This month, I’d encourage industry professionals to pause, reflect and resolve to enhance your brand’s relationship—it’s emotional appeal—to those same consumers. Why? More shoppers are making pointed, conscious decisions to buy—or not buy—based on a growing list of factors.
It can’t be stated more directly nor with any greater emphasis: The food and beverage makers of the future — already working hard at this, by the way — are going to have to double down on the delivery of responsibly made (and marketed) products for the global consumer, whether planning for the 2020s or all the way to 2100.
In early October, Prepared Foods held its 37th annual New Products Conference, where themes of sustainability underpinned many of the speaker presentations. New Products Conference sessions surrounding upcycled foods, food waste and plant based foods each contained overt and tangential messages about corporate responsibility and sustainable food production.
Product packaging that remains after use is a burden. It’s a burden to consumers, to communities and to the environment. My sense is that products positioned with sustainable packaging messages are going to dominate categories and eventually set a baseline for market entry.
As part of its Walmart Reimagined campaign, the retailer is aiming to boost store traffic by converting excess parking space to experimental communities comprised of food halls, recreation areas and even mobile healthcare units.
A big part of this best-use-of-resources movement is prominently expressed in the plant-based revolution. Plant-based meat and dairy analogs have been hitting shelves as fast as ingredient technology can make them happen, with expert mimicry of their animal-derived counterparts the “brass ring.”
With each cycle of these shows, we’re privileged to encounter the vanguard of the trends in food, ingredients, and food tech. You could look at those as sort of the breadcrumbs along the path of where we’re heading in “Food World.” But sometimes, everything converges so that you also get a look at the substance of the path itself.
Check out the June 2020 issue of Prepared Foods, featuring our cover story on creating functional flavors with stocks, bases & sauces, consumers’ appetite for beef and other animal proteins, new dairy and dairy alternative offerings, and much more.