The 2019 food and beverage industry trends reflect the broader consumer trends facing all consumer products companies – more diverse, savvier consumers are looking for innovative product offerings, a wider variety of options, and more focused engagement. In 2019, industry leaders must continue to embed the voice of the customer within each step of the decision-making process. Those leaders can leverage deep understanding of their core constituents to further address the critical industry trends, including:
- the continuous growth of the multicultural consumer as an influential market segment,
- consumer-driven innovations in product offerings,
- increases in M&A activity as leaders seek new capabilities and markets, and
- further evolution of premium private label brands.
1. Increasing Growth of the Multicultural Consumer
The multicultural consumer drives 47% of US GDP – representing approximately $3.2 trillion in spending power. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2044, the United States will become a multiculturally-dominant nation, and even today, 42% of millennials are multicultural. (Nielsen 2018)
In response, many food and beverage companies are creating differentiated experiences for ethnic consumers by developing authentic messaging that appeals to both sides of the multicultural consumer. One way companies in this space can increase their reach to the multicultural consumer is through music.
This year, for the first time, 19 of the billboard top 100 songs were Hispanic, an all Asian band made the top billboard hits, and hip hop outpaced rock and roll in popularity. By tapping into this shifting trend and embedding relevant musical content in messages, food and beverage companies can better show their connection and understanding to the multicultural consumer.
2. Growth of Premium Private Label
Food and beverage companies have heard about the growth of private label for years but with consumer confidence reaching an 18-year high (Marketwatch, 2018), it’s not about the lowest priced products anymore. The trend that food and beverage companies need to be aware of is the growth of differentiated private label products. According to a Nielsen 2018 Consumer Report, by the last quarter of 2017, store brands were posting dollar growth of more than three times the rate of branded products. This increase wasn’t from discounted private label products though, which saw a decline of 2.3%. The surge in growth was driven by premium private label products – which saw a year-over-year increase of 10.6% from mid-year 2016.
For existing food and beverage companies, the importance that consumers are placing on differentiation over price is key for brand innovation and product portfolio analysis.
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