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Innova: Understanding the mindful consumer is a must

July 17, 2018


Everyone’s talking about the merits of mindfulness these days, and product developers would certainly do well to keep it in mind, advises Lu Ann Williams, director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. And, in fact, “Mindful Choices” leads the year’s list of Top 10 Trends Innova Market Insights has identified and is showcasing in its Taste the Trends pavilion (Booth S0460) on the food expo floor. Thirty-five infographic presentations highlighting trends are on display at the booth, which also puts interactive packaging in the spotlight in a series of displays.

Consumers are placing more emphasis than ever before on making responsible food choices. “It’s about health but also ethical considerations,” said Williams. “You can really sum that up into ‘I feel good about what I eat’ but also ‘what I eat is good for me.’”

“Every year the umbrella gets broader,” said Williams. Now it seems that every company needs to tie its brands to some kind of social responsibility issue, she noted.

“When you’re creating new products, you really have to find that innovation sweet spot and know your consumer and what is important to your consumer,” she said. And that’s not a simple proposition, according to Williams, because consumers have so many different priorities, ranging from animal welfare to no added sugar to fair trade. “It’s never been more complex than it is now,” said Williams.

“From Snacks to Mini Meals” also made Innova’s top trends list. This trend is a logical extension of the growing market for snacks that deliver on healthfulness and wholesomeness, according to Innova. Changing meal patterns mean that consumers often seek more sustenance from their snacks, Williams pointed out.

Innova Market Insights data show that consumers are moving beyond mere indulgence when it comes to snacking, although the emphasis placed on healthfulness varies from country to country. In China, nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers say they pay attention to a snack’s healthfulness versus 10% of German consumers who focus on health attributes. In contrast, more than a third (35%) of Germans prioritize indulgence in snacks versus 17% of Chinese consumers. U.S. consumers tend to fall between the two extremes, with 17% paying attention to healthfulness and 19% focused on indulgence.

Here’s the full list of Innova Market Insights top trends for 2018:

  1. The Mindful Consumer
  2. Lighter Enjoyment
  3. Positively Processed
  4. Going Full Circle
  5. Beyond the Coffeehouse
  6. Say It With Color
  7. Dining Out, Dining In
  8. From Snacks to Mini Meals
  9. Ocean Garden
  10. Bountiful Choice

To get the details on all 10 trends, stop by the Innova Market Insights Taste the Trend Pavilion. In addition to the displays of trends and trending products, Innova Market Insights analysts are offering daily live presentations that zero in on key industry issues. Presentations are scheduled on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.