The Pinterest 100: Functional ingredients, plant-based eating, fast meals & more pique pinners’ interest

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Related tags: Pinterest, Functional food, plant-based

Each month more than 250 million people use Pinterest to discover and share ideas, including what to eat and drink, giving the social media platform the ability to spot and track emerging trends early in the adoption cycle, which when leveraged by savvy CPG companies could help boost sales in the coming year.

Each year analysts with the social media platform comb through the pins of the previous year across 10 categories, including food, to create the Pinterest 100 annual list of emerging trends, which Pinterest says “is a great way for businesses to get their products and services in front of the trends that are inspiring people all over the world next year.”

The Pinterest 100, which compares “normalized searches on each trend”​ from January to September 2018 to the same period last year, also “can help CPG companies plan for media and creative strategies, marketing, merchandising and product development,”​ according to the platform.

The impact of the list is magnified when paired with other tools offered by Pinterest, including its Taste Graph, which not only helps spot trends, but can help companies better connect with pinners, according to the social media platform.

For example, it notes, the Taste Graph offers more than 5,000 interests based on pinners’ precise tastes to help companies better target their campaigns. Early results show advertisers seeing a 50% increase in their click through rates, which translates to 20% more cost effective clicks, according to Pinterest.

So, where should the food and beverage industry focus their attention next year? According to this year’s Pinterest 100 list, pinners’ interest is rising in functional ingredients, plant-based eating, healthy diets, fast meal solutions and taking a deeper dive into nutrition.

In particular, the list highlights:

  • Mushrooms​, which it says are ‘springing up everywhere from coffee drinks to chocolate bars,’ ​and in 64% more searches for mushroom recipes in 2018 than 2017. To make the most of this trend, companies should target mushroom recipes, low carb recipes, vegetables and vegan recipes, according to Pinterest.
  • Ginger, ​which is becoming a go-to ingredient to infuse in water and non-alcoholic drinks thanks to its association with digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits. While ginger in general saw a 659% lift last year, ginger water in particular saw a 353% increase.
  • Non-dairy milk alternatives,​ remain a hot search but in the past year oat milk stole the slot as “everyone’s new favorite dairy-alternative,”​ with searches up 186% from the prior year.
  • Baking bread,​ which climbed 413% from last year and offers opportunities for flours – both traditional and specialty – and companies offering kits to make more complicated loaves, like sourdough.
  • “Pegan” eating,​ which is up 337% and represents a cross between paleo and vegan diets. To tap into this trend, Pinterest recommends targeting low carb recipes, vegan recipes and vegetables.
  • Foil pack dinners​, which is up 209% and offer a low-prep, low-mess and “super flavorful”​ option for busy cooks.
  • Oxtail,​ which is identified as an ‘emerging trend’ with searches up 209% from the previous year. This could be an outgrowth of the move to more plant-based eating as consumers look for more flavorful animal proteins that they can use less of but which still deliver on taste.
  • Homemade jam​, which may sound old fashioned, but searches for it are up 829%. This trend likely isn’t a threat to the CPG jam and jelly space, but it could be an opportunity for spice companies or players in the breakfast and baked goods space to market their products as a flavor enhancer or delivery vehicle for successful batches of homemade jam.
  • Chayote, ​a versatile gourd and ‘superfood,’ searches for this veggie is up 76%. According to Pinterest, interests to target to tap into this trend are low-carb recipes, quick meals, Mexican recipes and vegetables.
  • Elderberries, ​which are up 685% from last year, thanks in part to their association with anti-inflammatory effects and the overall demand for more functional benefits from foods.
  • Superfood powders​, are an oldie but a goodie with searches up 144%.
  • Nutrition plans ​to help ‘diligent diners’ be more mindful about what they eat are up 475%.
  • Mocktails​ and other alternatives to alcohol continue to gain traction as more people seek ways to dry out, resulting in a 746% lift in pins of motivational quotes and non-alcoholic drink ideas.

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