As bacon persists in making appearances in startling manifestations, and food trucks maneuver into place to stake their claim in the world of food fads, a group of food experts in Spain has developed a project to identify and study the weightier food trends of the near future.
The researchers from Azti-Tecnalia, an R+D center that specializes in marine and food research, consulted with the Food Trend Trotters project and the Bilbao Design Academy to paint a picture of what to look forward to in 2020. The group hopes to promote their findings as an opportunity for the food industry to find inspiration and anticipate consumer demands.
Although with the wrong spin this scenario could sound eerily much too "corporate marketing department meets A Clockwork Orange," it's actually pretty intuitive. Rather than focusing on synthetic convenience foods, GMOs, and any assortment of processed edible nonsense, the group has concluded that health will be a determining factor in the future of food. Health! Imagine that. They also emphasize the importance of transparency and the environment.
These eight ideas look at the broader picture, and marketing-speak names and descriptions aside, they address some of the deeper elements of food as it relates to who we are. More psychoanalysis couch than glossy magazine list, it's an interesting approach, to be sure. But...how will bacon fit into the mix?
1. "Food Telling"
Food with a Message. It responds to a demand for transparent, attractive, accessible information. It connects the consumer to what he or she consumes, and at the same time provides the food items themselves with greater identity and authenticity.
Multisensory Experience. This one seeks to heighten the senses and generate an original, pleasurable, intense and full experience.
Greater awareness and responsibility about the impact of food consumption on the personal, social, economic and environmental sphere is highlighted in this one. It seeks quality consumption in which enjoyment, balance, sustainability and accessibility predominate.
4. “Here & Now”
It facilitates the lifestyle of urban nomads who demand flexibility so that they can optimize the management of their time, health and the instant gratification of their needs anytime and anywhere.
Food Experience. This suggests spoiling oneself and self-satisfaction through memorable experiences that connect with the emotional needs of individuals. Adventure, fun, surprise and entertainment provide experiential added value to the product.
Keep it simple. It is reflected in the demand for flexible solutions that allow intelligent purchasing and consumption by opting for the least time-consuming choice. It is associated as much with the product as with the purchasing process and consumption through services and tools that make the lives of consumers easier.
Personalised Health. A proactive, responsible attitude towards the promotion, prevention and maintenance of one's own well-being and health is represented by this one. It seeks a diet adapted to personal needs to achieve a physical, mental and emotional balance.
Food expression. This one is associated with the expression of one’s own identity (individually or as part of a group), by "personifying” one’s own desires, values and aspirations in mass-market products.
So there you have it, from the mouths of the experts. Here's to hoping that the food industry actually picks up on the salubrious components of these trends, rather than just paying them lip service.