Food trends: Focus on the expectations that are changing our business and our meals

Tendances alimentaires : zoom sur les attentes qui font évoluer nos métiers et notre assiette
Tuesday, 19 March, 2019 - 08:45

Authenticity, naturalness, creativity...  Consumers have diverse expectations regarding their food. Health remains a major concern but consumers are also increasingly worried about the planet's health… We discuss these trends with Délifrance's Marketing and Product Development Innovation Director, Valérie Dupuis.

Valérie Dupuis, Délifrance's Marketing and Product Development Innovation DirectorValérie Dupuis, Délifrance's Marketing and Product Development Innovation Director

Tendances alimentaires : zoom sur les attentes qui font évoluer nos métiers et notre assiette

Responsible naturalness

Nowadays, food choices are not just about what is "good for your health". They are also about what is "responsible", is that right?

Yes, that's right. "Health" concerns around food remain a high priority: 2/3 of consumers consider the impact of their diet on their health and well-being when shopping. But ethics and environmental conservation — long considered secondary — have become quick key criteria in purchasing decisions, because consumers now understand that their health and that of the environment in a wider sense, are completely connected. This can be seen in the enthusiasm for plant-based products; so-called "clean", natural/additive-free products, which are becoming the new normal; and of course, organic food, which grew by 8%* worldwide between 2016 and 2017. Distributors play a key role in their democratisation, by giving them a greater share of their range.

Responsible naturalness

"Authenticity" vs "Creativity"

That said, the pleasure of eating remains paramount! What are the most important criteria, in consumers' eyes, for reconciling the twin requirements of health and taste? 

Absolutely! There is no compromising on taste, which remains consumers' number-one criteria for food, especially in France, where eating is synonymous with pleasure for 97% of people**!

MBut they are ambivalent about this pleasure: On the one hand, they are looking for authenticity, a form of simplicity, and a certain comforting rusticity, which consumers see as proof of quality. Provenance, and raw, unprocessed products are increasingly in-demand. Producers and distributors are promoting artisan know-how, the person behind the product: the farmer, the baker, etc. Ingredients of yesteryear, like ancient grains, are very "trendy": 13% of bread/viennoiserie innovations feature them, according to Statista.

Transparency: 54% of consumers pay (great) attention to ingredients

Yet at the same time, we see an interest in exceptional, sophisticated products and unexpected culinary creations, which often go viral on social media. Exoticism is still sought after, especially with the plethora of new creations with surprising combinations. This is probably why, as Sébastien Abis noted, "Dishes are becoming more individual yet more diverse, more global yet more local"***. Pleasure implies a desire to experience something new.
**Source : BVA 2017
***in Le Déméter 2019 – "De la parcelle à la planète" (Edition IRIS)

To meet such varied demands, to be in line with consumer expectations, and to offer solutions for every meal occasion, Délifrance has segmented its product range into six lines:

  • Délifrance Héritage, premium, artisan-inspired products, including the world-famous croissant;
  • Délifrance Feel Good, products to make you feel good, including organic, vegan, gluten-free, or nutrient-enriched products;
  • Délifrance À la Folie, sophisticated little, sweet and savoury festive treats;
  • A taste of, products with a strong sense of provenance, inspired by Italian, American, or Asian food;
  • Délifrance, our core range of delicious, authentic products;
  • Délifrance Essentials, a selection of simple and accessible products for any budget.

Délifrance a segmenté son offre produits autour de 6 gammes

Food 2.0

What impact are new technologies having on food trends? Would it be fair to say there is a "Food Tech revolution"?

Digital technologies are having a major impact on changing consumer trends. Food is a popular subject on social media, the latest trends circulate in the blink of an eye and influence us everyday. With our mobile phones and connected devices, the food ecosystem is undergoing veritable revolution, at every level: In farming practices with connected farming, in terms of methods of distribution with the boom of home meal delivery, e-commerce, and the "click and collect" model. We could also cite applications like "Yuka", which analyses labels to facilitate consumers’ nutritional choices, or the "To good to go" application, which allows consumers to locate and buy unsold products at discount prices to fight food waste.

Innovations in artificial intelligence and big data are also facilitating recommendations and providing customised tips, allowing consumers to get bespoke solutions, that meet any desire, any specific need, at any time.

In summary, the food revolution is underway and will continue to disrupt our relationship with food.

#food: a major subject of discussion on social media