By Emmanuel Oluebube, Correspondent UK
World Sustainable Gastronomy Day (June 18, 2021) is organised by the UN to help promote ‘green culture diets’, including but not limited to food waste. The global food and beverage (F&B) market reported a forecast value of US$6.9 trillion in 2020, and is expected to reach an impressive US$8.4 trillion by 2025. However, this growth brings with it rising food waste concerns, which has become a hot topic in recent years as awareness around sustainability grows, says GlobalData.
Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, Carmen Bryan comments on her top picks for the biggest trends in sustainable gastronomy this year:
Upgrade to upcycling
Upcycling is making waves in the F&B community as it effectively enables companies to create a new revenue source at minimal cost, while also enhancing the ever-sought after ‘green’ credentials. Israeli start-up, ANINA, is disrupting the prepared meal category by transforming ‘ugly’ vegetables discarded by retailers into futuristic, nutritious meal capsules; Olam Coffee has leveraged coffee cherry fruit by-product, cáscara, as a versatile, antioxidant-rich ‘superfruit’ ingredient; and William Grant & Sons has recently launched a vodka produced from grape skins, a waste product of the wine industry.
GlobalData’s research reveals that the pandemic has actually accelerated consumers concerns over food waste, with 51 per cent of the global population now prioritizing food waste as a more pressing issue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak – and millennials reporting the highest rate at 54 per cent*1.
Similarly, the pandemic has spurred a movement in locally sourced produce, particularly as global supply chains continue to be disrupted. Singapore’s 30 by 30 initiative is the epitome of this; the country has recognised its over-reliance on imports for food and has since made enormous strives to rectify it. The UK too, is revaluating its food production. For instance, its Seafood 2040 strategy aims to produce 15 per cent of England’s overall seafood consumption from sustainably farmed English aquaculture by 2040.
According to GlobalData’s latest 2021 Q1 consumer survey, information on a products country of origin or manufacture is an essential purchasing factor for 39 per cent of consumers worldwide, while a further 40 per cent agree it is positive, albeit ‘not essential’*2. With a push to safeguard supply chains from both governments and companies, as well as consumers concerns around food safety and quality, localism trends are likely to gain more traction.
Rise of the meal kit
On the consumer end, meal kits and subscription services have grown exponentially over the pandemic period, spurred by increased e-commerce adoption and home-centric lifestyles. However, these services also have the potential to help consumers manage their grocery shopping and avoid food waste through meal plans and portion control. In fact, over a quarter (28%) of global consumers admitted that they had started to or were cooking meals via meal kits more frequently in the first three months of 2021*2. Tellingly, two thirds of respondents agree that meal kits are somewhat or very appealing*2.
For environmentally conscious individuals, services like HelloFresh, which has committed to offsetting 100 per cent of its direct CO2 emissions, can serve as an accessible and practical way to manage their own environmental footprint and do their part to help end the climate crisis.