Global Food and Drink Trends 2019

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This article is a summary of a report from Mintel about the important trends in the food and drink industry in 2019. It gives pointers to manufacturers about how to make the most of these trends. 

Below is a summary of the key points of the report.

Who is Mintel?

Mintel is one of the world’s leading market intelligence agency, with offices around the world. They provide data, market research, market analysis, competitive intelligence and product intelligence. They combine this information to provide insights and recommendations to interested parties.

Three major food and drink trends

The report identifies 3 major trends  – sustainability, health and wellness and convenience.

The research is from 90 Mintel experts in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

These trends may present opportunities for your food and drink business.


The idea of sustainability is now moving more towards considering the entire life-cycle(i.e. the circular economy) of the product and its packaging. This means that companies, retailers, and consumers will need to play a part in the sustainable sourcing, production, distribution, consumption and disposal of products.

Consumers’ new aversion to #singleuseplastic is now well-known and many brands have already begun to change their packaging to carton-board or bio-based packaging. The report gives examples of big brands packaging and product changes, including Tesco, who stock a range of fruit and veg juices, called Waste Not, that are made from misshapen, “ugly” fruit and veg that would not be of a high enough standard to be sold on retail shelves.

Regenerative Agriculture

Healthy soil that is rich in nutrients has an important role in yielding healthy food, climate change and water management. Large, innovative food companies are taking the lead in regenerative agriculture which means that their food is produced using farming methods that are beneficial to the environment.

The report gives examples of this, including US baby food brand, Gerber’s Clean Field Farming line.

Consumer Opinions on Sustainability

The report gives a variety of statistics on consumer (in different countries across the globe) attitudes to sustainability. These statistics are not unexpected and reflect the growing awareness and action by consumers on environmental issues. For example, 47% of UK consumers surveyed stated that plastic pollution was an environmental issue that is important to them.

What do these mean for food and drink manufacturers?

  • Consumers want to see manufacturers take responsibility for sustainability across the life of the product. Manufacturers need to ensure that any sustainable actions they are taking are promoted across their entire marketing channels so that they get due credit for their efforts.
  • Innovation in reusable and renewable materials will continue and organisations need to continue to improve the recycling, reuse or composting of food and drink packaging in the coming decades.
  • Regenerative agriculture will become a major trend as everyone in the supply chain realises that concept of the “circular” economy means that all factors (that affect the environment, right from the very beginning of the product’s life) need to be considered.

Health and Wellness

The important trend here is the fact that consumers are living longer than ever before. Therefore the opportunity for food and drink manufacturers is mainly around creating foods/drinks or highlighting ingredients consumers perceive will give them better health as they age.

Food and drink products can help people of all ages improve their bone, joint, and brain health, as well as proactively address other age-related health concerns will be a growing market sector.

The report advises that the food and drink manufacturers should look at how the beauty and personal care industry has adapted their products and their marketing to appeal to ageing consumers.


In the past, convenience or “fast food” was mostly quite unhealthy, usually deep-fried meat or carbohydrates.  An emerging trend is a demand by consumers for high-quality, healthy convenience foods. As the pace of life continues to increase, even health-conscious consumers have a need “fast food”.

Food and drink manufacturers who wish to exploit this trend need to not only produce healthy fast food products but also ensure that these foods can be ordered easily across all digital platforms.

Premium high-ends foods is a growing trend as many consumers see themselves as “foodies” and want to feel that they are at premium food, even if it has been pre-prepared. An example of this is  Luv-A-Duck Peking Duck Breast Pancake Kit, which contains 100% Australian grown premium duck breast, 20 Chinese-style pancakes and hoisin sauce. The text on the packaging also gives the recommendation to complete the recipe by adding spring onions and cucumbers.

Automated convenience stores use mobile apps and other technology which make shopping for fresh or prepared foods even easier than before as queueing and check-outs are eliminated.

You can download the full report here.