The savory frozen food sector was rated as the second most innovative in the world, closely following soft drinks, according to FoodDrinkEurope’s latest Data & Trends 2019 report. Ready-made meals continued to hold the third place.
According to the data, drivers of innovation can be divided into 15 trends, grouped along fixed axes, corresponding to general consumer expectations: pleasure, health, physical, convenience, and ethics. Pleasure, although declining, remained the leading driver of food innovation in Europe, with a 47.8% share in 2018.
Health continued to gain ground in 2018 to reach 33.7%, but ethics became the most dynamic driver of food innovation in Europe in terms of growth, thanks to the sharp increase of ecological concerns.
The report also brought new data on digitalization and revealed 88% of food companies are fully aware of the new prospects brought by the digital transformation, while 59% of food companies have the necessary skills to harness digital transformation. The nine key technologies present in the food industry include robotics and automated machinery, mobile services, cloud technologies, IoT, cybersecurity solutions, big data and analytics, 3D printing, AI and social media.