Fonterra is a global dairy nutrition company owned by 10,000 farmers and their families. Read about our company and about our farmers and markets.

explore this section


Are you an investor with Fonterra? Read about our current performance with our financial results, or find information on our dividend programme.

explore this section


Read about life at Fonterra and explore our current vacancies and future career opportunities.

explore this section

Top 5 global consumer trends to watch for

  • March 11, 2019
  • 4 min read

Our team at NZMP, Fonterra’s Global Ingredients business, have identified the top five trends for the dairy industry in 2019.


1. Digestive health to the fore

The concept of food as medicine and relying on the natural goodness of certain food ingredients continues, with digestive health taking much of the spotlight this year. According to market research companies New Nutrition Business and Mintel the importance of the microbiome (a community of micro-organisms living together in a habitat like our gut) and how it can positively affect consumers’ overall health and wellbeing is making digestive health more attractive.

Beyond this, a more interesting watch out is how digestive health will evolve. We are expecting a move from digestive comfort to how holistic wellness starts from the gut. This covers a range of benefits from weight management, to immunity, to brain health. We’ll see more of a rise in ingredients like probiotics, fibre, plant, A2 dairy, as well as fermented products.

2. Wellness goes beyond the physical

More and more we will see a move towards consumers being mindful of their overall health. Mind, body and soul wellness will become a more common concept which consumers live by.

This is a shift from the concept of physical health to that of lifestyle-based health. Be it cutting down on sugar intake, supporting sustainably sourced products, consuming more protein, or adopting a plant-based diet -- the aim will not be simply to stay healthy but to be able to lead the lifestyle that one desires.

In line with this trend, we expect to see more collaboration between seemingly disconnected or independent categories such as foods and gadgets and apparel and beverages.

3. Snacking is its own occasion

We are getting past the point of snacking being simply a means of satisfying hunger on the go, through convenient formats. Snacking has now become an established meal occasion in its own right – having a share of around 40% of food and beverage consumption in some markets. And as consumption increases, the demand for quality snacking increases. Consumers will aim to seek more added value out of their snacks and will be less compromising on quality.

According to Innova, healthy snacking options are showing the fastest growth for new product development in the last five years.

Beyond healthy snacking, snacks that will benefit in 2019 are those that offer a new sensory experience (taste, texture) and are more natural.

4. Ethics go 360

Increasingly consumers will want to contribute to causes that benefit the environment and society. While consumer interest in ethical sourcing and sustainability continues, it will also evolve to extend across the whole supply chain.

We will be seeing an extension to the story of “grass to glass” as it becomes “grass to glass, to bin and beyond”.

On top of purchasing socially and environmentally responsible products, consumers will more actively participate in this cause by being more mindful, not just of what they consume, but how they consume them. 

This pushes a more minimalist and less wasteful mindset as well as being more conscious of how they dispose of products afterwards. This offers opportunities for manufacturers to continue the conversation of social responsibility past the shopper aisle into consumers’ homes by continuing the conversation post-consumption.

5. Adventurous consumption

A survey by GlobalData indicated that 60% of consumers globally rank trying new experiences more exciting than trying new products. Indeed, the way many people consume food and beverages these days has evolved from simply trying to satisfy hunger or to hydrate.

Eating has increasingly become a showcase of how we live (or aspire to live).

It’s now about the experiences we are having rather than just a showcase of what we are eating - from ‘Instagrammable’ food, to unique textures and food preparations we rave about on social media.

New experiences as part of food and beverage consumption will remain and consumers will continue to want to push the boundaries. Value will be placed on the authenticity of these experiences over generic products, and place more emphasis on higher quality, unique and differentiated offerings.

The glocalisation of food (global foods adopted and adapted for local tastes) that started years ago will be given a boost and we will see a lot more ethnic food being introduced.

By this we don’t mean food from the west going east. The exchange will go both ways. Whereas in the past we talk about westernisation of diets, in the future we will see western foods becoming one of many “ethnic” food choices. More consumers will use food to experience new cultures without even leaving their homes. Adding an element of surprise through packaging or at moment of consumption and activating the senses with hybrid flavours or smells or textures can all be strategies to tap into this trend.

Find out more

To find out more about NZMP’s innovative business to business solutions and unmatched ingredients below.