What's in store for the food industry in 2019? "Disruptive innovation" will shake up years of subtle stagnation in the mature food industry and spur growth over the foreseeable future, according to a report published by Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md.

The study, “U.S. Food Market Outlook 2019,” identifies several key disruptive trends to watch for in 2019.

Four of these top trends involve:

  1. Local emerges as next-generation organic. Organic products have been one of the hottest trends in the food industry, and local is the evolution of that trend. This is especially true when it comes to products such as fresh packaged salads. Local is also inherently safer because it is grown indoors and farmed hydroponically, making it more sustainable. Several start-ups are innovating and disrupting in locally grown produce.
  2. Greater authenticity drives innovation. Consumers are looking for at-home food products that deliver "restaurant quality" and "chef-inspired" meals. Increasingly, Millennials and other younger consumers want greater authenticity that comes from involvement with real chefs who seem to be cooking the meals in a kitchen rather than in a big industrial food processing plant. Marketers of frozen dinners and entrées are among those leading the way in this trend.
  3. New players challenge the Old Guard, shake up the status quo. Traditionally, major food players take the majority of the steps to innovate the industry, but in certain segments, new players are the ones breaking new ground. For instance, in the ice cream segment, it took a small upstart to disrupt the category and force everybody else to play catch-up.
  4. Culture focused on growing gut health. As consumers increasingly focus on digestive issues and increasing gut health, they have gravitated to fermented and probiotic-rich foods and beverages like yogurt, Kefir, kombucha and kimchi.

About the report

“U.S. Food Market Outlook 2019” focuses on the market for selected food products sold to consumers in the United States through retail channels. All retail channels of distribution are covered in market sizing and discussion, including supermarkets and grocery stores, mass merchandisers and supercenters, warehouse clubs, natural food stores, convenience stores, drugstores, dollar stores and direct-sales channels, including online. Market size data and projections are provided at the retail sales level for 2013-2018 and 2018-2023, with channel and marketer shares figures for 2018.