Top Human and Pet Food Trends: Bringing Science In?

In a recent report by analysts at Mars Petcare in the UK, I noticed two of the top five trends that will shape the impact of pet foods around the world by 2025: natural nutrition and science-based nutrition. For a few years these concepts seemed to be at odds, at least in the minds of consumers, as natural search gained more favor at the expense of science.

The Mars analysts apparently saw no conflict and recognized both the constantly growing desire of consumers for “free from” pet food and treats (of course) as well as the growing market share for formulations, especially for formulations for certain conditions and phases of life, with “proven” nutrition (scientifically managed).

One of Innova Market Insights’ annual top 10 trends for the coming year sums up the connection between the two – not surprising considering how often and closely human and pet food overlap. Innova calls it: “Nutritional hacking: The technology meets the requirements for foods with increased nutritional value, sustainability or ethical effects.”

Towards a balance between nature and science

In a webinar on November 11, 2020, LuAnn Williams, Director of Insights and Innovation at Innova, pointed out that this trend in human foods may suggest that consumers are more inclined to strike a balance between nature and science / technology this as harnessing the best of both natural and technology-driven approaches. She referred to an Innova 2020 survey of consumers in 10 countries (UK, US, Spain, France, Brazil, India, Germany, Mexico, China and Indonesia) which found many agree or strongly agree to compromise on the Enter into naturalness of a product that fits your nutritional needs.

In the survey, four out of five consumers also agreed that they believed in advances in food and beverages through science. “This is fantastic for those of us who were worried about how science got beaten up, but now it’s really interesting to see some [product] Development there and consumer interest, ”said Williams.

I count myself among those concerned about the lack of trust or respect for science (in relation to animal food, human nutrition, and many other areas), so I find this encouraging – and encouraging, that Mars is bringing science together with nature as a top has trend for pet food.

How clean label turned into general transparency

Williams identified other human nutrition trends that go well with pet foods. For example, Innova’s trend number one for 2021 is “Transparency triumphs”, a high point of existing trends since 2008 that combines sustainability, clean label and more. “It really started with a clean label,” said Williams. “I remember hearing about 2006 for the first year people talked about ‘cupboard ingredients’. What we’ve seen in that time is, it has changed and changed, and it’s getting bigger and bigger and umbrellas up to that trend. Now we see that brands really need to improve their game when it comes to transparency. “

The following comments came from the Innova consumer survey: “I value product information very much. I want to know what the product contains. “They also want to know how it’s made,” Willams said, showing survey data that three out of five consumers say they’re interested in learning more about where their food comes from and how it’s made. Clean Label itself has grown and changed so that it now includes concepts and requirements such as the well-being of humans and animals, transparency of the supply chain and sustainable procurement.

For brands, it’s a matter of trust and commitment as well, Williams added. “When you have a meaningful story, you can engage with consumers in whole new and different ways.” She was referring to human food stamps, but that definitely applies to pet food too.

Personalized nutrition takes off

The good adaptation to pet food applies to another human nutrition trend for 2021 that is “tailored to fit”. “We’ve been talking about personalized nutrition for 15 years, and now we’re seeing how things really play out,” Williams said. For example, 64% of consumers in the Innova survey said they found more ways to tailor their lives and the products they buy to their individual styles, beliefs and needs. Aside from their food, it also means their entertainment, clothing, and so many other areas including for some pet food.

Among the many rapidly growing categories of pet food, bespoke options and products (usually home delivery) are some of the standout features that have recently attracted new investment even during a pandemic. Some also resort to the ascending field and study the microbiome of domestic animals and all these influences.

For additional guidance, the Innova survey found that for their own nutritional experiences, consumers most want them to be tailored to their dietary needs, lifestyle, and / or body composition.

It rounds out Innova’s top 10 list of human food trends for 2021

One or two of these could also apply to pet food: “Plant-based, new omnichannel food in harmony with immunity, mood: next time product mashups” and “modern nostalgia”.

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