Health, sustainability, quality and a desire for new experiences are key considerations dictating the food choices of Spanish consumers according to a new study from Barcelona wholesale market Mercabarna.
Commissioned by the Mercabarna Trends Observatory, the report, entitled ‘The four current and future trends of food in Spain’, reveals a rise in demand for healthy, natural products that are easy to prepare and bring pleasure to the consumer.
Its findings are based on the results of in-depth interviews with thousands of Spanish men and women between the ages of 18 and 70.
“The study shows a preference for local and green products which are seen to improve overall eating experience while at the same time contributing to the environment and supporting local producers,” said Mercabarna’s managing director Josep Tejedo.
“At the same time, consumers want pleasure and new experiences which reflects their interest in the exotic flavours of other cultures.”
Strong demand for vegetable ingredients, the emergence of the flexitarian trend and a rise in “free-from” products reflected concerns about health, the report showed.
Sustainability also ranked highly, with a growing awareness of product origin cited along with animal wellbeing. Mercabarna said 59 per cent of those surveyed saying they bought fruits and vegetables produced within a 0km radius frequently. Demand for organics is also rising, with around 17 per cent of participants claiming to be regular consumers of organic fruits and vegetables.
Another often-cited concern was ease of consumption and functionality. The majority of those surveyed said they valued the increased availability of single portion, bi-pack or tri-pack formats that preserve food in controlled atmospheres for a longer shelf-life.
The fourth and final trend was for taste and novelty, with globalisation and increased travel fuelling demand for exotic flavours and new eating experiences.
The report was unveiled at the inauguration of Mercabarna’s new exhibition at the Palau Robert which takes a look at the evolution of food trends in Catalonia over the past 50 years.
The exhibition features fives fridges – one for each of the past five decades – reflecting changing consumer demand for fresh products over the past half decade and will be at its present site until 11 May before moving to different locations in Barcelona.