Can the poultry and egg industries make the most of the newest eating trends, or will these changing tastes see chicken and eggs pushed aside?

According to Innova Market Insights’ Top 10 Trends for 2019, which looks at the broader food and drink industry, and not specifically at poultry, there would appear to be a fair few opportunities for producers in the chicken and egg sector to connect with consumers, but there may be more than a few challenges, too.

Innova notes that targeting increasingly adventurous consumers, set on new discoveries and experiences, will be key to developments in 2019.

The connected world, it notes, has led consumers of all ages to become more knowledgeable of other cultures and, for example, contributed to a 53 percent increase in “discovery” claims for new product launches between 2016 and 2017.

The “Adventurous Consumer” is how Innova has named the No. 1 trend for the year ahead, explaining that the food and beverage industry is increasingly focusing on satisfying braver consumers, moving out of their comfort zones, and exploring bolder flavors and multisensory experiences. There is a growing focus on heightened sensory delivery, often combined with the “unexpected,” it adds.

Rise of the alternative

The food and drink industry would also appear to be increasingly committed to answering consumer expectations around sustainability, with companies committing to sustainable product and packing developments. These include waste reduction, through upcycled ingredients and post-consumer recycling, as well as improved biodegradability and new technologies, such as compostable packaging and vegetable inks.

However, concerns about sustainability and health may present some more negative challenges for animal protein producers over time, and the use of replacement ingredients is forecast to rise.

Health remains the No. 1 reason to buy food alternatives, with one in two U.S. consumers reporting that health is a reason for buying alternatives to meat, bread or dairy and, partly in response to this, some food businesses are adding more plant-based offerings to their ranges and even insects to offer consumers alternative sources of protein.

Innova bases its forecasts by continuously analyzing global developments in food and beverage launch activity and consumer research to highlight the trends most likely to affect the industry over the years ahead. Other trends identified for the year ahead are what it calls “Eating for Me,” “Small Player Mindset,” and “Connected to the Plate.”