Today’s busy consumers want meals that are ready to eat quickly— but they aren’t willing to sacrifice healthfulness and other high standards.
Those are among the findings of a new report, “Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017,” by London-based GlobalData PLC.
While convenience remains paramount, consumers also want their food to contain fresh and natural ingredients and to be prepared in ethically responsible ways, according to the report, which recommends meal kits as a way to address all of those needs.
Another trend cited in the report is reduced meat consumption. About 6% of U.S. consumers now identify themselves as vegan, up from 1% in 2014. And in Germany, 44% of those surveyed said they follow a low-meat diet, up from 26% in 2014.
The trend could lead to the mainstreaming of lab-grown meat, according to the report, which cites a group of entrepreneurs who hope to bring a lab-grown chicken alternative to the market by 2022.
Other trends in prepared foods cited in the report include:
- Premium junk food: the use of high-quality ingredients to improve foods that are traditionally seen as unhealthy.
- Inspiration borrowers: taking ideas from one food category and applying them to others to create novel foods that appeal to adventurous consumers. According to the report, consumers are more likely to experiment with prepared foods than with other food categories.