November 9, 2020


ADM: Five global trends that will shape food industry in 2021



On November 9, ADM, a global leader in nutrition and partner to the world's leading consumer brands, released its view on the five food and beverage trends that will impact the way consumers eat and drink in the new year.


Based on in-depth research from ADM's proprietary OutsideVoiceSM consumer insights platform, the report provides a breakdown of each trend that will come to the fore in the 12 months ahead. Each of these trends is strongly influenced by behavioral and societal changes that have emerged  since the beginning of the pandemic, including heightened feelings of anxiety and stress, shifting priorities, changes in social connectivity and the adoption of a more holistic approach to wellness.


"The coming year will be one of significant change and innovation for the food and beverage industry in the Asia Pacific region," said Leo Liu, Asia Pacific president of ADM. "Driven by the global health crisis and sustainability trends, consumers are looking for products that naturally contain beneficial ingredients and have a more healthy and positive impact on the environment. We will see more transparency in labelling as consumers look for products that meet these expectations and much stronger demand for plant-based protein in their diet. It will be a dynamic market and one in which we look forward to assisting customers meet the challenges and opportunities ahead."


According to ADM, the five trends that will spur innovation in the new year, include a more proactive approach to nourishing the body and mind; sustainability taking center stage; the human gut microbiome emerging as the gateway to wellness; the expansion of plant-based food boom; and transparency building consumer trust.


Sustainability takes center stage


Over two-thirds (65%) of consumers want to have a positive impact on the environment through their everyday actions. This is a key reason why 32% of consumers buy sustainably produced items.


The growing awareness of the collective impact on the environment has elicited increasing demand for companies to demonstrate their sustainability commitment beyond just the end product to responsible sourcing and operating standards.


Specialised feed to reduce methane emissions in livestock, for example, is helping to address consumer interest in more eco-friendly protein sources, ADM highlighted. New farming practices, such as regenerative agriculture, are being used to enrich soil, resulting in carbon drawdown and improvements to the water cycle. Renewable plant-based materials such as cornstarch and seaweed are appearing in consumer packaging to reduce landfill waste.


Plant-based food boom expands beyond the bun

Globally, 56% of plant consumers are trying to eat more plant-based foods and beverages, pushing alternative proteins into an increasingly mainstream phenomenon.


Demand for plant-based protein products is rapidly expanding beyond just burger analogues to new and novel products, including alternative seafoods like shellfish and shrimp, plant-based cheeses and ready-to-eat protein snacks, ADM said.


Alternative meat products also continue to evolve, with new technologies like 3D printing and protein fermentation playing a role in driving innovation.


New plant-based meats on the horizon include whole-muscle products like steak and chicken breast, lunch meat and bacon.


The dairy alternative category, an early leader in the plant-based nutrition space, is growing to encompass other formats such as yogurt, ice cream, butter, spreads and creamers. To stand out in the dairy aisle, products must deliver more protein than traditional dairy, and feature a nutritional label fortified with vitamins and minerals or functional ingredients like probiotics.


Transparency builds consumer trust


Consumers now expect food labels to provide greater transparency around the entire product life cycle. This is helping drive the demand for locally sourced products as consumers seek greater clarity on where the ingredients in food and beverages come from.


In fact, 26% of global consumers look for the country of origin on food and drink Labels, according to ADM.


"The global pandemic has drastically changed consumer perceptions of the world, influencing the way we eat, drink and connect with one another, ADM said.


"With these nutrition trends gaining steam in 2021 and beyond, ADM is positioned to provide brands with the innovative solutions required to meet customer needs in an ever-changing marketplace."