Satvir is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Chaiops. He is a young and dynamic leader of men and processes. He is responsible for driving strategic partnerships and enabling cross-sell opportunities for Chaiops while successfully managing the overall business to achieve company objectives. He has over 7 years of experience in Sales and Marketing. During the early years, Satvir was instrumental in heralding a successful start-up Paggico. His prior entrepreneurial experience has given him a great advantage in understanding and managing businesses.
Increased awareness towards health and well-being among consumers, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, has largely transformed their food and beverage choices within the past two years. Enhanced focus on nutrition has led to heightened demand for foods and beverages that support immune systems and reduce environmental impact. The shifting consumer tactics have led the brands to develop disruptive products with an enhanced focus on sustainability. Here are the six trends expected to shape the food & beverage industry in 2022.
Immunity remains a priority
As people continue to pay more attention to their health and wellness, brands are finding new ways to incorporate functional ingredients into their products. F&B companies are expanding their portfolios that prioritize health to attract the growing population of health-conscious consumers. Brands are changing the packaging of products that had remained a mainstay for years to advocate immune-boosting ingredients or nutrients such as Vitamins, Proteins, and others as they are appealing more to customers.
Ingredients such as adaptogens, nootropics, and probiotics are taking up new forms with growing technological innovations in the food and beverage industry. For instance, adaptogens are transitioning from a powder form infused into teas and coffees to mainstream products such as sparkling water, chocolates, and energy bars. Besides, probiotics are making their way into soda, nutrition bars, etc. rather than just being limited to yogurt and other dairy products.
Youth is increasingly turning to products that add value to their life such as boosting their mood, improving their sleep, etc. Hence, major consumer packaged good brands are introducing products that incorporate some form of nutritional therapy. For instance, PepsiCo launched functional water called Driftwell that has ingredients to manage stress and induce relaxation.
Boom in plant-based food varieties
Demand for plant-based foods & beverages continues to grow as more people are adopting veganism and meat-free eating practices. Witnessing the increased shift towards plant-based alternatives, more restaurants are introducing meals that go beyond plant-based burgers, grounds, or chicken nuggets. Some brands are working towards making strides on the texture, flavor, and aroma leveraging different ingredients, technologies, and methods to provide vegetarians and vegans an organoleptic experience. Technologies like 3D printing and protein fermentation are driving the innovation in plant-based products.
The plant-based food and beverage space are currently dominated by pea, soy, almond milk, and wheat protein, but 2022 could witness more ingredients like oat, quinoa, hemp, macadamia nuts, cauliflower, chickpeas, etc. being infused in plant-based products. The demand for alternative seafoods, plant-based cheeses, ready-to-eat protein snacks, and more is also growing, pushing alternative proteins into an increasingly mainstream phenomenon.
Currently, the dairy alternative category is dominating the plant-based nutrition space. The plant-based dairy segment offers a wide range of dairy products that deliver more protein than traditional dairy and their product portfolios continuously expand to accommodate evolving needs of customers. In 2022, new dairy products like potato milk, ragi milk, millet milk, oat, and coconut milk variants are likely to become mainstream as behemoths like ITC and Amul are set to venture into this space with their own plant-based milk versions.
Rise of healthy snacks
The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant growth of ‘working snacks’ or ‘snacks in between zooms’ to satiate the instant craving of consumers. However, consumers are now focusing on the ingredients labelled on the packaged snacks to determine their nutritional content. They are looking for high-protein, grab-and-go options that are nutritious, convenient, and made from organic sources. Working people are leading the trend of transitioning from unhealthy snacking to healthy snacking to fuel their efficiency and satisfy their hunger pangs. Dominant brands in the snacks category like Lay’s, Kurkure, Haldiram’s, Bingo, Bikano, Too Yumm, Craxx, etc. are expanding their portfolios incorporating healthy ingredients. Nowadays, claims like “baked not fried”, “no chemicals or preservatives”, or “no added sugar” are increasingly found on snacks to bring in customers and the trend is expected to continue in 2022.
Rise of functional beverages
Functional beverages with non-traditional ingredients like minerals, vitamins, electrolytes, amino acids, dietary fibers, raw fruits, etc. are making rapid strides these days. Consumers are refraining from drinks with high sugar content or caffeine and switching to energy drinks, sports drinks, or bottled water with added vitamins to get through the day. Kombucha, aloe vera, coconut water, green tea, etc. are flooding the functional drink market as they enhance hydration and provide added health benefits like boosting immunity, improving mood, enhancing digestive health, etc. With a broadening range of functional applications being sought by customers, suppliers are expanding the choice of ingredients utilizing adaptogens, collagen, CBD, etc. and they are increasingly becoming popular, especially among the young population.
Cutting down on sugar
People have realized the harmful effects of sugar for health as its intake in excess amounts results in a number of lifestyle disorders. Hence, people choosing to opt for a healthier lifestyle will continue to look for sugar-free alternatives in 2022 as well. Seeing the transition, brands are also introducing many new food products and drinks that have limited sugar or no added sugars by substituting its substitutes like maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave nectar, monk fruit extracts, date paste, etc.
Sustainability takes the front seat
Consumers are increasingly being concerned about how their food and drink choices affect the environment and the sentiment is seemingly growing. Hence, consumer packaged good brands are faced with mounting pressure to prioritize sustainable practices to retain customers. Several brands have committed to reducing their ecological footprint by reducing their plastic usage for packaging, spreading regenerative farming practices, using organic produce as ingredients, reducing concerns, cutting down energy and water consumption, etc. For instance, Kraft Heinz has committed to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025 to reduce its plastic consumption. Today’s green consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z buyers are looking to support brands that align with their sustainability values. Smart packaging with embedded sensors that are able to track the temperature, humidity, and freshness of the food items can help consumers make more informed decisions and reduce food wastage. In 2022, more such advanced and recycled packaging trends could be expected to dominate the food and beverage industry.