October 12, 2022

SIAL Insights: Answering tomorrow’s challenges

Understand the food industry’s inspiring developments and crucial challenges at SIAL Paris 2022, with the help of SIAL Insights   

SIAL Insights offers visitors direct access to an unprecedented analysis of the global food industry’s major consumption trends and their developments. This analysis is the result of three sources: the biennial Food 360 study conducted every two years by Kantar; the worldwide innovation panorama presented by ProtéinesXTC; and restaurant trend studies carried out by NPD.

Based on SIAL Paris 2022’s #OwnTheChange theme, this informative research makes it possible to understand the reality of food challenges faced by 11 countries and markets across Europe and the world: France, China, Germany, the Middle East, the United States, Russia, Southeast Asia, Spain, the United Kingdom. This unique study is based on three principles: consumer expectations, product innovation and restaurant behaviour. 

Consumers know that they are what they eat

Food choices for consumers go beyond just satisfying a basic need; factors include enjoyment, health, status symbolism, matters of convenience, culture, budget and more. Now, the challenges for the food industry are becoming more complex, as questions are being raised about production models and access to resources. 

The three worldwide studies conducted for SIAL clearly show that the pandemic did not turn the world on its head; quite the contrary. In this uncertain global context, consumers are as sure as ever that what they eat defines the world in which they live, for them, for their loved ones, and beyond, for all the species with which they share the planet.

The four cardinal points of food trends

There are four key trends identified by SIAL Insights as the most relevant for today and the future.

More natural products
Firstly, health as a trend has never been more crucial. By opting for ever more natural ingredients and simpler ingredient lists and processing, consumers can eat in a healthier way. It has been found that less is more when it comes to reassuring consumers about food safety and reasserting health benefits.

Increased environmental and ethical responsibility
Secondly, environmental and ethical responsibility remains an important concern. A label is no longer enough to guarantee that a product is not having too much of a negative effect on the environment. Ethics and corporate social responsibility are becoming more complex, and are being examined from end to end, since the industry is progressively becoming more accustomed to claims of a reduced impact “from field to plate” or “from farm to fork.” Consumers are, and will continue to be, increasingly discriminating in their choices, demanding ever more clear, tangible proof that companies are living up to their promises.

More enjoyment

Enjoyment as a driver for innovation and consumer spending is also prevalent in 2022. The increasing power of societal commitment to food choices brings “new taste to […] enjoyment,” as put by SIAL Insights. Making a useful choice, whether at home or at a restaurant, makes consumers feel good. In the context of an economic crisis, it would be difficult to reserve the best for a select few, simply for reasons of purchasing power. That said, consumers have never been so eager to invest in feel-good foods and new discoveries.

Digital transformation
Lastly, the integrity of digital technology’s transformation of the food industry must not be understated. Digital technology offers consumers new ways to access products, information, nutritional coaching and consulting platforms, often in complete transparency.

SIAL Insights: Answering tomorrow’s challenges