The IFE International Food and Drinks Event brings together some of the best up and coming food innovators in the world to showcase their products and ideas… So we made sure Brilliant had a front row seat!
Through attending talks and tasting wonderful food and drinks from around the world, we gained an insight into what will be on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s mouths this coming year…
It’s no secret the world is becoming increasingly flexitarian.
Meat eaters are embracing alternatives to animal meat, and getting more on board with things like ‘meat-free Mondays’ and ‘veganuary’. At the same time, many of those who perhaps had already switched to vegetarianism or veganism are reverting back to allowing for some meat and dairy in their diets.
As a result of this, meat alternatives need to be as good as – or even better than the real thing.
There was even Tuna made from seaweed at BettaF!sh’s Tu-Nah… a brand new invention that we hope is here to stay!
Dairy-free milks and their increasing variety are winning over consumers more than ever, from creamy oat milk in your coffee to sweet almond milk in your cereal!
Interestingly, whilst the popularity for milk alternatives are on the rise, 80% of those who regularly buy milk alternatives still haven’t made the switch to dairy-free cheese. Maybe this means we can prepare to hear more from dairy alternative cheese brands who still need to prove themselves as being worthy – just like dairy-free milk did!
Sustainability is a key driving factor behind what people choose to eat, and a huge proportion of shoppers are willing to change their eating habits if it means that they are able to eat more ethical food.
It is predicted that local, seasonal, plant-based products are going to continue ascending to the top of consumers’ priorities. There will also be a continued shift amongst consumers to eating less, but better, meat, as well as a potential to see more talk around ‘lab grown’ – aka ‘slaughter-free’ varieties of meat.
For brands this means being innovative in their approach to being sustainable, and being more transparent about their environmental impact and commitments. Consumers now expect to be told the clean-cut truth and to have it backed by evidence, so vague buzzwords like ‘green’ or ‘ethical’ won’t be enough to win over the sustainably conscious consumer in and beyond 2022.
We talked to Up Up who are the worlds first completely ‘slave-free’ chocolate brand; Greeny Peeps who are a climate positive, 100% plastic free tea company, and tried pickled garlic flowers from Fruits of the Forage who make preserves from handpicked ‘waste’ fruits and veg that would’ve normally been deemed as excess, un-sellable produce
In and amongst tasting the various international foods during my time at IFE, we were able to attend some insightful talks with industry professionals including a panel on “Telling Brand Stories” hosted by Dan Nash, Founder of SixEight Agency and featuring Sara Stark, Marketing and Creative Director at Dishoom; and Jack Edge, Marketing Manager at Mission Mars.
They discussed the steps to effectively telling brand stories and discussed the value of connecting with the audience on a deeper level by relating to them through sharing emotional and dramatic details about your journey and how it has shaped your brands’ story.
Here, consumers were referred to as the ‘tribe’ and as marketers we must talk to them and stand up for the things they believe in.
Through captivating your audience in this way, brands don’t need to overtly tell people to buy their products but rather that will come as a natural next-step as the consumer is invested in your brand already and want to experience what it has to offer.
Another trend that we can expect for 2022 is to see people exploring more traditional foods from around the world including a growth in interest in Filipino, Eastern European, West and East African and Central Asian cuisines.
International pavilions across the event showcased foods from Italy to Saudi Arabia and Latvia to India.
At the same time, comforting classics will remain a welcomed staple – with the uncertainty of living in a post-pandemic world and the increasing costs of living, people are going to continue finding comfort in their familiar favourites.
Maybe everyone has their own comfort foods, but in particular, I noticed that make-at-home vegetarian and vegan street food options were everywhere.
HEALTHY BUT TASTY
60% of people list health as their primary driver for changing their choices when it comes to buying food.
At the same time though, food being healthy is not enough to sell the product alone, it still needs to taste really nice otherwise people won’t buy it – brands can use vibrant colours and flavour cues to sell their healthier products… otherwise people simply won’t buy it.
Later in the year, this trend is likely to be on the increase when HFSS regulations come in which restrict the advertising of high-sugar snacks.