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As 2017 is coming to a close, it’s a good time to start looking forward to see what next year will bring. Mintel, an international award-winning provider of market research, released its “Global Food & Drink Trends” report in which were announced the following five trends set to impact the food and drink market around the world in 2018: complete and total transparency, self-care/well-being, texture, scientifically engineered foods and personalization. According to the study, “widespread distrust has increased the need for food and drink manufacturers to be forthcoming about their ingredients production processes, and supply chains.” Complete transparency, therefore, will need to become a priority for many manufacturers to help consumers feel confident about the safety of their food and drink purchases. The second theme on the list, self-care/well-being, has become a mainstay in many consumers’ lives as they have begun to determine their own individual ideas of what is healthy for them based on their needs or the occasion. The study states that “approaches to personal well-being vary by individual, but are increasingly marked by consumers developing their own unique definitions of healthy diets and lifestyles.” Texture is the third trend cited because it adds another element to eating and drinking that can further enhance the experiences beyond just taste alone. The report says that “texture is the new facet of formulation that can be leveraged to provide consumers with interactive and -documentation-worthy – experiences.” The next trend mentioned, scientifically engineered foods, is on the rise as the desire and need to minimize the carbon footprint and stretch the global food supply come into play. As a result, interest in laboratory-grown meats and animal-free dairy have become increasingly popular and the demand for this is only expected to grow exponentially. “Technology will begin to disrupt the traditional food chain in 2018 as enterprising manufacturers aim to replace farms and factories with laboratories,” according to Mintel. Rounding out the list of expected food and drink trends for next year is the ushering in of a new era in personalization, largely brought on by the expansion of online and mobile food shopping and the ability to specifically target promotions and products to individual shoppers. “The rapid expansion in the variety of food and drink channels will fuel the opportunity for recommendations, promotions, and product innovations based on actual consumer behavior patterns.” To download the complete 44-page report for free, go to:

Speaking of personalization, The Campbell Soup Co. has not only taken heed of a trend but has taken it up to the next level by becoming the sole investor in Habit, a meal delivery startup that offers personalized nutrition (also referred to as nutrigenomics). The San Francisco-based company, which launched in early 2017, develops nutritional recommendations and delivers personalized meals based on an individual’s biology, metabolism and personal goals. Users provide body metrics (such as height, weight and waist measurement) and complete an at-home test kit which measures 60-plus biomarkers to determine what the best foods and nutrients are for each individual. These tests are then utilized to design a unique nutritional plan for the customer. A team of chefs then creates meals based on these results which get delivered to the consumer’s home. According to Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup, “The entire food industry is being transformed by the fusion of food, well-being and technology.”  Morrison continued, “Habit is well positioned in this wired for well-being space and poised to lead the personalized nutrition category. Campbell’s investment is part of our broader efforts to define the future of food, which requires fresh thinking, new models of innovation, smart external development and venture investing to create an ecosystem of innovative partners.”