Drinkable veggies, smart packaging, ‘gamified’ products: Datamonitor’s 10 CPG trends

By Maggie Hennessy

- Last updated on GMT

Products that provide feedback and reinforcement and the ability to customize consumption experiences (like Nestle Brazil's Fast Suflair Shake, which gets creamier the longer you shake it) could lead the CPG marketplace to new heights in 2014, according to Datamonitor.
Products that provide feedback and reinforcement and the ability to customize consumption experiences (like Nestle Brazil's Fast Suflair Shake, which gets creamier the longer you shake it) could lead the CPG marketplace to new heights in 2014, according to Datamonitor.

Related tags Consumer packaged goods Marketing Alcoholic beverage

Packaged goods companies will make their products greener, healthier, tastier, and faster in the New Year, says market researcher Datamonitor Consumer. 

The 10 consumer packaged goods trends to watch in 2014 are:

  • Packaging goes on a diet​ reflects growing interest in reducing packaging footprints for consumer packaged goods. Pouch packaging, and plastic bottle alternatives provide reduced reliance on petroleum-based materials relative to traditional plastic packaging, as well as significant weight savings.
  • Drink your veggies​—Datamonitor Consumer’s global Consumer Survey in 2013 found that 55% of consumers globally said that they are trying to eat as many vegetables as possible. However, 2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data revealed that only 64% of men and 73% of women globally eat vegetables on a daily basis. Rising sales of mechanical juicers, growing curiosity about the “cleanse” concept, and an increasing array of drinks (from vegetable-based smoothies to energy drinks, juices, and more), many featuring trendy green leafy vegetables like kale could kick-start this trend in 2014.
  • Crafty spirits​—Riding the crest of the craft beer wave, 2014 could see the spirits market join the fun as small-batch distilleries near breakout status. Regulatory changes have made craft distilleries easier to open in some country markets. Consumers are also excited about the concept, with “craft or artisanal production techniques” ranking among the top eight reasons that a consumer would be willing to pay more for an alcoholic drink, says Datamonitor’s 2013 Consumer Survey. Expect launches of small-batch, handcrafted vodkas, gins, whiskies, and more to rise in 2014.
  • Packaged goods ‘man up’​— The trend “packaged goods ‘man up’” sees consumer packaged goods marketers and retailers paying more attention to men as male consumers do more grocery shopping, cooking, household cleaning, and more. Look for CPGs to find creative ways to market their products as more foolproof.
  • MKP__GreenMangoSalad_075
    Malaysian green mango salad. Photo by Malaysia Kitchen
    Deeper-dive ethnic foods
    ​—Many ethnic foods aimed at mainstream consumers are moving out of the traditional ethnic “comfort zone” into foods perceived to be more authentic, exotic, and local. The economics that underpin this development are compelling. Hispanic consumers in the US, for example, have over $1tn in buying power today and some see this number doubling in the next decade. Interest in less widely known and appreciated ethnic fare like Filipino, Vietnamese, Peruvian, and Pakistani cuisines is growing as economic recovery pushes global travel to new levels.
  • Cleaner eating, drinking, and more​—Support for food that is less processed, or is at least perceived that way, is growing. Datamonitor’s 2013 Global Consumer Survey reported that 59% of consumers globally found the prospect of a food or drink concept formulated with the lowest number of ingredients possible to be either “somewhat appealing” or “very appealing.” Furthermore, recent news that the US Centers for Disease Control has found that 90% of the US population is exposed to substances like phthalates and parabens, many from personal care products, is expected to extend the “clean” trend more deeply into non-food products in 2014.
  • Turn up the heat​—The heat and spice movement is reaching unexpected areas including cheese, chocolate, ice cream, and isotonic drinks. Furthermore, while “heat” is closely associated with “spice,” it increasingly offers novel sensory experiences on its own. The introduction of Canada Dry hot ginger ale in Japan in 2013 – a carbonated soft drink actually designed to be consumed warm for a “tasty winter warm-up” – illustrates that heat itself can deliver a novel sensory experience. Leveraging heat and spice into new areas will be an ongoing trend in 2014.
  • Stealth health​—As health benefits are often associated with a less than great taste, stealth health aims to boost consumption of healthy food and beverage products while avoiding a perceived (or real) taste or pleasure sacrifice. The trend is seen in products that contain so-called “hidden” vegetables, fruits, and more, designed to add nutrition without sacrificing taste. Indeed, 2013 Datamonitor Consumer research that says that consumers find foods and beverages that are “naturally” high in nutrients to be more than twice as appealing as those that have “added nutrients.” Watch CPG companies find sneaky new ways to make products “better for you” in 2014.
  • Need for speed​—Speed can be a potentially decisive purchase factor for packaged goods products in a world where distinctions between products are shrinking. Datamonitor’s 2013 Consumer Survey found that younger consumers (aged 15 to 24) were twice as likely to say that “results are achieved quickly” has a “very high amount of influence” on their health and beauty product choices than consumers in the oldest age group, those aged 65 or older.
  • Make it fun​—Building on the concept of the “gamification” of products, making it fun helps to build engagement, and an engaged consumer is a potentially loyal consumer. Kids’ products are a major touch-point for this trend, but it’s not strictly limited to children. Products that provide feedback and reinforcement (like India’s Lifebuoy color-changing handwash, which goes from white to green after 10 seconds of use) and the ability to customize consumption experiences (like Brazil’s Nestle Fast Suflair Shake, which becomes creamier the longer you shake it) have the potential to lead the CPG marketplace to new heights in 2014.

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