Jean-Marc Demers
|Food Marketing

Food Industry : 10 Trends to Watch in 2020

The beginning of a new year is always a great opportunity to think about new challenges and various ways to innovate in our industry. In order to inspire you, we would like to present a few trends that will mark the food sector and that could guide you both in your marketing strategies and your product development.

Healthy trendy food

So here they are: the 10 trends to keep an eye on in 2020.


1. Non-alcoholic drinks


Since healthy lifestyles are predominant, more and more people, particularly millennials, are choosing to reduce their alcohol consumption. So they are looking for original, tasty alternatives to replace alcoholic drinks, hence the popularity of kombucha when it arrived on the shelves a few years ago. Beyond alcohol-free beer and wine, consumers are ready for innovative alternatives, like alcohol-free spirits and premium mocktails.


2. Meat alternatives


Even if there are very few Quebecers who declare themselves vegetarians or vegans, many people are opting for a flexitarian diet, or are simply trying to reduce their meat consumption. In fact, more than 50% of the population claims to have reduced their meat consumption in the past year (Baromètre de la consommation responsable, 2019) for various reasons, such as its harmful impact on health and the environment, its high cost and animal welfare. For those who have reduced their consumption of red meat, the most popular substitutes are vegetarian meatballs and sausages. This year, healthy, tasty and clean label vegetarian products will be popular with consumers.


3. eCommerce


eCommerce is booming, and it certainly isn’t going to stop growing in 2020! The food industry is constantly witnessing new players with innovative business approaches, such as ready-to-cook kits, delivery apps and subscriptions to fruit and vegetable baskets making waves. These are all new businesses that respond to consumers’ need to eat while saving time.


If you are a retailer, make sure you have a powerful, intuitive platform that facilitates the online purchase process. For web users, it is also essential to be able to choose the place and date for the delivery of their order. If you are a producer, make sure that your packaging is optimized for eCommerce.


4. The fight against food waste


Today more than ever, food waste is a primary concern, both for retailers and consumers. We invite you to think about different ways you can reduce product waste, whether by processing foods, making donations, selling “ugly” food, or offering discounts on food close to its expiration date. Be creative! The success of companies like LOOP, which creates products from rejected food, or anti-waste applications such as Flashfood or FoodHero prove that there is definitely room for innovation in this sector.


5. Eco-friendly packaging


In 2020, being eco-responsible will no longer be a distinctive advantage: it is now the norm. Consumers expect brands to adopt more environmentally friendly practices and their interest in eating responsibly is growing. Packaging is a good place to start, since it is the eco-responsible element that consumers think is the most important, according to our study on eating responsibly carried out jointly with the Nielsen company.  Now is the time to experiment with greener materials and reduce the amount of packaging used.


6. Behavioural changes due to rising prices


This is not a trend as such, but rising food prices will have a major impact on consumer behaviour in 2020. According to researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and Guelph University in Ontario, Canadians can expect price increases of 4%, or even 6% for beef and pork, that will far exceed the inflation rate. To adapt to this new reality, consumers intend to eat at home more often, which is a positive for grocery stores in general, but specifically for producers of ready-to-eat meals, which are a good alternative for busy workers and restaurant regulars. Canadians also intend to reduce their meat consumption, buy in bulk, eat frozen foods and take advantage of specials and coupons.


7. Local products


Again, according to the results of the study conducted jointly by Braque and Nielsen on eating responsibly, the local origin of food is the most-considered green characteristic by Quebecers when making purchases. We are persuaded that this enthusiasm for local products will continue to increase in 2020, since it is a simple, delicious way to eat a little more responsibly. Producers should therefore try to source as many local products as possible, and grocery stores should offer a variety of clearly identified products from Québec throughout the year.


8. Healthy snacks


As more and more students and workers look for solutions to eat well despite their busy schedules, the snack market is flourishing. Today, consumers are looking for tasty, easy-to-eat and, above all, nutritious snacks. Puffed, popped or crispy foods will be very popular over the next year, such as crunchy seeds and legumes, or low-fat flavoured popcorn. Protein-rich snacks, such as protein bars, will also be in demand.


9. Beauty-enhancing foods


Ah yes, in 2020, consumers will not only be on the lookout for foods that can meet their nutritional needs, but also for products that can enhance their beauty. Foods that positively affect physical appearance will therefore be in vogue, such as matcha, which stimulates hair growth, or foods rich in probiotics that can improve the skin’s appearance.


10. Artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence offers retailers infinite possibilities when it comes to managing their daily activities and better reaching consumers. As we have seen above, food waste is a plague for grocers. Thanks to artificial intelligence, they can better manage their stocks by predicting the fluctuation of supply and demand for certain products.


Artificial intelligence could also improve the consumer experience with tools that recommend recipes suited to their tastes and nutritional needs, or offer rewards based on their preferences. After all, 56% of Canadians would like to receive completely personalized offers (LoyauT, 2019).


In short, this year, don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate, both with your products and with totally accessible technological tools. We hope that you have been amply inspired to innovate and win market shares in 2020!

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