Influencer trends in food & beverage: Inspiration and insights for your next campaign

Consumer habits and food and beverage trends are always on the move, making it hard to know what messaging will reach consumers. We've taken the work off your plate and researched this for you.

In our Food and Beverage Trend Guide, you'll find data-driven inspiration for your brand. These Food and Bev trends are sourced directly from consumers and what they are saying online to create content that resonates with your audience.

Below you'll be able to dive into top trends and insights to inspire your future campaigns.

Top trending segment #1: Breakfast

What consumers are talking about:

→ Easy to prep breakfast staples still dominate

Quick to prepare staples like oatmeal, smoothies, cereal, and eggs are still among the most popular choices.

💡 Insight: During the workweek, consumers are looking for a quick meal option. Brands should highlight the ease of incorporating/ preparing their products.

→ Weekends and holidays are for brunch.

Weekends and holidays are often synonymous with brunch. While many consumers visit restaurants for the occasion, they also treat it as a time to cook more indulgent meals (like waffles and bacon) as they are no longer time-restricted by work.

💡 Insight: Weekends and brunch are the perfect time to promote indulgent meals, ingredients, and meals that require prep time. 

→ Intermittent fasting is trending.

In 2019, “intermittent fasting” was Google’s most-searched diet term. Consumers, particularly millennials, love wellness and are willing to test new diets to benefit their health.

Who's owning this space?

Cheerios was able to increase consumption in a highly competitive category by highlighting the product's nutrition and versatility. Cheerios achieved this by partnering with credible and relatable creators to highlight the low sugar content and the use of whole grains in Cheerios.

Top trending segment #2: Snacks

What consumers are talking about:

→ Sugar: The #1 driver of negative discussion
High-sugar snack bars aren't cutting it anymore as consumers are actively looking to reduce their sugar intake. Other so-called "bad" ingredients like artificial flavours and trans fats are also avoided. This has resulted in a surge of "free-from" labelling, like "trans-fat-free" or "refined sugar-free," by snack brands to appeal to more health-conscious snackers.

💡 Insight: Brands who are sugar-free or reduced sugar compared to their competition should market this fact heavily and call it out on the packaging.

→ Homemade is healthier
While pre-packaged snacks are popular among today's consumers' busy lifestyles, many turn towards homemade recipes like granola bars and energy balls or fridge and pantry ready items like apples and peanut butter.  

💡 Insight: For pantry staple brands, use your marketing as an opportunity to demonstrate the versatility of your product.

→ Rise in functional ingredients
With health and wellness is on the rise, functional ingredients that offer high protein, probiotics, and healthy fats are driving product innovations.

💡 Insight: Brands that tout high protein and low-sugar claims can position themselves as premium.

Who's owning this space?

Liberté wanted to be seen as a versatile ingredient by demonstrating that yogurt is an equally healthy snack option. Current consumers were looking for tasty, convenient to prepare, and nutritious snack options. Liberté’s campaign met consumer interests by demonstrating the versatility of incorporating protein and probiotic-rich yogurt as a delicious and healthy snack option. Liberté’s campaign met consumer interests by verifying the versatility of combining protein and probiotic-rich yogurt as a delicious and healthy snack option.

Top trending segment #3: Confectionary

What consumers are talking about:

→ Reese's PB cups are the #1 Halloween treat

Nothing beats chocolate and peanut butter. During Halloween, organic consumer discussion flavours the salty and sweet treat. Other chocolate-based brands like M&Ms and KitKat are also popular during this time.

💡 Insights: Brands should find creative ways to incorporate popular Halloween treats in their marketing.

→ Flavour innovations hit the sweet spot.
Consumers aren't tied to the classic confectionery flavours. Brands recognize this and are crafting new tastes and textures. At its core, KitKat is an innovation incubator. The brand's unique and sometimes exclusive flavour varieties like Matcha and Ruby Cocoa keeps discussion consistent through time.

💡 Insights: Brands who have a variety of flavours should be sure to highlight them to consumers.

→ Consumers still indulge
While sugar-free brands like SmartSweets have emerged due to changing consumer tastes, people still like to cave into their sweet tooth as it brings them feelings of happiness and comfort.

Who's owning this space?

KitKat wanted to create buzz around flavour innovation with a limited edition flavour using an uncommonly known ingredient. Consumers are not tied to the classic chocolate or candies their parents used to eat. When shoppers purchase indulgent products, they often look for new flavours. KitKat has led the pack when it comes to flavour innovations. Creators generated buzz for KitKat Ruby’s launch by highlighting the unique flavour attributes and emphasizing its limited-time offer.

Top trending segment #4: Frozen food

What consumers are talking about:

→ Popular dinner option during busy times
After a long day at work, consumers often defer to frozen dinner meals that are quick to prepare without losing texture or taste. Historically, frozen foods are perceived to compromise the quality of foods, leaving them mushy and flavourless.

💡 Insight: In marketing, it’s essential to communicate that frozen foods can still be flavorful and high quality.

→ Marketing drives conversation
Eating Well and Tyson Foods drove upticks in conversation due to their partnerships with bloggers. The blog posts touched on various aspects of the products, including taste, nutrition, and ease of preparation—all of which are important factors for consumers today.

→ Sodium and fat concern consumers
These two are the primary driver of negative sentiment. Frozen meals have traditionally received a bad rep for lacking sodium or fat.

💡 Insight: There’s an opportunity for brands to improve conversation positivity around the health of frozen meals by educating consumers.

Who's owning this space?

Frontera wanted to overcome negative category sentiment with a healthier alternative with fewer calories but still nutrient-rich. Life can get pretty busy. When these days hit, consumers don’t often have the time or energy to prepare a meal. Frozen meals have historically gotten a bad rep for being high in sodium and fat. Frontera sought to overcome this perception by associating their line of taco bowls with creators that lead healthy and busy lifestyles.

Marketing Food and Bev Brands: Trends in online messaging

We’ve collected the top five online conversation themes for food and beverage. These five themes will give you the insights needed to craft more compelling online messaging to reach your target audiences from Healthy options to protein.

#1: Healthy options
1 Million Online Conversations

Consumers today are looking for natural and minimally processed foods—this is true across all consumer packaged food segments. As a result, healthier variations have emerged. It’s important to relay nutrient propositions to stay in the running amongst new entrants when it comes to messaging.

#2: DIY
658,000 Online Conversations

Consumers want natural and additive-free products; as such, some have begun to take matters into their own hands and bake or prepare their snacks to control the sugar content and the ingredients being used. In your marketing, be transparent about these things to build trust with your audience.

#3: Convenience
539,000 Online Conversations

Busy lifestyles have shifted consumer demands in easy to prepare and transport foods. When it comes to snacks, having pre-packaged portions is what consumers look for. It’s important to convey to consumers that their busy lifestyles do not have to get in the way of enjoying a meal or snack.

#4: Sugar avoidance
438,000 Online Conversations

Added sugar is the #1 driver of negative sentiment when it comes to snacks and confectionery. New alternatives like SmartSweets are re-inventing the category by creating low-sugar products.

#5: Protein
246,000 Online Conversations

Foods marked “high protein” now carry an aura of health and goodness. Consumers are looking for protein-filled options that can keep them satiated longer. Breakfast foods like eggs and yogurt are popular as they both tout being high in protein. When it comes to snacks, high protein grains, seeds, and nuts are popular. If your product is high in protein, ensure that consumers are aware.

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