COVID-19 had a major impact on the way we ate and drank in 2020. These changes are expected to continue all of the way into the brand new year.
In this article, we’re taking a look at the trends in fast-moving consumer goods (FCMG) for the year ahead.
Why are tinned soups back in vogue, and why is pre-packaged salad out? Let’s find out.
What are fast-moving consumer goods?
Fast-moving consumer goods (or FCMG for short) are products that sell quickly at a relatively low cost.
From a food and drink standpoint, FCMGs include meat, soft drinks, ready meals and baked goods.
FCMGs account for half of all consumer spending worldwide.
- A taste of the exotic
As people couldn’t get to restaurants and cafes in 2020 in order to celebrate special occasions, interest in luxury food and drink received a considerable boost. With lockdown firmly in place for the next couple of months, this trend is set to continue in 2021.
As an example, the coffee pod and capsule market grew in 2020 and is set to increase by 7% over the next four years. This is because people are making specialist drinks in the comfort of their own homes.
- Products that are made to last
With the uncertainty of Brexit and the threat of further lockdowns on the horizon, customers have been buying tinned and long-life products that will keep them fed if they are unable to get to the shops.
Long-life food is generally seen as dull and uninteresting – something that you eat when there is nothing else in the cupboard.
However, chefs like Jack Monroe have shown that anyone can transform humble tinned food into culinary treats, and as a result, sales of frozen, tinned and dried food have more than doubled.
- The rise of subscription services
Subscription services enable customers to schedule food and drink orders on a regular basis, with the average Brit spending £60 on subscription services a year. Subscription services not only offer convenience, but something for customers to look forward to when they are stuck in the house.
Popular subscription options for 2021 include meal prep services and international food brands aa well as craft beer and gin.
- A move to healthier food and drink
Every year in January, we all promise that we will eat healthier after the Christmas splurge of turkey, crisps and chocolate… but more so in 2021.
Three out of four people in Europe say they will eat healthier in 2021 because of COVID-19.
People have been turning away from processed-foods and faddy diets and moving to immune-boosting products and plant-based brands (more on that later).
- Alcohol-free cocktails
During the lockdowns in 2020, many of us enjoyed a couple of ‘refreshing beverages’. During this year though, we’re choosing to make a change.
People are electing to enjoy alcohol-free cocktails and beverages in 2021, allowing them to have a delicious drink at the end of the day without the guilt.
Sales of alcohol-free spirits are growing by 195% a year, and it’s expected that this trend will continue to grow in 2021.
- Upmarket vegan treats
Many people are making a move to veganism to not only improve their health, but help reduce their carbon footprint.
Modern-day veganism is more than bean burgers and soy milk, and the range of food available is growing considerably year-on-year.
Some of the vegan food trends expected this year include vegan seafood, luxury ready meals and an increase in the different types of fake meats available.
- A focus on British brands
People will opt to buy more British brands in 2021. This is not only because of Brexit and a change in how products are imported, but also in a move to support local businesses and be more sustainable.
Trends show that British meat, dairy, confectionery and ready meals will be some of the most popular with customers in the UK this year.
- Eco-friendly packaging solutions
Two-thirds of people across the world think that climate change is a global emergency, and something that we need to fix now. As a result of this, people are making significant changes to their weekly shop.
People are moving away from food and drink that use a large amount of plastic and cardboard packaging and opting for more environmentally friendly alternatives. For example, it’s estimated that the global glass packaging market will rise by 4% over the next three years.
The top trends we are predicting for 2021? Look out for compostable packaging, the return of ‘weigh-in’ stores and plastic made from algae!
- Fermentation bubbles to the top
Fermentation is a top food trend for 2021. Although people are making their fermented foods at home, this can take a lot of time – with traditional kimchi taking up to three weeks to ferment completely. With this in mind, some people are opting to buy their fermented foods from the shops instead.
Items like kombucha, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, miso and lassi will be popular choices with customers this year. The other benefit of fermented food is that is it good for gut health, helping people to make healthy choices in 2021.
- Customers still have a taste for comfort food
Even though people want 2021 to be the year they start eating healthier, comfort food will always be popular.
Creamy, cheesy dishes like pie and mash, apple crumble and lasagne are still resonating with the general public.
Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy though. Sales of vegan comfort food like mac and ‘sheeze’, barbeque jackfruit and dairy-free desserts are set to skyrocket this year.
What are your top food trends for 2021?