Avalanche: The future food consumer

The consumer is driving changes in food and the ripples must be observed and actioned upon. As an industry, hospitality does a sterling job in providing the reward and relaxation during the day but must now work harder than ever before to tell this story as the consumer continues to desire change.

Health is the new wealth today and food plays the most important of roles. However, is this the story that businesses see and the wider public truly see? There is a genuine opportunity for the sector to come together and tell the true story and argue for increased investment in people, in food, in sustainability, in design.

If one looks at the news this week, they will find a changing scene:

  • Research was published in September 2018 which found almost two-thirds of 16 to 24-year-olds with food allergies avoid eating out. The report by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the results could be due to allergen sufferers lack of faith in restaurant menus.

  • Weight Watchers is rebranding as “WW” to broaden its focus from diet to health; eating healthier, exercising and having a more positive mind-set.

  • The UK has an estimated 22 million ‘flexitarians’ and over a quarter of meat easting Britons have reduced their consumption in the last six months.

  • PepsiCo are spending $2.2 billion annually on agriculture, they are adapting to suit consumer’s needs, anticipating their future sustainability, nutrition, and innovation expectations. Dr. Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer for PepsiCo argues, “Consumers today increasingly see their spending decisions as a way to make a difference… they want to see their values reflected in the products they purchase. What that means is we have to change our ways, not change the consumer to our ways.”

“What that means is we have to change our ways, not change the consumer to our ways.”

These examples simply highlight that the consumer desire is shifting and businesses are having to adapt.

We are all facing a new series of challenges which arguably need new solutions. Ranging from mental and physical health, nutrition, declining productivity, lack of trust and a decline in culture and much more. Wherever one looks, there is an issue of sorts. To counter we must have a voice that really does speak up. This is where the campaign ‘Food at the Heart of Culture’ can make a difference.

Food at the Heart of Culture, #FuellingProductivity, is showcasing why great food is important and can influence productivity, health and wellbeing. The sector is coming together to create positive change.