Consumer Trends in 2022
Learn about growth opportunities for the dairy industry this year.
31 Mar 2022
Despite the challenges brought on by the global pandemic, growth opportunities have been seen continually on the horizon for the dairy industry.
Consumers have been focusing on self-care for immunity and resilience
Maintaining a well-functioning immune system is front of mind for everyone these days. Consumers are taking a series of small, incremental actions and behaviours that accumulate to result in better health and wellness, so they’re armed for whatever life throws their way.
Below: Percentage of consumers who say that they are taking a long-term approach to health1. Percentage of consumers who feel that it is important to eat a well-balanced diet to prevent major illness as they believe that prevention is better than cure2.
In China, 1 in 2 consumers take an active interest in foods with immunity-boosting claims, while 56% of US consumers claim to have made diet changes to improve immunity3.
Building a strong immune system has always been a priority, now more so than ever. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak, many consumers have begun to look for the best way to boost immunity. This heightened interest in immune health will likely persist well beyond this pandemic, and across different markets.
The importance of mental wellbeing is also growing. The link between food and non-clinical mental wellbeing related issues is a global consideration.
Mindful eating has also gained traction as COVID-19 has made us consider our food and drink choices more carefully
This is connected to achieving immunity and resilience and focuses on the ongoing balancing act that consumers do every day when making food choices. As consumers pay closer attention to what is in their food there is a plus and minus equation that is at play as they try to achieve balance.
Percentage of consumers who say that they have become more attentive to ingredients listings on food and drinks over the last 12 months4.
Revisiting old habits
Fuelled by the pandemic-driven emphasis on home cooking and digital community building, food-related viral phenomena are spreading faster than ever online and having tangible impacts on shopping and cooking behaviours in the physical world.
Many have made the switch to eating at home. Manufacturers are also looking to transform foodservice food and drink into packaged formats to make it convenient and accessible for consumers to enjoy at home.
The pandemic has also disrupted how we snack. This is something we expect to continue beyond the pandemic. Some brands have made format changes to move products out of the traditional breakfast category to make them a viable snack option throughout the entire day. Better for you snacks that can be eaten as a small meal in place of a full one is another strategy for brands to consider.
Percentage of consumers who have compensated for reduced spending in the foodservice sector by buying more indulgent treats from retailers5.
Sustainability gains momentum
The pandemic exposed the impact of the human way of life on the planet. This has led to various sustainability issues gaining traction. There is also a deeper reflection on the ethical and environmental impact of the food we eat, both at a local level and for the good of the planet and its citizens.
Consumers are demanding greater accountability from brands to provide evidence on how they are being sustainable. Being able to trace the origin of food also provides reassurance of quality and safety which has become top of mind for consumers, and attention to carbon footprint has also accelerated.
This will put into focus the need for brands to consider an end-to-end sustainability story in order to satisfy consumer needs in this space.
These trends highlight where dairy can look for growth in the near future as we continue to navigate the challenges caused by the pandemic.
As in previous years, the continuously evolving needs around health and wellness create an opportunity for dairy to really showcase its health credentials. Many consumers continue to turn to dairy to support their wellness needs, enabling dairy sales to show resilience during the pandemic.
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-  FMCG Gurus: Active Nutrition Survey 2021.
-  Fonterra Health & Wellness Index Study 2021.
-  Global Immunity Survey - FMCG Gurus 2019
-  FMCG GURUS: Clean Label Survey 2021.
-  FMCG GURUS: COVID Survey 2021.
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and its group members involved in the manufacture or sale of NZMP branded products (‘Fonterra’) has provided this ‘NZMP Fast Facts’ for informational purposes only. It does not constitute recommendations or advice for the purposes of making financial decisions regarding trading in dairy products or commodities, or dealing in financial instruments relating to dairy commodities. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of reproducing and interpreting such information, no warranty or representation of such is made and Fonterra shall have no liability in respect of any reliance placed on such information in the formulation of any business decision.