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2019 Trends: Food & Beverage, Packaging Industries

With the start of a new year comes new trends. And with the coming of 2019, Food & Beverage trends are all about the unexpected, while Packaging Trends trends are all about minimizing and creating experiences.


1. Going Global

This year in the Food & Beverage industry, the search for inspiration is going international. Balanced flavors from Asian countries like Cambodia and the Philippines are popular right now, as are unique and complex flavors hailing from Africa and Latin America.

But the global search for new palatable flavors doesn’t exclude the U.S. Here at home, regional dishes, like Nashville’s hot chicken, are getting credit for bringing dynamic flavors to the food scene.

2. Good for the Soul

 While social media-worthy aesthetic food has been in the spotlight for the last few years, the focus will shift in 2019. This year, we will see a transition back to food that’s good for the soul rather than the Instagram feed. Soul food made with real ingredients, like ancient grains and real fat, will make a comeback.

3. Expect Surprises

 While traditionally-derived wines and dishes (think Napa Valley wine and Italian pasta) have long been viewed as top dog, the status quo is about to be shaken up.

This year is going to be all about unexpected sourcing for wine and remixes on classic gourmet cuisine. Wines produced in places like Michigan and New Jersey are being well-received as fresh additions to the marketplace. As for food, classic recipes are being modernized with unexpected ingredients, like walnuts in traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

4. Something for Everyone

 With vegetarianism and veganism on the rise, more dietary options will become available in the new year, especially plant-based options. Along with plant-based dishes, menus will become more sensitive to dairy-free, gluten-free, and kosher eaters. In 2019, everyone will be free to enjoy with dishes that suit their specific needs.

5. Pro Probiotics

With trends in health and wellness on the rise, it is no surprise that people are making this a priority in every aspect of life, including food. That is why foods loaded with good bacteria and probiotics are becoming more popular. These good bacteria improve gut health and function, and they are easy to incorporate into your diet. Probiotics can be found in both traditional and adventurous food options, like yogurt, kombucha and kimchi.

6. Naturally Sweet

Instead of giving up their sweet tooth, consumers are just getting choosier about their sweeteners. Sweeteners like refined sugar and corn syrup have been staples in the past, but no more. All-natural, raw sweeteners like agave, honey, and maple syrup are now the top choice among consumers and will continue to rise in popularity the new year.

7. Small Artisanal vs. Big Food

 The biggest shift within the Food & Beverage industry in recent years has been toward artisanal foods. Mass-produced food has been on the decline while small-batch, artisan handmade food has been on the rise. It is clear that consumers now prefer to buy food that has been made specially and includes creative, innovative ingredients.

This year, Big Food companies like Kroger will attempt to compete with smaller food startups by offering artisanal-inspired foods to catch consumers they have been missing in the past. While this will be a prominent trend in 2019, it remains to be seen if consumers will be persuaded to return to Big Food products, or if they will stick to their handmade favorites.

8. “Healthy” and “Fresh”

As 2018 wrapped up, it was determined that some of the biggest Food & Beverage trends of the past year were foods that fall into the “healthy” and “fresh” categories. Foods in these categories include non-dairy milks, cheeses, refrigerated and frozen meats, meat-alternatives, and seafood.

Refrigerated and frozen health foods will continue to rise in popularity as they make healthy lifestyles more accessible for consumers.

While it may seem like consumer products will see the majority of changes and new trends in the coming year, this isn’t the case. Packaging for consumer products also sees its fair share of new trends and, this year, packaging is all about top efficiency in both manufacturing and design.


1. Experiential Packaging

Now more than ever, consumers want experiences rather than just the products themselves. Packages are becoming more aesthetic and experiential to draw consumers in, and this trend will only get stronger throughout the year. Packaging materials are going beyond functionality to succeed on social media, which is a main source of promotion today.

2. Cannabis Packaging

Just a few years ago, the cannabis market exploded into existence and has been rapidly growing ever since. But because cannabis is more regulated than practically any other consumable good, cannabis brands have to work extra hard to be creative while working within government packaging regulations.

So far, cannabis brands have been unbelievably innovative with their packaging. So as the industry continues to grow and thrive throughout the coming year, brands will continue to create clever designs that sell.

3. High Demand

Due to high consumer demand and expectations for zero wait time, traditional packaging methods are being replaced by high speed automation to get products to market more quickly. More and more packaging companies will be replacing their traditional equipment in 2019, and for good reason. The return on investments is very high and companies that have made the transition immediately see its worth in their profits.

4. Flexible Packaging

Flexible packages like pouches are growing in both the food and beverage markets. Currently, they are the second largest segment in packaging because of their durability and flexibility. These types of packages are becoming more popular because they can be made sustainably. As environmentally-friendly products and packaging are quickly becoming favorites of consumers, flexible packages are sure to be the winning choice of 2019.

5. Minimalism

While it is true that consumers want an experience when they purchase a product, they don’t want to be overwhelmed. Now more than ever, companies have to compete to get consumers attention, but that doesn’t mean relying on over-the-top bells and whistles to sell.

Brands succeeding in the modern market are stripping down their packaging and relying on aesthetic minimalism to appeal to consumers. In 2019, brands can use this trend to create their own innovative sleek packaging designs to attract today’s consumer.

Check out our food packaging design guide for more on the process of designing your packaging.

If you are looking for a cpg branding agency to help you with your food packaging design, let’s talk!