Working closely with our many different partners in the food and beverage industry across North America, MTL COOL is looking into the next big things for 2022. Here’s what you’ll be seeing in the grocery industry next year:
1. Ultra-urban farming
Vegetables and herbs that grow on the rooftop and in stores. The pandemic encouraged people to strive for food self-sufficiency and above all to buy locally. We will see more and more innovations to help improve urban and non-traditional farming practices. One great example is the vertical farming under artificial lighting by Lufa farms. “Greenhouse construction projects are multiplying, which will expand the range of local products […]’’ was explaining Jean Michel Vanier, VP finance at Lufa farms. Reducing transportation costs, creating job opportunities, creating better air quality, having stable year-long productivity, are some of the advantages that urban farming is offering.
2. Non Alcoholic beer
There’s no doubt about it: non-alcoholic beverages are growing rapidly in their popularity around the world. Traditional non-alcoholic beers have been around for a while, but in the last two years, we have seen an explosion of new ready-to-drink mocktails, hard seltzers, and alcohol-free spirits that have burst onto the market. To compete with these newcomers, beer companies had to up their game. « We continuously invest time and money in research and development activities to bring innovative products to the market says Michael Jean, CEO of Microbrasserie Le BockAle from Drummondville. » In 2022, you will see many more microbreweries create beer with ostensible taste, complexity, texture, and effervescence but without the booze factor.
3. Gathering at home
In 2020 and 2021, social gatherings have been limited. As restrictions ease 2022 will should be filled with social gatherings. The focus will be around being present with family and friends, spending time with them, and not in the kitchen.
4. Functional Beverages & Natural Ingredients
Many people rely on energy drinks that provide the right energy boost they need to get through the day. In addition, adopting a healthy lifestyle has become the norm, rather than an exception. In 2022 beverages made from natural and authentic ingredients will become more and more popular. A recent study puts GURU as the preferred energy brand for young adults in Quebec, aged 25 and under. The new generation chooses GURU because it uses organic, natural, and healthier ingredients to provide the desired energy. The brand continues to grow rapidly and is expecting even more growth as it just launched its latest innovation, GURU Guayusa Punch Tropical, a natural organic energy drink rich in fruity flavor providing sustained stimulation.
5. Re-inventing the center store
As consumers continue to focus on health and wellness seeking out products traditionally found in the store perimeter, retailers and CPG brands will need to continue to elevate their game and find innovative ways to get the consumer to visit those center store aisles. Some great examples of this have popped up recently, both Hy-Vee and Gordon Food Service use inline refrigerated displays to place items such as fresh pasta, dips, or premium beverages in the grocery aisle. Danone also uses custom in-line shelf coolers to sell their popular International Delight products in the coffee aisle instead of the traditional dairy case.
Gordon Food Services