You may not have quite finished the jumbo tin of Christmas Quality Street yet but the FMCG sector already have lots of treats lined up for 2018. Here is my round up of what I feel will be 5 key trends in the coming year.

Demand for natural foods in snacking

Consumers want to know what is in their food and that it is ethically sourced. Gluten free, vegan, minimally processed and plant based foods will continue to grow and this will filter through to the snacking industry. A need for healthier snacking that aligns with consumer’s ethics but still feels like a treat, will be the challenge for brands in 2018. https://researchci.com/10-trends-fmcgs-should-address-in-2018/ With this in mind clean labelling will continue to be a concern for many consumers – https://wildwestcomms.co.uk/2018-food-drink-trends-your-brand-needs-to-know-about/

All day snacking to continue

This demand for healthier snacks is probably just as well as all day snacking as a trend is set to continue. For a generation that barely has time to leave their desk and wants a seamless transition from work to play, snacking that keeps their energy levels consistent will be a key trend.

Go East

Many are predicting that 2018 will be the year of Korean food and it seems clear that the street food explosion will remain, with Indian street food and Japanese food continuing their popularity.

Less Sugar

This time last year Nestle announced they were going to reduce sugar by up to 40% in its popular brands such as Kit Kat,and Kellogg’s and Irn Bru have followed suit. The challenge will be to maintain taste as consumers traditionally do not react well to “new and improved” versions.

Personalisation

Luxury brands in the past few years have shown the need for consumers to see their confectionery treats as something special. Gifting and personalisation I feel are set to continue to be high growth areas and it seems that Lord Sugar agrees, after choosing brand Sweeteze as one of his business partners in The Apprentice final. The combination of turning sweets into gifts with the added personalisation seemed a winning investment, and the high- profile nature of this TV exposure can only add to this niche industry’s profile.

Also to watch …

Keep an eye out for these key trends in 2018 too…

Introduction of the 4th meal to fit our non-traditional eating times, so say the Waitrose Food and Drink Report.

Powders such as maca and lumen that became popular in 2017, will go from strength to strength as more powders get introduced to the consumer market in 2018.

Whole Foods have identified flowers as a key food trend in 2018. In cocktails, teas, even lattes!

And protein, a huge trend in 2017, is set to continue into 2018 with more protein rich foods being marketing in the mainstream

It is also predicted that the sports nutrition market will top $6 billion in 2018, which backs up the many trends we are seeing for healthier living across the FMCG sector.

And never underestimate Amazon! Its’ buy in to Whole Foods for $13.7 billion shows they mean business in the food industry. But expect to see a reaction from more traditional retailers, with many already planning curb-side pick-ups of groceries to try and beat Amazon at their own game.