2020 is already shaping up to be a year of change. For 41 years, AMC Global has been partnering with some of the globe’s leading brands for product launches and consumer insights, so we’ve gotten pretty good at spotting trends. Here’s what we think will shape the coming year:
Saying Yes to Plant-Based Products
Vegetarian and vegan products are going to continue to go mainstream. Even the most hearty meat-eater seems willing to try “plant-based” products, with plant-based burgers popping up at every drive-through in the nation. More and more brands are choosing to play up the plant-based descriptor on their packaging as consumers show heightened interest in this trend, both from a personal and a planet health standpoint. Even major meat manufacturers are getting in on the plant-based action, launching dedicated lines of plant-based and blended products. We expect to see this product category growin size and variety.
CBD Everywhere in Everything
2020 is being touted as a defining year for the cannabis industry. State-by-state legalization for recreational use is on the rise, with Illinois being the latest state to join the ranks. Hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that contains 0.3% or less THC content (the stuff that gets you “high”), received restricted nationwide legalization last year. CBD, a compound found naturally in hemp plants, has pretty much supplemented everything one can think of from treatment oils to topical creams, pet products to food and beverages. And its applications will continue to grow in the coming year.
BYO Straw, Fork, Container
As the effects of climate change increase, more consumers are engaged in this issue and looking to be part of the solution. Grabbing to-go kits with reusable straws, forks and food containers; using fabric shopping bags; choosing low waste and recycled home cleaning supplies; ordering paper products from sustainable sources -- the peer pressure and scientific pressure to reduce waste has impacted our daily lives. We believe restaurants, grocery stores, brands and consumers will continue committing to environmental sustainability in 2020.
Sweet, but not Too Sweet
It’s a pretty well-known fact that sugar can cause a whole host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Consumers are looking for alternatives to traditional sweeteners with additives and ingredients like fresh fruit syrup reductions from pomegranate or coconut or stevia. Manufacturers are answering the call for alternatives to high sugar products, and will continue to seek ingredients that provide a healthier option that doesn’t compromise taste for their audiences.
Plugging in our cars
There is now a whole row of charging stations at most grocery store parking lots in your town, and the batteries they charge are getting less expensive to produce. Not only are electric cars becoming more available to consumers, they meet an additional demand - helping to cut the carbon emissions that lead to global warming. More electric vehicles in a variety of price ranges will continue to hit the market in the years ahead.
Plain Water Isn’t Good Enough Anymore
Caffeine in your sparkling water? Strawberry lemonade in your beer? CBD in your coffee? Consumers are saying yes please to the most interesting beverages we’ve ever seen, with even more set to hit the market in 2020. Beverages are being infused with flavor, functional ingredients, additives, and more. See our recent musings about the beverage category in this blog post for more.
In the coming year, we will continue to see consumer demand drive new product development in nearly every category. Understanding what consumers want, how they feel and what’s driving their purchase decisions will rise in importance, as companies make important decisions about marketing, R&D, packaging, product launches and more. Find out more.