by Jordan Johnson, Senior Marketing Manager

Impact Group attended the Winter Fancy Food show. While there, we had the chance to meet with current clients and identify trends for 2019. Plant-based products and mocktails were two trends we saw throughout the show.

Only three short years ago, 29% of American adults who ate or used meat alternatives occasionally liked to have meat-free days, such as “Meatless Mondays.” Additionally, 30% of US adults reported trying to eat a more plant-based diet. Since 2016, plants have really taken off. Consumers are redefining their view of where their protein should be sourced, giving rise to many plant-based innovations. As Mintel noted in their article The Future of Ingredients 2019, plant proteins are a growing trend.  While we have all seen the bleeding meatless burgers and other fantastic meat-free innovations over the past couple years, we did stumble upon a completely new product we hadn’t seen before. During the show, arguably one of the most innovative products was a tuna-free tuna. The “tuna” was made from various beans and had the same taste and texture as REAL tuna! It is exciting to see what further innovations the plant-based movement will have on traditional CPG products.

There is a growing desire for low-sugar and low or no alcohol adult beverages. In fact, according to Mintel’s White Spirits – US – December 2018, “Mocktails are trending at bars/restaurants with many bartenders crafting high quality, complex alcohol-free drinks; the incidence of mocktails on menus increased 24% (Q2 2015 – Q2 2018). It seems unlikely that the trend of falling alcohol consumption will slow down.”  Consumers are health conscious, and it has been reported that many European countries are slowing down their alcohol consumption as being intoxicated is no longer considered “fashionable”.

At the show, we tried alcohol-free beer and experienced an assortment of artisanal, botanical low-sugar cocktail or mocktail mixers. Consumers are gravitating towards this trend as it allows for additional personalization of their drink and sugar consumption. These craft mixes also allow for a twist on the traditional cocktail, offering versatility and increasing the target demographic. Either mixed with gin or sparkling water, this is a fast-growing trend in Europe and is steadily on the rise in the US. Now is the time to get on the mocktail bandwagon!

What trend are you most excited for in 2019? We would love to hear from you!