Innovation trends for 2024: consumer packaged goods
What’s in store for consumer packaged goods (CPG) innovation in 2024?
Biosciences will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the creation of new opportunity streams in health and wellness; however, the applications of biological sciences seem set to extend further. As an example, once the challenges around scale-up and cost are overcome, process innovation will increasingly draw on bioprocessing. This will join sustainability, the increasing demand for production flexibility and control system advances as some of the key forces acting on consumer product manufacturing.
Here are some of the trends to look out for in the food and beverage, personal care, and home care product sectors.
Emerging CPG trends
Healthy aging, or more specifically, healthy longevity, is a trend with potential embodiments across multiple CPG categories. Increased scientific understanding of how we age, the hallmarks of ageing, and the potential to stay healthier for longer offer exciting possibilities. Epigenetics – how environmental and behavioural factors can influence how genes are expressed – may provide insight into the shaping of such healthy longevity solutions.
Product embodiments may encompass everything from non-invasive or minimally invasive diagnostic kits to supplements, dietary and lifestyle guidance, and specialist food and beverage products. There is great potential for personalisation or in the first instance mass-customised approaches targeting specific consumer cohorts.
Another key innovation trend which intersects with healthy longevity relates to the microbiome. During 2024, more companies will look beyond gut health to explore microbiome-based products and solutions that support wellness in a more holistic sense. The gut-brain axis has attracted a lot of interest in recent years, and we anticipate a wave of solutions geared towards various life stages, physiologies, and individual needs.
Pet health and wellness as a beacon for the consumer space
We expect innovation in pet health and wellness to provide a flavour of what’s to come in human wellbeing.
A clear example comes from the field of nutrition. Recent years have seen much discussion of precision nutrition and its potential role in consumer health. However, measuring the efficacy of dietary changes is complex in humans because diets are so varied and our adherence to diets can be unreliable. On the other hand, for our pets, adherence to a specific diet tends to be higher, making it easier to monitor the impact of products focused on specific health benefits. Developments here may reveal new ways to measure the efficacy of nutritional products and solutions for humans too. Watch this space.
We are already seeing considerable overlap in the at-home-diagnostics arena between humans and pets - we expect this trend to grow further in 2024. Pet parents are keen to know more about their pets’ physical health indicators as well as emotional / happiness cues – this helps them cater to the non-verbal needs of our non-human companions.
Maturation of the sustainability megatrend
Environmental sustainability will continue to dominate many aspects of CPG innovation over the next 12 months, but it’s becoming more nuanced. For instance, while green claims remain a high-value differentiator, they will be subject to greater scrutiny. The EU’s Green Claims Directive is expected to come into force in 2024, raising the bar on green claims substantiation and communication for consumer products, as well as introducing pre-market verification.
To satisfy stringent requirements and earn consumer trust, a whole-product, whole-life focus is essential. This will drive a ripple effect, accelerating the maturation of technology platforms to enhance products’ environmental credentials.
Again, bioprocessing may hold much potential for CPG, from food and beverage products to supplements to active ingredients in personal care products. Its use to date is generally focussed on low-volume, high-value ingredients and we anticipate more activity in finding scaling solutions as companies strive to make bioprocessing more cost-effective. In this context, identifying low cost, low carbon intensity feedstocks, applying predictive process modelling to scale-up challenges and efficient downstream recovery will be necessary to optimise processes and parameters for large-scale cellular and acellular production.
The next evolution in process innovation
It’s not just consumer products that stand to benefit from science-led innovation over the next 12 months. Further progress is likely in the use of bioscience capabilities to enhance quality and safety during food, beverage, and supplement production.
While bioprocessing innovation captures the headlines, developments in factory processes also have a major part to play in CPG sustainability. One of the manufacturing innovation trends for 2024 will see producers paying more attention to integrated processes such as cleaning-in-place, heating and cooling to reduce energy and water usage. While there has been a trend towards modular core processes, an increasing pressure on capacity versus footprint means an opportunity to innovate for more radical process improvements in this space. The application of deep science can reveal new opportunities for change and improvement for both core and integrated process design.
We’ll be publishing more on these trends – and many more – through the course of 2024. We look forward to another fascinating year of science and technology-enabled innovation in CPG!
Find out more about Sagentia Innovation’s Consumer, F&B, and FMCG services here.