Top food and drink trends of the year

The new basics: Organic, natural, and sustainable attributes are increasingly becoming an entry-level expectation for consumers rather than a luxury, so retailers are competing to offer these at compatible prices.

Next level farming
Vertical farms may finally become mainstream. The rise in urban farming shows the increasing demand for fresh produce. According to the UN, the global population is set to increase by 2050, making the need for reduction of carbon footprints more pressing.

Food tech
Silicon Valley is not only reimagining food, but making its high-tech spin on nutrition accessible. This will extend to emerging markets, including South Africa.

Vegan food has become increasingly popular. Consumers are adapting their diets to prevent the effects of meat on their health and on meat production’s carbon and water footprints.

Mood food
Food has an impact on mood and mental health, as certain studies have found. Consumers now bear this in mind, expecting brands to not only provide food that tastes good, but that makes them feel good as well.

Algorithmic food design
Change is to be expected as creative innovators are using new technology to create and cultivate unique food shapes.

Trending teetotalism
Today’s wellness-focused consumers are turning their backs on alcohol, but still looking for a premium non-alcoholic experience. Globally, the alcohol market has seen a steady decline recently, according to stats from the International Wine and Spirits Record. However, the global non-alcoholic beverage market is still set to reach USD$1.6-trillion by 2025.

AI food
Image recognition is soon set to be the easiest route to counting calories. It is predicted that AI will become common in the sector, enabling consumers to point their phones to their food and be equipped with all the information they need in real-time.