This past year was a big one for the food and beverage industry. Sales surged past $7.8 billion in 2019, representing a nearly 4% increase from the year before. While that might seem modest, food and beverage sales emerged as the fastest-growing e-commerce category in 2019.
Some of the trends that shaped last year are expected to persist throughout 2020, including the lingering effects of the trade war, the soaring popularity of CBD and hemp products, and the public’s unwavering concern for sustainability. Industry leaders remain optimistic and 84% of them predict continued revenue growth in 2020, according to the "Mazars 2019 Food & Beverage Industry Outlook." Executives interviewed for this study also expected consumers to continue demanding healthy products, private-label brands, and free-from offerings in 2020.
It’s critical that food and beverage manufacturers and their suppliers understand what trends will shape the market moving forward. That’s why TraceGains invited Barb Stuckey, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Mattson — a Silicon Valley food innovation and development firm — to headline TGCon 2020. Mattson helps clients, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, identify new food business ideas and bring them to life with commercially viable prototypes, developing them through to market-readiness. Stuckey is also the author of “TASTE: Surprising Stories and Science About Why Food Tastes Good.”
Stuckey, who will discuss food innovation trends at TGCon 2020, has ideas about what will drive growth in the food and beverage space in 2020 and beyond. She expects alternative foods, or “great fakes,” as she dubs them, to see continued growth. That includes brands such as Impossible Foods, Endless West, and RightRice.
She also agrees that the issue of sustainability isn’t going away, especially with younger consumers increasingly concerned about climate change. The drive toward more sustainable food and beverage products includes the growing use of high-tech ingredients that enable manufacturers to do things that would’ve seemed impossible just a few years ago.
“As one single example, take the consumer desire for low- and no-sugar natural products that will continue to grow in all categories, as we’re already seeing,” Stuckey wrote in a recent Forbes article. “To do this well, we need to go beyond the stevia leaf. That’s where food tech comes in.”
Stuckey suggested sugar reduction and proteins are just two markets “experiencing an explosion of ingredient innovation,” pointing to Amyris, one example of a company that’s making an artificial sweetener with yeast.
Don’t miss this groundbreaking session and everything else TGCon 2020 has to offer. TGCon is one of the industry’s leading events for food and beverage, retail, hemp/CBD, and supplement professionals can drive business transformation and achieve success. Register today while there’s still space available.