Eight consumer trends driving product innovation


In today’s world, consumers expect more from their favourite brands. They want to see them act as a force for good, as well as offering them solutions that are healthier, tastier and in line with the trends they care about.

To understand consumer sentiment as it relates to food and beverages, our global trends and insights team pores over hundreds of research papers and assesses thousands of data points, working with commercial teams worldwide to identify the main trends driving consumer purchases.

“By understanding how values, behaviours and appetites are changing, and the drivers behind these shifts, brands can launch products that meet the needs, wants and desires of their target consumers and better anticipate how this will evolve,” explained Beth Nieman Hacker, Market Research Director.

“Some trends, such as health and wellness, are well-established, although with recent global events this has been turbo-charged as consumers seek ways to regain control and protect their family’s wellbeing. Others, such as the rise of plant-based diets, have increased sharply in recent years fuelled by the growing public debate around the need for individual action to limit climate change alongside the proliferation of flexitarian-friendly products,” Beth added.

The latest global consumer trends driving product innovation today and tomorrow:


Transparency trend

84% read ingredient  labels, globally 1

Consumers are seeking “better-for-you” food and beverage products they can trust and want to know the source of the ingredients in those products. The clean label movement continues to evolve moving from all-natural claims to communicating how products are made .

Discover the Transparency trend here >


Plant-based trends

48% of consumers say that they have changed their diets in the last two years in order to lead a more sustainable lifestyle 2

Consumers are focused on health and sustainability, opting for products that are better for them and better for the planet. Consumers are drawn to products that are plant-based because positive health outcomes and environmental impacts are associated with plant-based eating.

Discover the Plant-Based trend here >

Sugar Reduction

Sugar reduction trend

58% of consumers say healthfulness has an impact on buying food and beverages 3

Consumers are looking for ways to get healthy and stay healthy. One recommendation to achieve better health is to reduce the amount of sugar in one’s diet. However, consumers are torn between reducing sugar and maintaining a great taste experience.

Discover the Sugar Reduction trend here >

Gut Health

Gut health trend

53% of global consumers plan to eat or drink more fibre 4

Globally, consumers are not getting enough fibre daily. Fibre helps support gut health and consumers are interested in getting more of it in their diet. As awareness of gut health and the benefits a healthy gut can provide continues to grow, more consumers will look for products with gut health benefits.

Discover the Gut Health trend here >


convenience trend

91% of global consumers are interested in products that save them time and effort 5

Consumers are digitally connected and time poor. They seek ease, efficiency and instant gratification from the products they buy, including food and beverage. Convenient formats and channels meet the needs of global consumers amidst their busier, more stressful lives, but this presents formulation challenges for manufacturers.

Discover the Convenience trend here >

"Better-For-You" Snacking

Better-for-you snacking trend

55% of global consumers say that they expect snacks to offer a nutritional boost 6

In this fast-paced world, time-pressed on-the-go lifestyles gave rise to snacking. Snacking is still an important meal occasion; however, consumers are prioritising their health. “Better-for-you” snacking products are an obvious choice to meet consumers' health needs.

Discover the "Better-For-You" Snacking trend here >


Value and premiumisation are present within each of the above trends:


  • Value addresses the consumer desire to attain “good value for the money.” Globally, most consumers define this as products that are “high quality” or have “high quality ingredients.”7

  • Premiumisation addresses the consumer desire for “something better” or more expensive. It is evident in innovation with specific benefits, claims or ingredients that help to justify paying more for the product.


“These global trends play to Tate & Lyle’s strengths as an ingredient provider, with our wider range of responsibly-sourced, almost exclusively plant-based solutions that are label-friendly and support healthy living,” added Natalya Bright, Market Research Manager.

“Since millions of people across the world consume products containing our ingredients every day, the heart of our business, our growth, our success, is about Improving Lives for Generations, and we’re proud to partner with our customers to do just that while helping them to succeed on the marketplace.”

Visit our trends and insights news section to stay on top of the later developments

For more information on how Tate & Lyle can help you leverage these global trends to develop and launch winning products, contact us via: https://www.tateandlyle.com/contact-us.


1. Tate & Lyle Proprietary Research, 2020, 14 countries, percentages are “always” or “sometimes”;
2. GlobalData 2020 Market Pulse Survey, Asia Pacific and Latin American, September 2020
3. International Food Information Council Foundation, 2020 Food & Health Survey, April 2020
4. T&L Global Consumer Ingredient Perception Research, 14 countries, 2020;
5. GlobalData Trend Sights 2020
6. FMCG Gurus, January 2021, Global
7. Value: GlobalData

Which trends are driving demand for healthier, more sustainable food?
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