Aug 24, 2020
Trends you can taste
A smoothie bowl for breakfast, vegan burgers with avocado for lunch and a cool coconut water in between. Food trends not only change what we actually eat, but also influence the design of new products in other sectors – for example, in cosmetics, detergents and cleaners.
Every year, the most popular food trends are announced on numerous food blogs and in industry magazines, and food fairs present innovative concepts and products. As with all trends, some prevail in the long term and others quickly disappear from the scene. Vegan products such as meat or milk alternatives, are increasingly finding their way into consumers' shopping carts for example in North America and Europe. At the same time, there was a huge bubble tea boom in the summer of 2010 – a usually very sweet tea from Taiwan with filled globules – which ebbed away shortly afterwards.
Such food trends often reflect societal developments. In Europe, for example, the demand for sustainable and regional products is currently growing. A greater focus on health has also led to some food trends: superfoods such as chia seeds, quinoa or acai berries, high-protein foods and, in general, a more conscious nutrition with high-quality products. Henkel's marketing and R&D teams like to see trends in the food industry as inspiration for new products. After all, what consumers like on their plates can also be a success for skin and laundry.
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Finding ideas at the food fair
That's why Jens Bode, responsible for trend scouting in the Laundry & Home Care business unit, and his interdisciplinary team of marketing, research & development and market research, regularly attend Anuga, the world's largest trade fair for the food and beverage industry. Trends and innovations such as new ingredients or formats that could be inspiring for Henkel products in some form are documented and then further developed in workshops. "In order to simply come up with new, fresh thoughts and ideas, it is important that we look at inspirations and trends in all markets and give our colleagues the opportunity to discover something new and render these found treasures into new solutions together," Jens explains.
The trends from the food industry can then be translated in various ways into dishwashing products and shampoos. Sometimes this even results in completely new products – for example the Fa Smoothie Collection, inspired by a food trend. Therefore, it is important that Jens follows the trends and the corresponding discussions closely to give an assessment. "A high degree of curiosity and the exchange with external experts are particularly important, but also one's own experience and a certain amount of gut feeling.", he says.
In order to come up with fresh thoughts, we look at inspirations and trends in all markets.
Jens Bode, Trend Explorer & Innovation Game Changer for the Laundry & Home Care business unit
Knowing stain trends
A few years ago, a drink became famous after numerous celebrities were spotted with it: coconut water. Coconut water, which is considered a more natural and healthier alternative to energy and soft drinks, was soon to be found in various other products – for example shower gel or dishwashing liquid.
Trends are also a relevant factor regarding stains and the corresponding stain removers. After all, the consistency of ketchup makes completely different stains compared to chili sauce – which will become much more popular worldwide in the coming years. This is another factor that must also be taken into account when scouting trends and developing new products.
Ideas that shape the market
Pursuing innovation is like being strapped into a pitch-black rollercoaster. Once someone grabs onto an idea, they are in it through every twist and turn – without knowing when the next one is going to hit. Sometimes the ride comes to a jerking halt and ends with the innovator feeling a major headache. But sometimes the ride ends, and the innovator feels invigorated and ready to go around a second time.