Four consumer trends to look out for in 2023

In this article, Tim Opie, GM of Insights & Analytics at Fonterra, explores four trends you should know about for 2023 and beyond

23 Feb 2023

4 min

#Blog #Global #Insights #All Categories #Sustainability #Nutrition

Starting 2023 on the most informed footing we can, we’ve developed a Fonterra consumer trends framework that has identified five macro trends shaping future consumer growth across the food and beverages landscape.

Fonterra consumer trends framework:

Two major areas, Health & Wellbeing and Sustainability, are driving significant opportunity for dairy as consumers actively search for ‘healthy’ and ‘green’ solutions.

Fonterra consumer trends framework graphic in NZMP Perspective

Health & Wellness and Sustainability - the two lead forces of change aren’t mutually exclusive and competitive advantage is increasingly found in fusing both. Sustainability takes on a whole new level of personal relevance when consumers can link sustainable sourcing practices to better nutrition for them and their families.

Tim Opie, General Manager of Insights & Analytics, Fonterra

Here are four key opportunity areas that you need to know about for 2023 and beyond – mental and mood health food, food as medicine, personalised nutrition, and the rise of climatarians.

1. Improve mood and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression

Stress and anxiety are now the second most common health concern among consumers worldwide.1 The weight of these concerns falls heavily on younger generations, with Gen Z reporting the greatest levels of stress. But the silver lining is that younger generations are more willing to discuss these issues openly and actively look for solutions providing brands an opportunity to join the discussion and offer their partnership.

Natural and functional products are the logical solutions, but mental health needs to be approached from multiple angles, with exercise, medical advice, supplements, and meditation being the most common avenues.

Consumers will be looking for products that complement their stress-relief activities and the way brands position their products against these activities will pave the way to gaining consumer trust.


2. Offer benefits that extend beyond expected nutritional value

Coming to the forefront in the post-Covid era, food as medicine is increasingly a topic of interest to consumers as they opt for prevention over treatment with functional foods targeting cognitive health, bone health, inflammation, and eye health.3

Functional ingredients, in particular, draw a high level of appeal from consumers eager to actively manage their physical and mental wellbeing.

While brands have long made health a part of their strategy and messaging, helping consumers use fresh foods like dairy as medicine may open new frontiers.3

At least three in four consumers think fresh foods have preventative or therapeutic benefits, and one in two consumers are willing to spend more on food that can act as medicine.4

Functional and affordable will be the major tension in 2023, and brands that can help consumers close the information gap between products and their health outcomes have an opportunity to win over consumers and compete on aspects other than price.

Elderly woman drinking medical beverage from glass

3. Give the option to personalise food choices

With technological development, personalised food and nutrition products are becoming more accessible across many parts of the world.

Consumers are searching for information to understand how to personalise food choices to meet their individual health goals and needs both as a prevention to avoid health issues and as a cure to address current health concerns.

Consumers can sometimes feel that health and wellness products on the market are not suited to their specific needs, and


of global consumers find the concept of nutrition genetic testing appealing.5


Similarly, the ability to build your own food and drink items from the ground up, rather than from a pre-set selection, is becoming increasingly mainstream and may soon be seen as ‘the norm’ rather than a novelty.2

Green protein smoothie being poured from blender frontal

4. Enlighten consumers on the impact their consumption has on the environment

Once considered an external factor, consumer perception of personal health and the health of the environment are now intertwined.

The rise of the climatarian diet in recent years has seen more consumers embrace a holistic way to eat while reducing their carbon footprint.

Factors ranging from packaging, pesticide use, and food miles, will be the types of information actively sought by climate conscious consumers. Gone are the days of normal versus sustainable.6

Expect consumers to begin tracking their personal carbon footprints, where carbon becomes a quantifiable metric just like calories or price.7 For a growing minority, this will be the key driver of purchasing decisions.

Farm shot with mountains, cows and tress and plants

Opportunities for Dairy in 2023

These themes highlight growth opportunities in the dairy industry over the coming year. With a strong focus on holistic wellbeing, brands can partner with consumers and offer solutions to support the management of common health concerns including anxiety and depression.

Functional and fresh foods could play a crucial role in appealing to consumers who are taking a preventative approach to managing their physical and mental wellbeing especially in an era where food is increasingly perceived as a form of medicine.

In recent years, personal carbon footprints have become front of mind for a growing minority of consumers. As a result, brands who are able to demonstrate that they are reducing their business carbon footprint should be able to capitalise on opportunities by helping their consumers do the same.

Our Fonterra New Zealand farms have one of the lowest on-farm carbon footprints in the world. If you want to reduce your carbon impact, talk to us about how we can support you.7

To read the full article, download this month's Perspective publication below.

Download this month's Perspective

Read more in the February edition of Perspective.


Tim Opie

GM Insights & Analytics, Global Markets, Fonterra

Tim joined Fonterra early 2010 and has held a variety of roles in the Insights, Capability and Marketing space. As the General Manager of Insights & Analytics for Global Markets, Tim has a hand in the full end-to-end development process for our global consumer and foodservice brands from insights generation front end ideation through to customer acceptance and commercialisation. Tim has over 20 years of FMCG experience spanning agency, consultancy and client-side roles, and has been the driving force behind many successful brands and partnerships.

The views expressed above are the opinion of the author, not those of Fonterra, and Fonterra is not responsible for any decisions taken in reliance on the same.

  • 1. Euromonitor, Eating and drinking in the anxiety economy, 2022
  • 2. FMCG Gurus, Top Ten Trends Global Report, 2022
  • 3. Euromonitor, Competitor Strategies in Dairy Products and Alternatives, 2022
  • 4. Deloitte, Fresh Food as Medicine, 2022
  • 5. FMCG Gurus, Climatarian Diets, 2021
  • 6. Foresight Factory, Organics Trends, 2022[ST1] [SM2] [SM3]
  • 7.

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