The hottest food trends of 2019 in Europe

From ghost restaurants through CBD-based products to clean labels, I think the European food market is going to bring us some cool stuff this year.

This is what 2019 is going to look like when it comes to novel foods

The European food market is expected to grow annually by 2.1%, hit the €676 billion mark by the end of 2019 and the €704 billion by 2021. In relation to total population figures, the average revenue per capita in known to be €1,267.96 in 2019 according to a recent report from Statista

From a European consumer point of view, according to the same report, it looks like during 2019 we are going to consume on avergae about 300kg of food per person, and spend on average €4.05 for each item of food we buy. Interestingly, it seems that most of us still prefer buying in-store instead of using online options, as the online shopping spent is currently about 3% of total revenue and is expected to grow to 3.7% by 2021.

So what trends we are expecting to see in 2019 in the food market?

  1. Ghost restaurants / online-only restaurants

A ghost restaurant is a food service business that serves customers only through online platforms. Essentially, it’s a kitchen that works with delivery platforms and doesn’t include any dining area — just a kitchen.

It actually makes sense, food delivery services are on the rise in Europe. We can order any type of food and get it deliver to our doorstep, any time of the day, while watching a new episode of our favourite Netflix’s show. It’s no wonder that food delivery services in Europe, according to Statita’s report, are expected to be valued about $14,7 billion by the end of the year. 
 
With that in mind, the surge in the number of ghost restaurants is just common sense. A restaurant without a proper dining room has much lower operation costs. Think about the real estate, not only does that ghost restaurant need less square footage, but also it doesn’t need to be located in a central area. Other expenses such as manpower expenses, insurance, furniture wear and tear, air-conditioning etc helps this type of restaurants to be very cost-efficient.

A few companies to watch: Eat First, Feedr,

2. CBD > Hemp/Cannabis based products

Although hemp is part of the cannabis family, it’s not marijuana and doesn’t make you feel high! Hemp, in comparison to marijuana, has lower concentrations of THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis) and higher concentrations of CBD, which eliminates the effects of the THC. 
 
 Hemp has been known for many years, but it has only become a ‘trend’ in the last 2–3 years. In Europe the “Hemp Hype” started in Italy and from there has spread over the Europe continent. Interestingly, in the EU hemp products must not contain more than 0.2% of THC, while in the US the limit is set to be 0.3%. This tiny difference is very important for hemp growers. European growers export to the US, while American growers cannot return the service. Today the range of hemp products that can be purchased in-stores or online is quite wide: protein powder, hemp oil, soft drinks, snacks just to name a few.

Companies to watch : Rebel Coast, Good Hemp, Botanic Lab

3. The ‘Free-From’ movement

Going back to the ’80s and ’90s, people had already been introduced to the world of macronutrients, where they learned the importance of balancing the fats, carbohydrates and protein in their daily diet. 
 But nowadays, we are more sophisticated and care more about the specifics; gluten, glucose, lactose, MCFA (medium chain fatty acids), chemicals and many more.

This is the ‘Free-From’ trend. People want their food without specific ingredients. Sales of the Free-From market in the UK for example, are expected to reach £673M by 2020, a three-fold increase versus 2010 (£221M). Another example is the global ‘ lactose-free’ market — in 2019 this market is expected to grow to about $11B.

Companies to watch: KAAKAO , The Foraging Fox , What a Melon

4. Clean label

It’s quite obvious by now that many of 2019’s trends (similar to previous years) are led by the one ‘macro-trend’- Health Consciousness. The clean label is not different. Although people have talked about clean labels for the last 10 years, it’s only now becoming a mainstream concept. It’s a fast-growing market and by 2023 it is expected to be valued $47.5B, globally.

The clean label is a consumer-driven movement and I believe is related to consumers’ demand for transparency in the food they eat. People want to look at food labels and see short and simple lists of familiar ingredients.

Companies to look at in 2019: EarlyBirds , Yes-Cacao , Fact

5. Sustainability, Sustainability, Sustainability

This is not a really new trend, but I still think in 2019 we couldn’t ignore the massive movement behind creating more sustainable food solutions. New food and packaging innovations are on the rise, aiming to produce less waste and ‘make the world a better place’.

As the graph above suggests European consumers are becoming more aware of sustainability and are making their purchases accordingly. This (like the clean label one) is another consumer movement, which is ‘pushing’ the food industry to provide them with new innovative solutions.

Based The Sustainable Competitiveness Index, Europe is the most sustainable continent in the world enjoying 14 European countries (thanks largely to the Nordic countries) in the top 15 most sustainable ones.

Companies to look at in 2019: Koepala , OLIO, ALMOND

6. Eating home

VOD (Video On Demand) not only changes the way we consume TV, but also the way we consume food. A few years back, Saturday night would usually start with a movie in the cinema followed by a dinner in a restaurant. Today, we don’t need to compromise on what the local theater is screening, we can literally watch whatever we want, whenever we like.

These technological advancements have developed a consumer need for better delivery services which is resulting in new companies being able to deliver any type of food within abour 1 hour in most urban cities.

From a food-tech industry perspective, delivery services represent the biggest share in the industry in terms of market value (and there is a good reason for that which you can find out here). As a matter of fact, in 2019, the delivery market value in Europe is expected to be worth an estimated $15 billion and the UK is expected to stay the biggest consumer market for takeaway delivery.

Companies to watch: Feast HQ, Hotbox Food

7. Edible insects

For 2019 grasshoppers are in and beef jerky is out. Insects, in comparison to traditional meat, are high in protein, much cheaper to grow and contain similar nutritional values. This is why (and remember the growing sustainability trend) in the next few years, we will see more edible insect products on supermarket shelves — just lately the supermarket giant Sainsbury’s announced its plan to stock a range of edible insects in stores, as customer’s demand for sustainable protein sources increases.

Companies to watch: Eat Grub, Snack-Insects, Hargol FoodTech

8. Personalization nutrition

Personalized medicine in general is growing like crazy, with personalized nutrition & wellness representing the biggest share (about 60%) of the market. The global market is expected to reach the $1,200 billion mark (yeas, your read it right!!!) by the end of 2019.

The concept behind personalized nutrition is quite straightforward. 
Although we all share almost exactly the same genome/DNA (almost) there are some small differences between individual’s genome which makes each and every one of us unique. Personalized nutrition tests are a group of genomic tests that match an induvial diet to their individuality.

Companies to look at in 2019: Vita Mojo, Nutrifix , DNAfit

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Hargol FoodTech, DNAFit, Vita Mojo, FEAST, Koepala Packaging, Nutrifix