March” (Google Trends).

Therefore, ingredients that will boost the immune system will play an important role this 2021 for food and beverage manufacturers.

5. Omnichannel Strategy: As the last trend for 2021, I believe that Omnichannel Marketing will be the “Diva” this year. A quick definition of omnichannel: 

According to Steve French, Senior Vice President for the Natural Marketing Institute, “Omnichannel is this seamless targeted messaging that’s driving consumer engagement regardless of when, where, and how. It requires brands and retailers to understand how consumers and costumers interact with their store, their brand, throughout almost all the touchpoints within this customer journey.” 

Knowing how vital Omnichannel will be for the food industry, Abasto Media partnered with Stagnito Retail Marketing this year. This partnership will provide innovative, progressive, and predictive “Turn-Key” program/product solutions to achieve measurable ROI Strategic Goals and Objectives, providing the client the speed-to-market precision needed to operate effectively in this new food world.

We have a lot to look forward to this 2021!