Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu: Consumers are increasingly seeing the foods they buy, and serve to others, as a message about their personal and social beliefs, and an attempt to make others aware and increasingly conscious about the challenges our planet faces. Accordingly, we will increasingly see products that communicate purpose, inclusivity, accessibility, respect for the environment, support global sustainability, and recognize animal suffering and welfare as well.
Consumers also seek products that are transparent – not just transparent in the ingredients that they contain, but also in how they are produced, where they are produced, the workforce that produced them, and increasingly how these products are beneficial to our world. Consumers want to find companies and brands that they can truly 'trust.'
The UN has also created Sustainable Development Goals, as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. Increasingly, we will see food products and brands that align with many of these goals.
During my 35-year career, I've witnessed a number of food industry trends, including a focus on freshness, local, artisanal, organic, convenience, natural, culinary-inspired, and 'clean' labeled products. Primarily, these products were very 'experiential' and focused on attributes that were healthy or indulgent for consumers. However, during the past few years, I’ve seen a significant migration of interest towards attributes that are healthy for the planet instead.
This external vs. internal focus is very timely, as the UN has estimated that the world needs to produce at least 50% more food to feed 9-10bn people that are projected to be citizens on our planet in the year 2050.