Crystal Ball Gazing in the Food & Beverage Industry

2017 is nearly over. And industry eyes are setting their sights on 2018. What new trends will the food & beverage industry bring us in just a few months?

During our 150-member event at Kendall College on October 4, we heard from two leading industry seers. Food Minds and Technomic did their crystal ball gazing, giving us their findings.

David Henkes, Senior Principal at Technomic ( embraces these massive transformations within the industry. He notes that the food & beverage industry has changed dramatically in such a short amount of time. In addition, it’s consumers who are driving much of this change.

Grant Prentice, SVP and Director of Insights for FoodMinds ( added, “Price, taste, and convenience used to account for the majority of the food & beverage marketing equation. Now we see consumers making purchase decisions based on different food values.”

Consumers are demanding more product transparency, more local food options and more specialty food options. This trend will only continue on in 2018.

While consumers are driving this change, the industry is correcting course. Especially the national distribution model. National is the opposite of local. The major question is, how can more companies utilize local product more in the making of their national brands?

Specialty foods and specialization is a multi-faceted issue. In 2018 more than ever, food and beverage companies will realize they cannot be all things to all people. In return, the specialization of industry products will work better for all players. Henkes says, “Having one amazing product done well, is more beneficial than having 8-10 mediocre products.” In addition lines are blurring within the industry. We are seeing more grocery stores building in-store restaurants. Restaurants are minimizing and specializing menu offerings (do less items and do them better). Consumers are responding positively to these non-traditional food trends.

Embracing non-traditional food trends will be beneficial for consumers and industry players.

Joins us at our next event, our Innovation Breakfast on October 12. We will hear from a panel of food entrepreneurs. Just how hard is it to bring a new food to market? Register and find out. 

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