While the food industry is experiencing unprecedented upheavals, Braque, a 360 expert food marketing agency, is releasing a brand-new white paper specifically intended to help food manufacturers better understand new consumer behaviour and navigate the changes the beginning of 2021 brings.
Entitled “What’s on Your Plate: Eight Canadian Food Industry Trends for 2021,” the white paper presents the major trends and related opportunities to seize in the coming year. Here is a brief overview.
1. Cooking at home
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many Canadians have reconnected with their kitchens and are enjoying cooking and trying new recipes. To mix it up, consumers will increasingly turn to revamped staples with original flavours, and products that help them reproduce the restaurant experience at home.
Solutions to simplify daily meal preparation are also opportune, which is why ready-to-cook boxed meals are particularly popular this year.
Online food retailing has seen incredible growth in 2020, and the statistics prove it: in Canada the sector has jumped 86% as compared to 2019 (Agri-Food Analytics Lab). To maximize the trend, food manufacturers can either sell directly online or via an online retailer. Each solution has its own pros and cons, which are explored in more detail in the document.
3. Functional foods
Since Canadians are preoccupied with their health and well-being, foods that are enriched with nutrients, that stimulate the immune system, and that help reduce stress are particularly popular.
4. The veggie revolution
Canadians’ plates contain increasing amounts of plant-based products, and each year innovative options appear to satisfy the demand. However, even if consumers are now interested in any type of foods that replace those of animal origin, the market for plant-based meat leads the pack. The market is estimated to reach US$220 million in 2022, which represents an increase of US$100 million since 2015 (Statista).
5. Transparency, ethics and responsible consumption
In 2021, people expect brands to be more transparent about the origin of their food and how it is made, as well about its benefits. Beyond brands, consumers wish to encourage the people behind the products by supporting entrepreneurs from diverse and minority communities.
Finally, Canadians are looking for different ways to reduce the environmental footprint of their food, which explains the popularity of the climatarian diet.
6. Innovative and environmentally responsible packaging
Did you know that 55% of Canadians would be ready to pay more for biodegradable packaging? The interest in environmentally responsible packaging is very real, and several innovative options are now available to food manufacturers. This year, we can expect to see reusable packaging in fast food restaurants, 100% plant-based packaging and even smart packaging.
7. Look to exporting
Canadian exports are well regarded internationally, and according to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the country is on track to rank fifth in the food sector by 2025. Exporting is an essential step for local manufacturers who wish to ensure their economic growth and diversify their markets.
The white paper examines three particularly interesting markets for local exporters: the United States, the European Union and the Asia-Pacific region.
8. The increasing popularity of store brands
Since the beginning of the pandemic, store brands have been occupying more space in consumers’ shopping baskets, whether due to shortages in grocery stores or reduced household spending. But, how to complete with unbeatably priced products? You’ll find several tips to help name brands compete with store brands.
For even more information, statistics and advice about the eight food trends for 2021, see the complete white paper “What’s on Your Plate: Eight Canadian Food Industry Trends for 2021.” It is a must-read for all food companies looking to meet today’s demands while preparing for tomorrow’s challenges.
Download the white paper here.