CPG Food Trends for Consumer Meal Prepping

October 4, 20232 min
Lauren Daniels photo
Lauren Daniels Tastewise

CPG food trends are continuously evolving as consumers adapt to new lifestyles, dietary restrictions, and convenience needs. In recent years, meal prepping has gained popularity among consumers as they prioritize health and efficiency in their daily meals.

This article will explore current CPG food trends related to meal prepping and how they are catering to consumer demands.

What is the Meal-Prepping Trend?

Meal prepping is the practice of planning and preparing meals in advance, usually for a week, to save time and effort throughout the week. This trend has gained traction among consumers looking for healthier meal options that can be easily incorporated into their busy lifestyles.

It involves cooking and portioning out meals ahead of time, often on weekends or designated prep days, and storing them in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat. Many consumers also choose to use reusable meal prep containers for convenience and sustainability purposes.

The Recent CPG Food Trends in Meal Prepping

1. Plant-Based Alternatives

One of the biggest CPG food trends currently is the rise of plant-based alternatives to traditional animal products. With more consumers adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, CPG companies are introducing innovative and convenient plant-based options for meal prepping.

From meatless proteins such as tofu and tempeh to dairy-free substitutes like almond milk and coconut yogurt, plant-based options are becoming more accessible and appealing to consumers.

2. Functional Foods

Another CPG food trend that is gaining traction in the meal-prepping world is functional foods. These are foods that offer added health benefits beyond basic nutrition. From probiotics for gut health to turmeric for anti-inflammatory properties, consumers are seeking out functional foods to support their specific health needs. CPG companies are responding by offering ready-made options such as pre-packaged smoothie mixes with added superfoods or protein bars with added vitamins and minerals.

3. Customizable Meal Kits

Meal kits have been popular for a while now, but CPG companies are taking it a step further with customizable meal kits. These kits allow consumers to personalize their meals based on dietary restrictions, food preferences, and portion sizes.

Through the use of technology and data analytics, CPG companies can create tailored meal plans for individual consumers with pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. This not only saves time for busy individuals but also reduces food waste by providing just the right amount of ingredients for each meal.

4. Sustainable Packaging

As consumers become more conscious of their environmental impact, they are seeking out products with sustainable packaging. CPG companies are responding by using eco-friendly materials such as bioplastics and compostable packaging for their meal prep products.

As CPG sustainability becomes a key factor in purchasing decisions, companies are also investing in innovative packaging designs that reduce the amount of plastic used and increase recyclability. For example, some meal prep brands have started using reusable containers or offering refillable options for their products.

5. Meal Prep Delivery Services

With the increasing popularity of meal prep, CPG companies are also offering convenient delivery services for their pre-packaged meal options. This allows consumers to save time and effort by having their meals delivered directly to their doorstep.

Some companies even offer subscription services where customers can receive weekly or monthly deliveries of their favorite meal prep products. This trend not only caters to busy individuals but also provides a solution for those who may not have access to grocery stores or meal prep ingredients in their area.

6. Health and Wellness

As consumers become more health-conscious, CPG companies are incorporating more nutritious options into their meal prep products. This includes using whole foods, lean proteins, and plant-based ingredients to cater to various dietary preferences and restrictions.

Many companies also offer customizable options for customers to choose from, such as gluten-free or low-carb meals. With the rise of health and wellness trends, meal prep products are not only convenient but also promote a healthier lifestyle for consumers.

7. Convenience on-the-go

In addition to meal prep products designed for at-home consumption, CPG companies are also tapping into the on-the-go market with portable and convenient options. These can include pre-packaged snacks and meals that require minimal preparation or no refrigeration, making them perfect for busy individuals who need a quick and easy meal or snack while on-the-go. This trend caters to the fast-paced lifestyle of many consumers, particularly young adults who are constantly on the move.

Opportunities for CPGs in the Meal-prepping Space

There are several innovative approaches that CPGs can consider when developing products and services catering to the meal-prepping trend:

  1. Develop meal prep-friendly products: Focus on producing products that are easily customizable, portioned, and have a longer shelf life to meet the needs of meal preppers. Examples include pre-cut or pre-cooked ingredients, easy-to-portion grains, and sauces in individual servings.
  2. Offer recipe ideas and meal planning resources: Providing consumers with meal-prepping recipes and sample meal plans can help build brand engagement and establish a company as a valuable resource in the meal-prepping community. CPGs can leverage social media, blogs, and websites to disseminate this information and engage with their target audience.
  3. Collaborate with meal prep influencers: Partnering with influential figures in the meal-prepping community can provide endorsement and exposure for your brand and help you identify potential gaps in the market for new products and services.
  4. Focus on sustainability and eco-friendly packaging: Environmental concerns are increasingly important to consumers. CPGs should consider investing in recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable packaging options to appeal to the eco-conscious meal-prepping market.

Leveraging Data to Meet Consumer Demands

Tastewise offers vital insights for CPGs striving to stay updated and informed on consumers’ latest trends and preferences, including the growing interest in meal prepping. By using data-driven insights, CPG companies can identify emerging patterns in consumer behavior, allowing them to develop targeted products and CPG marketing strategies that cater to this significant market segment.

Examples of data-driven insights include information on popular meal prep ingredients, trending meals or themes, shifting consumer values, and particular regional preferences or demands.

Leveraging AI for Food Product Innovation

As the meal-prepping trend continues to gain traction among time-conscious, health-focused consumers, CPG companies have a wealth of opportunities to develop innovative products and services tailored to this burgeoning market.

By leveraging data-driven insights from platforms like Tastewise, CPGs can better understand their target audience, capitalize on the growing trends in consumer meal prepping, and focus on food product innovation. This ultimately leads to increased brand loyalty, product innovation, and profitability.

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