Guys: The next DECADE is less than 2 months away!!!!

If you’re looking for a trip down the memory lane for the trends of the last decade, bring on the nostalgia. Avo toast, White Claw, oh my! It’s crazy to think that we haven’t always had Sriracha or dairy-free milks.

But let’s move on from 2019 and think toward 2020. Here’s what I’m excited about:


1) Plant Based 2.0

Odds are that you’ve tried an Impossible or Beyond burger at a local chain, or picked up a plant-based burger package in the market. And if you haven’t, I mean seriously, you need to get out.

So what’s next in this space? The plant based revolution is going to continue and will be bigger and better than in 2019. Here is our take, from one of our Marketers with a subject matter focus on plant-based meat:

Ashley Kindle, Associate Category Marketing Manager

Meat Substitutes aren’t going away, but we will see more options pop up in the coming years. This will be driven by a consumers desire to reduce their impact on the environment but balanced with the impact on their body. So not only will consumers be consuming products like the Impossible or Beyond Burgers, but we’ll see more meat and veggie combo products and veggie-forward products leading the charge.”

-Ashley Kindle, Category Marketing Manager, Givaudan

A few areas to watch out for: condiments, toppings and sides specifically catered to and flavored for meat-alternatives. We realized these are critical for an awesome burger, but our team believes companies have not yet explored this space enough.


2) Buzzed Hydration

In many ways, 2019 was all about Game of Thrones. 

Even if you weren’t actively watching it, you were inundated by the number of memes and funny posts on social media, and food and beverage products to match!

But looking for the next cultural phenomenon isn’t hard to spot: My guess is ‘Buzzed hydration’. “Buzzed hydration’, coined by my colleague Elaine Schomaker, came up as she was listing her Christmas list for this year – a shirt with the phrase: “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinkin’ claws”.

After laughing, I was shocked at the 35K #santaclaws hashtags on Instagram or the 15K hashtags for #Naturdays. No matter the brand, people are jumping on this hard seltzer bandwagon in a big way. Look for lots of new entrants to this space in the coming year – many using flavor as a way to differentiate themselves.

Let the social buzzed fun continue.


3) Mood Food: All the “Feels”

There is no question food is becoming more linked to our emotional well-being. Whether it’s comfort food/beverage after a terrible day, or something to provide complete self-care, consumers are craving functionality in EVERYTHING.

From calming chamomile cereal to collagen in popcorn, expect functionality and health claims to be found in every aspect of the store, not just the beauty section.

Note that colors play a big role in functionality. Feeling blue? Well, you bet there is a blue-ish colored product to go with that feeling.


4) One Flavor Fits None

Food and beverage companies are FIINNALLLY figuring out that one flavor/product does not fit all. Hyper targeting is here, and it’s here to stay.

Hint: Stay tuned for more info on this in 2020 from your friends at Givaudan.

For adventurous consumers, exotic flavors will reign supreme. For closer-in consumers, companies will target certain occasions, like ‘late night’ for new launches. Personalized sizing will continue to dominate new launches: think of mug cakes 2.0. One of my fave recent finds is a personal sized waffle maker – adorable and functional! Good for chaffles, veggie waffles, and the good ‘ol fashioned mini Belgian waffle. Waffles for one!


I for one can’t wait to see what the 2020’s bring – stay tuned flavor friends!

-Mary

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