Nourish Food’s new food and beverage trend report has insights for c-stores

Generation Alpha and Ozempic driving eating and food choices that will impact c-store shelves.
Nourish Food 2024 Trend Report
CNW Group/Nourish Food Marketing

Nourish Foods has released its eighth-annual Trend Report taking a close look at the trends that will shape the future landscape of the food and beverage industry. The report highlights several key trends that will have a profound impact on the convenience retail and food market in the coming years, particularly on the growing impact of a new set of consumers and on the growing impact such drugs as Ozempic are having on eating choices.

As Nourish Foods president Jo-Ann McArthur notes upon the release of the report, “It's shaping up to be a dynamic time in food and beverage, with shifting priorities for consumers, producers, and retailers—and us marketers. It's a time of expanded choices, fresh thinking, and new perspectives.”

One of the biggest trends will be the rise of AI in assisting existing, and most especially new consumers, in their shopping and food choice decisions. As the report highlights, AI is now assisting a growing number of people make better choices based on their metabolic tracking data. “Consumers are already wearing CGMs (continuous glucose monitors) . . . that communicate with their smartphones, providing real-time data on their blood glucose levels. Users can see their current glucose level and trends, including whether their blood sugar is rising or falling. This information is valuable for making immediate adjustments to dietary choices. Combine this with recipe AI and grocery ordering, and you could have the ultimate consumer loyalty program.”

AI is also helping with meal planning as it can be deployed to analyze food preferences, what is already in one’s fridge and pantry and then creating a customized weekly meal plan complete with recipes and grocery fulfillment.

While much continues to be written about generation Z and millennials, a new cohort of consumers is soon to be making their shopping dollars felt when it comes to food and beverage choices. Born between 2010 and 2024, generation Alpha, may be young but their social media and technology savvy and their already developing food and drink preferences are beginning to shape food and beverage spending. As noted in the report, generation Alpha is growing up in a world where technology is deeply integrated into their daily life, allowing for more personalization and customization. They are comfortable and heavily use digital devices, which could influence how they access information about food and beverages, order food, and even prepare meals. “Personalization or customization may be the norm for this generation. They’re a highly interconnected generation, too, with increased exposure to diverse cultures and cuisines through travel and the internet and a more multicultural peer group. Generation Alpha may have more adventurous tastes and be open to trying a wider variety of foods and flavours—you might say they are born with a multicultural palate. Globally inspired food and beverage will be the norm.”

As well, this emerging generation is aware how their choices about food and drink can impact the environment and will likely see them driving the consumption of more plant-based and ethically sourced foods and meals.

Growing along side generation alpha is the rise of such weight-loss drugs as Ozympic that are starting to change people’s eating habits and food and beverage buying decisions, decisions that will have an impact on c-store and retail operations looking to up their game when it comes to ready-to-eat meals and alcoholic beverage sales. People are beginning to look more closely at calorie counts and other health measure in the foods and drinks to purchase and are starting to shift to healthier options. Once consequence of the use of weight-loss drugs is that people tend to eat less, reduce, or even forego high-sugar and calorie snacks, to maintain their new weights. The Nourish Food report suggest that going forward companies looking to make ready-to-eat meals or retail operations that prepare foods-to-go may need to adjust portion sizes and highlight the use of healthy ingredients and other healthy food and beverage options that can be taken home on their shelves. 

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