The post-corona era calls for innovation and more global responsibility in the food industry. Consumers increasingly demand sustainable, safe and uncomplicated products. Market research institutes such as Mintel are forecasting a long-term trend reversal in the food market after the crisis: towards higher expectations in terms of quality, as well as increased awareness of added health benefits and environmental compatibility.
Food sourcing has become an important priority for consumers, manufacturers and governments alike, not only for animal-based foods but across the entire supply chain. Demand for more transparency around food origins combined with the unprecedented investment in food tech, e-commerce and delivery is creating new opportunities in the ability to trace the path of food from where it is produced to the end consumer, also known as the ‘farm to fork journey’. This will have long-term disruptive implications for food supply chains and consumers’ path to purchase.
Consumers choosing sustainably produced brands are buying into the ethical or environmental purposes espoused by that product. Claims like organic, fair trade, free range, charitable support or locally sourced all refer to specific elements of a product’s origins.
For example, Imperfect Foods fights food waste by selling products rejected by retailers (for cosmetic defects) on a subscription basis and saw a growth of more than 200% in 2020, with sales approaching USD500 million.
One of the biggest barriers to sustainability trends is a lack of trust in green labels. In fact, in developed markets, where these trends are most advanced, labels like organic (48%), fair trade (46%), free range (47%), eco-friendly (46%) or non-GMO (42%) were seen as trustworthy by less than half of all respondents from Euromonitor’s 2021 Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition survey. This offers a significant opportunity for digital traceability tools across the food supply chain.
You can read the rest of this article in the March-April issue of European Baker & Biscuit magazine, which you can access by clicking here.