CATEGORY SPOTLIGHTS

The FMCG industry is a fast-moving juggernaut with trends continuously coming and going. Supermarket News spoke to both Foodstuffs and Countdown about what they see as being the two standout trends for 2019:

HEALTH & BEAUTY

Mintel is reporting on a new era of beauty, and personal care products as the zero-waste trend meets the centre store. In what they are calling a movement set to shake up the industry Mintel is advising brands to “change their approach now, or they won’t exist in the future.”

The Numbers Don’t Lie:

In the US 44 percent of natural/organic personal care consumers said that they live sustainably while in the UK 54 percent stated that they research brands online before buying them. 74 percent of consumers in Spain said that they were concerned about what ingredients were used in products and if they were natural.

Nielsen agrees with a recent report revealing that 73 percent of global consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment. 41 percent of consumers from around the world said that they’re highly willing to pay more for products that contain all-natural or organic ingredients.

Antoinette Laird, head of external relations at Foodstuffs NZ has noticed an increase in the sales of health and beauty products that are eco-conscious and brands that prioritise their bottom line just as much as their commitment to making a difference in the world.

“Ethical ingredient sourcing, product traceability, packaging alternatives and an overall commitment to reducing carbon footprints, have become commonplace best practices in the health and beauty aisle. Brands such as ecostore, Only Good, Essano, Ethique and Thankyou can be found on our stores’ shelves across the country spotlighting our consumers’ demand for eco-conscious products and our commitment to carry suppliers that align with our brands’ sustainability efforts.”

This trend has been slowing building up behind the scenes for some time but has only recently become mainstream. “Foodstuffs was the first retailer to ban microbeads from personal products back in 2017, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plastic applicator tampons followed in 2018. To commemorate the accomplishment of being the first NZ retailer to ban microbeads, we built a seat in Kaikoura made from recycled microbeads and soft plastics which can be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.”

FROZEN

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to the rise of the frozen aisle in recent years. Last year saw the New Zealand supermarket frozen section explode as more and more ice cream and convenience players began popping up.

According to Statistics New Zealand 2017’s expenditure on ice cream and other edible ices totalled $381 million. While in Australia a whopping 93 percent of consumers purchased ice cream in the past year.

Countdown’s Nikhil Sawant, head of perishables and deli said that the last 12 months has seen some exciting growth in the ice cream industry.
“New Zealanders are some of the biggest consumers of ice cream in the world – on average we eat around 22 litres per person each year, which is pretty staggering when you think about it and reflects the abundance of ice-cream flavours, you’ll find in our stores. In the last 12 months, we’ve seen some really exciting new product development in the ice cream category – like Countdown’s limited edition Hot Cross Bun-inspired ice cream, just in time for Easter, or dairy-free Magnum ice-creams, which is all about that health megatrend as customers seek out plant-based options.”

The frozen convenience trend has been slowly moving into supermarkets for some time. What started with meal kits and Uber Eats has now transferred into supermarkets where consumers are demanding more convenient options.

“The other megatrend driving growth in the frozen section is convenience, particularly in frozen meal solutions. What’s particularly interesting is how the trend towards health is really crossing all sorts of categories now – in frozen, for example, we’re also seeing that increased demand for plant-based and vegetarian options. Neither the drive towards health or the increasing demand for convenience are showing any signs of slowing down, and our focus is to make sure we’re continuing to innovate to meet this demand.”