IRELAND, Dublin. The major trends that will reshape the way that we source, produce and consume food over the next five to ten years will be driving forces for change, and successful food and drink companies will be those that can adapt to meet these changing consumer needs.
The major shifts in the global food system are summarised in the 9 Food Contours below as identified by Kantar Consulting.
New pressures on packaging are resulting in companies having to rapidly innovate their packaging in response to consumer demand and regulatory developments to minimise waste.
Shifting Perceptions of Meat: Where once meat was an integral part of nearly every meal, consumers are now recalibrating their expectations and introducing meat-free meals into their lives. This is also resulting in increasing interest in ‘flexitarianism’ with the rise of ‘veganuary’ and ‘meat free Mondays’.
Agricultural Innovation to Increase Efficiency: As resources become increasingly limited, agri food and drink producers will have to utilise a range of new technological innovations in order to fulfil the global demand for produce.
Technology enabled transparency: Consumers are taking a more proactive role in understanding the food they eat and manufacturers are responding to this demand for transparency with tech solutions such as smart labelling to enable transparency on sourcing and manufacturing. New technology such as blockchain is also being used to demonstrate supply chain transparency.
Algorithm-led Purchasing: Consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to streamlined purchasing experiences, leading to a rise in smart devices in homes. Intelligent technology is programmed to learn from consumer behaviour, and anticipate needs and wants.
Inspiration Online: With social media sustaining its dominance in consumers’ lives, it has become a central source of food discovery and inspiration. Social media influencers are dominating the food conversation, promoting products, meals and lifestyles.
Food as Medicine: As consumers become more proactive and holistic in their approach to managing their health, they are elevating the role food plays in their lives. Food is now understood as a vehicle for health, at a macro- and micro- nutrient level.
Channel Disruption: Where once the weekly shop was the dominant, if not the only, form of food shopping, the channel options available are now much broader. Consumers can choose from a variety of channels which suit their lifestyle preferences and time constraints with online being used in tandem with offline.
Fragmented Food Products: As consumers’ lives become more hectic, the traditional three meals a day gives way to more flexible consumption habits. Convenience is the key, as consumers look for healthy and easy sources of fuel throughout their day.