In a recent report, the research agency Mintel announced six trends that will affect the global food industry next year. Sustainability, functionality, and timing are among the primary areas of focus.

1) Tradition – Recognizable products are having an increasing emphasis over those that are revolutionary. Familiar concepts present the opportunity for manufacturers to use such ideas as “ancient” product claims including ancient grains and also ancient recipes, practices, and traditions.

2) Focus on plants - In 2017, the food and drink industry will welcome more products that emphasize plants as key ingredients. Many consumers’ diets are signaling a preference for vegetarian and vegan friendly options.

3) Eliminating waste – Sustainability is a major area of focus. The need to eliminate food waste is a concern of retailers. More products will make use of ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste and existing food waste will be repurposed in new ways, such as power sources.

4) Timing is everything – “In 2017, the time spent on – or saved by – a food or drink product will become a clear selling point, inspiring more products to directly communicate how long they will take to receive, prepare or consume.”

5) The evening crowd – This is the new time of the day for functional foods and beverages. Items that can help a consumer calm down at the end of the busy day are a priority for the industry.

6) Health for low-income individuals – “Lower-income consumers want to improve their diets but the access to — and the cost of — healthy food and drink is often an impediment.”