2022. Another year of people looking to optimise their health, strengthen their immune systems and all whilst minimising their impact on the planet. So what impact is this having on the food industry? Upcycled food, food stories, plant-based substitutes and super-ingredients are just a few of the rising trends.
Upcycled food involves the reduction of food waste through the use of ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption. Upcycling food has not only been an opportunity for start-ups, but now key players in the FMCG industry are also catching on to the trend. In 2021, Nestlé launched a cold-coffee alternative named ‘Nescafé Nativ’ that is produced from upcycled coffee berry husks. Considering the substantial fresh water, land and labour required to mass-produce food for human consumption – a third of which is currently wasted – this is one step in the right direction. As we continue to grow our knowledge on how to use all parts of our food, and technology continues to evolve to reflect this knowledge, it’s likely we’ll be seeing more of these innovations appear.
More and more people are making purchases based on the journey of their food, all the way through from production to consumption. No longer are we just concerned with nutritional value; our focus now settles on the lives of all stakeholders involved in the journey, and thus how sustainable and ethical the supply chain is. In response, brands are increasing the transparency of their supply chains and creating food stories to enlighten consumers on the origin and journey of the food they are consuming.
Beyond Meat and Moving Mountains are two well known plant-based meat substitute brands that have been around for a while now. Their products are becoming increasingly similar to the ‘real deal’. However the innovation that is currently turning heads in this market is called ‘slaughter-free meat’. Companies like New Age Meats are driving momentum behind the idea that everyone should be able to access meat without compromising their wallets, health, religion, and values. Their business is based off the innovation of cell-based meat, with cell-based sausages set to hit the market this year.
CBD (a chemical found in marijuana) has been gaining attention in recent years through its (slightly controversial) use in daily consumed products. Studies have proven CBD to relieve pain, reduce symptoms associated with mental health disorders and hold neuroprotective properties, to name a few. Themptation is a company that illustrates hemp’s health benefits and flexibility in the food industry by using it as a base ingredient in oil-based foods (think pesto and hummus). As scientists continue to dig deeper into the properties of plants and other naturally occurring substances, it’s likely we’ll experience more opportunities to introduce super-ingredients into our diets.
So, what does 2023 have in store for the food industry?