Food Insights AI

Rise of Clean & Healthy Consumption

COVID-19 has definitely nudged consumers out of their comfort zone when it comes to testing their palette. In Asia and some western markets with an existing extensive focus on food, cracking the market may not be easy. Thus, our 2021 food trends report using artificial intelligence and machine learning focuses on the changing F&B themes in India, China, Singapore, and North America. Themes that explored in our report are the innovation in immunity, increased intake of protein foods, localization of plant-based proteins, and intermittent fasting. 

The inability to travel and explore various tastes of the world during the pandemic, and an emerging trend of plant-based protein in India, China, and Singapore, have motivated F&B companies to take on new and innovative ideas. Local and international brands in these markets have localized plant-based proteins to suit different palettes and to attract a diverse consumer base. 

In addition to the increased intake of protein, immunity strengthening foods, especially as part of innovative products like “Haldi Doodh” in India, “Avida Health Chocolate Balls” in Singapore, and “Weller Sparkling Immunity Drinks” in North America serving all age groups are growing in China and India, whereas it has already emerged in North America owing to consumer preferences. 

The constantly changing times of 2020 made consumers turn toward food to seek comfort, support mental health, and improve sleep quality with foods claiming to make changes in sleeping habits growing in America and India, and emerging in China. On the other hand, mental health, meditation, and de-stressing foods are emerging trends. To give an example, PepsiCo launched DriftWell, a beverage enhanced with ingredients and flavours claiming to aid sleep. In addition to mental health, the conversation around physical change has, too, increased as a change in appearance is visible, for better or for worse. Now, taking care of one’s health is more important than ever, as consumer insights show a sharp rise in intermittent fasting and fasting as emerging and dormant trends in China, India, and America with high protein diets also piquing consumer interest in all three countries. Other than fasting, nutrition-dense foods like sunflower seeds and nuts have also seen growth as the awareness about health and nutrition is at an all-time high. 

Other than localization of various foods, exciting new flavours have come up as well since consumers have not been able to travel. To break away from the continuity of lockdown routine, consumers have been craving bold and spicy flavours like “Shiitake Mushroom jerky”, with Kimchi and Korean flavours growing in popularity in India.