If you clicked on this article link, you are probably highly interested in this year’s most innovative food and beverage trends. A category all to familiar to the team members of Blue Ocean. One of Blue Ocean’s tactics for acquiring new suppliers, is understanding what industry leading shifts are occurring in real time, and for the near and even distant future. That being said, we thought we would share 4 trends that we are seeing transform the mass retail space for the food and beverage category.
Upcycled Food: According to the Upcycled Food Organization, more than half of consumers want to buy more upcycled foods. I mean, why not buy something that still tastes great, but is also helping the environment? Upcycled food gives everyday people the ability to vote with their cash to end food waste. Upcycled foods are for human consumption but upcycled ingredients can also be included in animal feed, pet food, cosmetics, and more. One of our suppliers Shameless Pets does a fabulous job of introducing upcycled ingredients to the pet treat category. What does upcycling mean at Shameless Pets you might ask? It means rescuing and transforming misfit and surplus produce into high quality treats for your furry friends! The reality is farmers don’t just grow the perfect pear every go around. Much of their harvests are different shapes, colors, and sizes. However, due to the grocery stores’ high cosmetic standards, those twisty carrots and twirly beets cannot be sold… Although these foods were once turned away because they just didn’t fit in, Shameless Pets are proud of these individualists who grew their own way. Making their dream of being eaten, a total reality.
Immunity Boosting: As we are all aware, we have been living in a pandemic society since 2020 and considering the spread of illness will be forever ingrained in our society, shoppers are starting to turn the corner when it comes to health and wellness. Consumers are looking for products that will help boost overall immunity and wellbeing. One of our “better for you beverages” Karma Water is ahead of the curve by believing in the undiluted truth in immune support. Karma’s patented, protective, push gap technology guarantees that their proprietary blend or probiotics, vitamins and antioxidants are delivered at optimal potency. Oh, and did we mention it tastes great too? Karma Water is a truly enlightened product, born out of the idea that what goes around comes around. A product based on the simple belief that if you do something positive for others, or for yourself, you’ll get something positive back in return.
Food Stories: Like everything else they choose to purchase, Gen Z (people born between 1997 and 2012) considers its food to be reflective of its personal brand, lifestyle, and values. Consumers in this specific generation are looking for a “behind the scenes look” at what makes a product a progressive brand. One of our newer suppliers, UNiTE Foods, does an excellent job of stating who they are as a company and why their culture is so important to their brands identity. UNiTE Foods is a WOMAN OWNED COMPANY that handmakes protein bars with love and real food ingredients. UNiTE’s owner and CEO, Clara Paye, was inspired by her love of travel and adventure when concocting her infamous snacks. UNiTE Food reflects vibrancy from around the world, boldly capturing the lively heritage of individual cultures. Some of UNiTE’s flavors include savory Churro, Mexican hot chocolate, and nostalgic PB&J.
New Ways to Shop: Since the devastating hit of COVID-19, shoppers have been pivoting their habits to adjust to “the new normal”. And as the shoppers started to pivot, so did mass retail. Walmart has been able to really hone in on the new tech to table standard of shopping. Shedding new light on how to successfully bring your groceries home in the safest, easiest, most efficient way possible. Walmart introduced many convenient shopping trends like Pick Up Today, Same Day Delivery, and Ship from Store. One of their newer innovations has been the Mobile Scan and Go feature. This application can be found on the Walmart App under “Services” and allows you to shop & check out with your smart phone in-store. Just scan, pay, and by on your way! This new wave of shopping allows for contact-free checkout, less time at the register, and a more streamline shopping experience.
Across the globe, the pandemic continues to play an important role in shaping the ways in which we live and work, and the food and beverage industry is no exception with an increasing demand for affordable nutrition that offer authentic flavor profiles. As we move ahead with 2022, Blue Ocean is excited to see where this heavy hitting category will continue to transform and grow. If you are looking to expand your brand into new waters, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact page listed on our website.