Teenagers texting mobile phone messages leaning on wall

There are trend soothsayers aplenty in today’s food and beverage marketplace. With a few taps on the keyboard, the internet makes it possible for you to find “what’s new” in food and beverage with lightning speed. The internet certainly has changed the way trends are gathered, discussed and ranked. What was once annual trends reports and listings produced from painstaking compilation and analysis of industry sales and transaction data has been overturned by daily tracking of industry feeds, influencer blogs, Eater.com posts, Instagram feeds, Pinterest pin counts and the like.

If you’re looking for “new” in the world of all things food and beverage, most likely you can find it on the internet — and fast. Finding “what’s new,” however, is one thing; finding what has true future market potential is another thing altogether.

Relying on the internet for spotting food and beverage trends comes with a certain inherent risk, and you will need to weigh if noticing the perceived “new” unfolding in the moment has any real value for your business in the future.

In Understanding the Future Market Potential of Trends, we share our approach to identifying trends with a sharp focus on how your organization can monetize those trends, which relies on being able to execute at the product level via innovation or acquisition.

Understanding the Future Market Potential of Trends

Here’s an excerpt:


Before we go any further, we wanted to reprise our definition of an adopted trend in packaged food and beverage. (The progressive consumer is referred to as one who is highly engaged regarding food culture, including health + wellness, sustainability and food discovery. These consumers are seen as early adopters and trendsetters.)

  • connects to an established cultural demand space (e.g., convenience, satiety, weight management, health and wellness, energy, culinary, sustainability, transparency, local)
  • fueled by innovations that focus on higher-order principles of eating or distinctions that cut across categories (e.g., organic, artisan, nutrient-dense snacks)
  • innovations that contradict/invert/upend some established principle of eating (e.g., low fat)
  • quality markers that align with current food culture to propel forward (e.g., chipotle peppers in the 1990s)
  • a long-term, consumer-led growth escalator that pulls the business along
  • requires involvement of multiple cultural change agents beyond the manufacturer (e.g., cultural apparatus including progressive consumers, leading chefs, innovative restaurants, food media)

We hope you enjoying reading this edition of Hartbeat Exec. We welcome the opportunity to have a deeper conversation around our capabilities and services in the following areas:

  • Trend identification, tracking and foresight
  • Understanding trends in the marketplace in context of specific category or marketplace dynamics
  • Trends application (specific opportunity identification for brands and assessment of how to optimize via innovation, investment, acquisition)

Contact: Shelley@hartman-group.com