From Shanghai to San Francisco: 2024 Industry Insights from Global Chaucer Experts

December 2023

It’s almost a new year, which means exciting opportunities to expand your global audience await. While globalization has brought more cultures and cuisines to our tables, it’s important to remember that people in different regions have diverse taste preferences. Brands must explore customer demands to determine how traditions and regional interests.

Shape innovations in the year ahead.

We spoke with Viola Zhang, APAC Marketing Executive, Natty Baudrillard, NPD Project Leader, and Shaby Fisher, Global Marketing Manager, to get a deeper, global perspective on what consumer demands you should expect in 2024.

Q: In your part of the world, what are the current consumer demands that impact the food and beverage industry?

Viola: In the APAC region, current consumer demands have shifted to paying more attention to the quality and safety of the ingredients and products. This trend encompasses an interest in anything from sustainability to nutritional value and corporate transparency, encouraging brands to select each ingredient with careful intention.

Natty: We’re seeing the same in the European market. Consumers here are looking for more minimalistic, sustainable, and natural food and beverage products. They want to enjoy cleaner products without preservatives and additives and are paying close attention to the origin and processing of the ingredients used.

Shaby: Consumers in the Americas region are also looking for what we refer to as the health halo, meaning products that have a clean label or functional benefit. We are seeing more products with beneficial claims such as organic, sugar-free, non-GMO, or plant-based as a result. Equally, consumers are looking for companies that can back their claims and want the research to prove it. Companies that can prove their sustainability, charity, or nutritional claims are the ones that will win over these consumers.

Q: Based on what you are seeing within your region today, what trends do you think will gain consumer interest in 2024 and beyond?

Natty: Environmental sustainability will become an even stronger force of interest over the next few years as EU regulations are pushing industries to offer recyclable products by 2025. This encourages people to focus more and more on their own impact on the environment and become highly concerned about the long-term effects of what they consume.

Shaby: I also think one of the biggest trends that will take the spotlight here is sustainability. People are looking for ways to give back to the environment, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is by supporting companies that have a proven ESG claim. In fact, a recent study found that brands with products that have ESG-related claims now account for nearly half of all retail sales1.

Viola: For me personally as a consumer at a supermarket, I notice a large number of consumers looking for interesting and creative products. But it’s not just the packaging that should be eye-catching. APAC consumers want ingredients, flavor combinations, and eating experiences that satisfy their taste buds and curious mind.

 

Additionally, we’re seeing younger generations using social media for everything from sharing a new snack they bought to actually purchasing food and beverages from an online shopping site. In fact, many of my friends will forward a snack they find on social media to me! By doing so, consumers are able to interact with friends and the world, while increasing a sense of control over their life.

Q: Are there any challenges associated with meeting these demands? If so, what can help solve the challenges?

Viola: Chinese food and beverage brands have invested more money and time into launching new products at a faster pace than ever before. This super quick pace then requires ingredient suppliers to respond at a similar cadence. To overcome this adjustment, suppliers and brands must work together to strengthen communication and prioritize growing a deeper understanding of key products for the foreseeable future.

Natty: The EMEA market is working at a fast pace as well but is more focused on quickly adapting to sustainable sourcing and packaging demands, which can be very challenging for the food industry. Brands must work quickly to find the right materials that can still protect foods against humidity, oxidation, and micro-contamination – while adhering to sustainability goals. Moreover, the food industry has to be careful to keep the taste, feel, and appearance of the product the same while delivering a longer shelf life.

Shaby: Another route for brands focused on environmental goals is by having a proven and well-maintained ESG claim. However, these can be very expensive for a company to keep up with, from revamped manufacturing, transportation, or packaging like Natty mentioned. This all takes substantial investment to win over consumers.

Q: How does working with Chaucer and its ingredients help brands navigate current and future trends?

Viola: Chaucer has a global and diverse professional team, including R&D, supply chain, and market research. We not only supply ingredients, but we’re also able to come up with creative and interesting solutions for new product concepts. By working with Chaucer, brands can save time and other critical resources, all while gaining a clearer understanding of the industry and future trends.

Natty: In addition, we’re positioned to help brands as we offer 100% natural and sustainable products. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetable powders can be used to replace food colorants or flavorings, keeping the nutrients, taste, and colors of the product for longer.

Shaby: Lastly, our ingredients are traceable. Since we have a vertical production and own our products from farm to consumer, we are able to fully trace the product and ensure all vigorous quality standards are met and are able to be passed along to our customers. With all of that put together, it makes sense for companies across the food and beverage supply chain to connect with Chaucer to address their challenges and provide customers with exciting, innovative new options.

To learn more about what’s on the mind of global consumers, contact us at customer.services@chaucerfoods.com and connect with our team.

Resources

1 – “Consumers care about sustainability – and back it up with their wallets,” McKinsey & Company. 2023.

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