Three key consumer trends will dominate the Indian food and drinks market for the year 2021 – quality of the product (49 percent), proof of safe production (43 percent) and environment friendliness (43 percent). As part of the publication of its latest report titled ‘Global Food and Drinks Trends 2021’, Mintel highlighted that these key trends will not only influence the Indian market in 2021, but would likely continue to impact it until 2026 as well.
One of the major reasons pointed out by Mintel for the change in consumer expectations is that they are looking for approachable upscale meals for special ‘hometainment’ occasions. The report highlighted that Indian consumers could expect brands and retailers to launch appropriately priced products with ethical or environmental claims.
The survey pointed out that consumers could also expect to see food, drink, and foodservice brands offer moments of respite through product rituals and formulations that enhance stress relief activities. This includes brands promoting mindful and intuitive eating, which will thereby lead to consumers seeking proof and incentives through the use of technology.
This finding was supplemented by Mintel's Global Consumer Trends 2021, which highlighted that 84 percent of Indians are actively seeking ways to reduce stress. The report further pointed out that the top two reasons that cause stress among Indians include financial strain (50 percent) and work pressure (46 percent). With the pandemic having wrecked havoc in the daily lives of Indians, the report sighted that work pressure is said to cause the highest amount of stress among individuals aged 18-44.
Speaking on the findings of the report, Daisy Li, Associate Director, Mintel Food and Drink said, “The COVID-19 global pandemic has made consumers recognise that wellbeing is a vital concern. In the coming years, consumers will be looking for more products and services that offer mental and emotional health benefits. Food and drink products with relaxation and sleep benefits remain a white space in India. Potential exists for brands to offer these benefits targeting different day-part occasions.”
The report further stated that in the next 12 months, food, drink, and foodservice companies will encourage people to use their brands as a form of self-expression and a way to reconnect with their pre-pandemic identities. The report also found out that the top three factors that would encourage consumers to try new flavors in food and drinks like salty snacks include friends/ family (41 percent), a well-known brand (40 percent) and social media review (38 percent).
“Word-of-mouth, whether online or offline, is highly influential in encouraging consumers to try new flavours. In fact, social media and e-commerce reviews are taking over traditional methods of marketing such as TV or newspaper advertisements and cookery shows. As recommendations from family and friends remain critical, given that online is becoming a larger part of consumers' lives and how they interact with each other, brands can encourage the easy spread of new flavours by incentivising sharing with family and friends through online channels,” concluded Daisy.