Five top consumer trends from Fonterra’s NZMP

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

 Influences on how food and beverage products are consumed is monitored by NZMP.
Influences on how food and beverage products are consumed is monitored by NZMP.
NZMP, the global dairy ingredients brand of Fonterra, has released a list of the top five global consumer food and beverage trends that it recommends manufacturers address to stay relevant.

Gillian Munnik, NZMP marketing director, said NZMP’s teams in more than 130 markets are seeing a renewed focus on foods that suit individual lifestyles, beliefs and desires for new experiences.

“As a result, there’s plenty of unmet need and exciting potential that manufacturers could capture with the right products and stories,”​ Munnik said.

She said urbanization, demographic changes and developments in technology all constantly influence consumer behaviors, including the way food and beverage products are being consumed, and that NZMP monitors how these behaviors evolve.

NZMP’s five global consumer food and beverage trends

• Naturally functional food ingredients

• Personalisation & fragmentation

• Full disclosure

• Snackification

• New sensations

Naturally functional

69% of consumers associate ‘natural’ with ‘healthy’. (Global Data 2017 Q4 global consumer survey)

Roshena De Leon, NZMP global insights manager, said, “New Nutrition Business calls this the king of all trends because of its broad influence and overlap with most of the other trends.

“We will continue to see consumers preferring natural options to tap into the nutritional values of food. This comes to life either through consuming foods that are perceived to deliver therapeutic benefits, “food as medicine” or looking for the intrinsic health benefits associated with certain food ingredients.”

NZMP said research indicates dairy protein stimulates muscle growth in excess of other common protein sources and in countries like China and Japan is ranked top in terms of importance for maintaining health and wellness versus other nutrients.

Personalization & fragmentation

According to a Global Data 2016 survey, 70% of consumers find products customized to their individual health needs appealing.

James Dekker, NZMP programme manager nutrition and health, said increasingly consumers will choose a product based on the promise it addresses with respect to their particular dietary requirements.

“This will cause further fragmentation of categories and markets, meaning companies will have to find the best way to efficiently and effectively cater to various consumer segments, or identify the ones that provide most value,”​ Dekker said.

“The next progression of this trend sees consumers making decisions based on their unique genetic profile, metabolism or disease risks.”

He said a small but growing group of consumers is increasingly open to a more science-based approach to personalization. These are the consumers wanting to make changes in their diet based on their individual needs.

Full disclosure

According to Global Data, the three things most people globally associate with a clean label are, no pesticides, chemicals or toxins at 40%; natural, organic at 37%; and no GMOs at 31%.

De Leon said the trend of full disclosure means manufacturers need to extend transparency and traceability to products for all consumers, not just those shopping at the premium end of the market.


Consumers are shifting towards more natural snacking options, with 37% favoring dairy, according to a Global Data consumer survey.

“Leading food and beverage manufacturers will be thinking about how their product portfolio can be consumed on the go. Within dairy we anticipate a rise in ambient-stable products, protein-rich snacks and packaging that suits on-the-go snacking,”​ De Leon said.

New sensations

A 2016 Global Data consumer survey suggests 60% of consumers find trying new experiences most exciting compared to trying new products.

De Leon said this means the way food is consumed has evolved significantly, especially with the development of technology and social media.

“While taste remains at the forefront, being ‘instagram-able’ and share-worthy has become a big plus,”​ she said.

“This year, Mintel points to texture adding yet another dimension to our search for new sensations and food experiences. The sound, feel and satisfaction texture provides can communicate freshness or add fun and excitement to the consumption of food and beverages.”

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