Behavioral research firm InsightsNow releases its second annual report on the trends and innovations in food and beverage development
InsightsNow, a product strategy and consumer insights firm, has released its second annual “Naturally Trending™ 2023 Food and Beverage Report.” The report discusses the Top Five Trends uncovered through interviews with and analysis of hundreds of participating food and beverage companies at the recent Natural Products Expo West (NPEW). InsightsNow and their partner, CuliNEX, gathered information from the more than 3,100 exhibitor booths at NPEW to provide a guide to the innovations and emerging trends that will be impacting the larger food and beverage industry ahead.
“The Natural Products Expo West is the best annual snapshot of how food product innovation in North America is transforming the world,” says Dave Lundahl, CEO and Founder at InsightsNow. “With this report, we are excited to provide actionable insights into current and future trends, enabling visionary product leaders make more strategic and informed decisions about their brands and products.”
The Top Five Trends explored in the second annual InsightsNow Naturally Trending™ 2023 Food and Beverage Report are:
- Taste is King: A top trend this year is a focus on flavor and taste, as natural product companies realize more and more that food and beverage taste is crucial for repeat purchases and customer loyalty. InsightsNow’s recent studies show that 68% of consumers would not sacrifice taste to achieve other shopping goals, like sustainability.
- Diversification of Plant-Based Applications: More than 30% of the companies InsightsNow and CuliNEX met at NPEW were plant-based, and the diversity of offerings has greatly increased over the past year—with new kinds of plant-based cheeses, seafood analogues, vegan ice cream and more.
- New and Growing Marketing Claims: Three major areas for marketing claims innovation emerged at NPEW this year—allergy-free, hero ingredients and beverage claims. Brands are transforming and adjusting to capture consumer interest on these fronts.
- Focus on Sustainability: Sixty percent of companies InsightsNow surveyed at NPEW are adopting more sustainable practices. Some goals uncovered include reducing greenhouse gas emissions through environmentally responsible ingredient sourcing and manufacturing or establishing agricultural infrastructures that have a low impact on the planet.
- Branding to Differentiate: There was a marked shift at NPEW toward the growing importance of packaging design with packs showing brand personality through bright colors or minimalist designs, or touting mission-based ethos.
The report also explores a wider lens of themes observed to be impacting the market. These include current funding challenges for the natural food industry, consumer demand for food and beverage innovations, product affordability and pricing, and designing for the buyer, among other topics.