Food and Beverage Industry Trends to Watch for in 2017


Food manufacturing companies are looking forward to making a positive impact on the kind of foods and drinks they offer to consumers. With this in mind, a number of driving trends caused some changes in the food and beverage industries.

Smoke Up the Flavor

Smoking and charring foods provides a burst of flavors, which is a main trend in foods and snacks today. Sensient Technologies is a leading manufacturer specializing in flavors, colors and fragrances for various industries who has seen a number of driving factors in today’s flavoring.

Some of the smoked vegetable flavors Sensient offers include smoked green pepper, smoked red pepper and smoked onion. Chances are you’ll begin to see a variety of these flavor options in different dips, condiments, cheese and more.

Veggie Snacks

Root vegetables with high nutrition like beetroot, sweet potato, parsnips and other similar veggies make the perfect substitute for the classic potato chip. Not to mention, these options are a very tasty and much healthier alternative too.

What’s great about these alternatives is that they’re really easy to make at home too. So if you can’t find the right flavor or veggie of your liking, try making it in your own kitchen.

Hometown Seasoning

Snack seasoning has been centered on ingredients such as onion, garlic and chili pepper, which is said to continue throughout this year. What you will see more of are the “hometown” flavors, like Oregon Garlic or South American Chili Pepper, connecting the consumer to home traditions and food origins.

Unique Flavor Combos

For many years we’ve seen various flavor combinations, one of the most popular being sweet and salty. This year, expect to continue seeing sweet and salty combos, but be ready to see some unusual flavor pairings that are actually quite delicious. Some pairings include bitter and spicy, sweet and spicy and even savory and sweet. You may have even seen that crazy chocolate-covered-bacon trend that’s been swarming around. Don’t knock these flavor combos until you try them! Some may seem a bit different, but are gaining a lot of traction and popularity.

Late Night Snacking

It seems we are always hearing that late night snacking is one of the main things to avoid. Not to mention, it’s pretty difficult to ignore those late night cravings. Luckily, food manufacturers are starting to focus on functional food and drink formulas that benefit the body at night. Some foods we may begin to see include innovative ingredients to help the body and mind relax late at night and some even provide functional benefits while you sleep.

Efficiency & Convenience

Efficiency and convenience is growing to be more and more important in the food and snack industries. Many manufacturers are starting to see this increased demand and are implementing the necessary changes to food and drink packaging and manufacturing. Consumers are seeking nutritious food options that are easy to take on-the-go rather than having to resort to the unhealthy, yet very convenient fast food.
On the shelves today, we are beginning to see healthier single-serving snack options, yogurt packaging with built-in spoons, biodegradable packaging and more.

Plant Superfoods

The food and drink industry this year has focused a lot on replacing animal products with more nutritious plant-based options. You’ll see many more options for foods and recipes that are natural, flexible and straightforward and entail various fruits, grains, veggies and botanicals.

A huge trend many have noticed in the past year includes an increase of consumption of almond and other nut milk instead of cow milk. Shelves are now packed with various alternatives for animal-based products, like almond and cashew milks and yogurts, vegan-friendly cheese, big selections of veggie burgers, tofu and more.

Curb the Sweets

Various scientific findings have come to surface and are putting more pressure on consumers and manufacturers alike to reduce sugar consumption. A number of food manufacturers have begun to vow to reduce sugar within its products, like Nestlé, Pepsi and Kellogg’s.

Nestlé is aiming to reduce sugar content by up to 40% in its products; Pepsi is reformulating its recipes so beverages will have less than 100 calories from added sugar, and Kellogg’s has pledged to cut over 700 tons of sugar in its cereals – these are just a few of the many food and beverage manufacturers who are taking a stand against high sugar content.

Waste Not, Want Not

Food waste has become a growing concern over the past years due to an increase on the focus of sustainability and the environment. This year alone, over 300 million tons of food has been wasted across the globe, and it is continuing to grow rapidly.

Manufacturers are beginning to repurpose waste to reduce the number of foods and drinks lost in the world. The products that are lost during manufacturing will be re-used in producing something else. For example, the “ugly” fruits can be used to make snacks and some food waste can even be used as a power source.


Everyone wants to consume healthy foods and beverages, but sometimes high costs hinder some consumers who cannot afford them. Healthy foods and drinks should not be considered as luxuries, but rather useful for our bodies. This trend is meant to help the low-income earners to fulfill their ambition by helping them get healthy foods and drinks that are still affordable.

There are various innovations to assist in this demand – for example, there are now apps that help people make use of ingredients on sale and the wasted ingredients like the ugly fruits and grains.


This year’s trends focus on providing healthy, trustworthy and convenient foods and drinks to the consumers. The manufacturers are doing the best to ensure they offer foods that are recognizable, save time and produce foods that are beneficial like fruits and vegetables.

There are identified opportunities like occasional foods, for example, the night meals, and introduced a way for the low-income earners to afford healthy foods. These trends give manufacturers opportunities to develop in new categories and regions.

Watch out for these trends and maximize on your healthy food consumption throughout the year.

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