2018 Global Food & Drink Trends – Mintel research report summary

by | Dec 4, 2017 | Branding with impact, Creating Emotional Connection

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trends report 2018

At the end of October 2017, Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, released it’s Mintel’s Global Food & Drinks Trends report 2018. The report which covers the five key trends set to impact the global food and drink market can be gained by signing up for for it HERE.

In this report summary, Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Analyst Jenny Zegler reviews the major trends that Mintel believe will impact food and drink markets around the world. The research focuses on 5 key global trends.


  1. Transparency and traceability for all.  
  2. Self-care.
  3. Natural, tantalising, and unexpected textures.
  4. Personalised promotions and product innovations based on individual consumer behaviour.
  5. Scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products.

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend 1 – FULL DISCLOSURE

Today’s consumer requires complete and total transparency from food and drink companies.

In our new post-truth reality has created an environment of widespread distrust. This skepticism has placed an additional burden on food and drink manufacturers to offer “thorough and honest disclosures about how, where, when, and by whom food and drink is grown, harvested, made, and/or sold.”

The consumers need for confidence and reassurance in the safety and trustworthiness of food and drink “has led to increased use of natural as well as ethical and environmental claims in global food and drink launches.”  according to Mintel’s research, they see the next wave of clean labelling where both manufacturers and retailers will need to find a way to “democratise transparency and traceability.”  This new transparency will be demanded by the consumer regardless of household income.

As an example, according to Mintel’s Food & Drink Trends 2018 research report, 64% of Australian adults in major metropolitan areas feel cheated when a company is not clear about the high sugar content of its products.

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend Global Trend 2 – SELF-FULFILLING PRACTICES

As more consumers find modern life to be hectic and stressful, flexible and balanced diets will become integral elements of self-care routines

Today’s consumer lives a hectic and stressful life. They are wanting flexible and balanced diets, making them an integral element of their self-care routine. As more and more consumers look to escape the pervasive stress and negativity in their lives, they look towards prioritising self care and making more “time for themselves.

Mintel’s view is that “individual definitions of self-care and balance will reinforce the need for a variety of formats, formulations and portion sizes of food and drink that present consumers with positive solutions—and treats—that can be incorporated into their customised and flexible definitions of health and wellness“. This means that, in an effort to put self-care squarely on their personal agenda, more and more consumers will be reviewing their food and drink combinations as they look to provide themselves with the best nutritional, physical, or emotional benefits.

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trends 2018 presents an example of this trend highlighting a french fruit juice manufacturer called Innocent. They make a raspberry, cherry & apple juice with goji berries and added vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, a combination that is said to reduce fatigue and stress to help consumers get a boost in the morning

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend Global Trend 3 – SENSATIONS

Texture is the latest tool to engage the senses and deliver share-worthy experiences.

Consumers are looking to have their senses engaged as they look for ever more documentation-worthy experiences to share either in-person or online. Texture has become the latest tool to engage the senses and deliver share-worthy experiences. The sound, feel, and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important for both the food and drink companies as well as consumers. As consumers keep looking for experiences to share, this will open up opportunities for multi-sensory food and drink that uses unexpected texture to deliver a shareable wow!

The Mintel’s Food & Drink Trends 2018 report shows some great examples of textures including how Nabisco Oreo honoured US Independence Day celebrations with a limited-edition chocolate Oreo experience that had red and blue popping candy inside the cream.

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend Global Trend 4 – TREATMENT


Increased personalisation is expected with the increased expansion of online and mobile food shopping.


A new era in personalisation is dawning due to the expansion of online and mobile food shopping. 2018 technology will help make shopping even more effortless. Todays consumers are increasingly looking to save time and money by trying out the variety of various channels and technologies for buying both food and drink. These options now include “home delivery, subscription services, and automatic replenishment”.

Leveraging technology, companies and retailers can now take advantage of the opportunities that exist for them to tempt targeted consumers by “creating products, suggesting combinations of goods and other options across consumer categories that make shopping more efficient and affordable for customers.” In this way they can save consumers, effort, energy, time and money. Example: 39% of Canadian grocery shoppers who agree supermarkets should organise food by meal occasion.

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trends 2018 report highlights the fact that with the adoption of voice-enabled smart home accessories, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, it has become even easier for consumers to to add items to shopping lists. According to their research 35% of UK online grocery shoppers agree that the ability to add products to their grocery order through voice command technology is appealing.

Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend Global Trend 5 – SCIENCE FARE

Technology is being used to engineer solutions for our stretched global food supply.

A technological revolution is playing out in manufacturing as some forward-looking companies are developing solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products. An example cited in the Mintel report is that of US based, Memphis Meats, which has created lab-grown meatballs as well as cultured chicken and duck prototypes grown from stem cells. They aim to launch this product in 2021.

Like all industries there is also a technological revolution is playing out in food and drink manufacturing. Forward-looking manufactures are developing food and drink solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients. according to the Mintel report, “Whilst lab-grown, cultured, or synthetic food and drink is only just emerging, technology could eventually be used to design food and drink that is inherently more nutritious, which could extend the consumer audience for scientifically engineered food and drink beyond environmentally conscious shoppers to reach consumers who are concerned about ingredient consistency, efficacy, and purity.

These forward thinking food and beverage companies are raising awareness by comparing scientifically engineered food and drink with the traditional food and drink supply chain.

Scientifically engineered food and drink will initially attract consumers who are worried about the environment and are taking steps to be more eco-conscious

You can gain access to the Mintel’s Food & Drink Trends 2018 report by going HERE

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