There is an incredible value that comes through innovation, but nothing succeeds if the consumer doesn’t want it. That’s why at Chaucer Foods, our research, development, and production processes all begin by looking at what our customers and the everyday shopper want. We may deliver high quality freeze-dried and sweet or savory baked ingredients, but the real value comes from our ability to solve a problem or bring new life to an idea.
As we closed out 2021 and said hello to 2022, we’ve looked back at some of the many conversations we’ve had with customers and the trends that have popped up in Europe, the United States, and around the world.
Here are three interesting trends that are gaining huge popularity and are sure to be a major focus of your food production strategies in the months and years to come:
1. Eat Less Meat
Today’s food shopper is seeking healthier options and many diet trends focus on eliminating one common staple — meat. Whether it’s eliminating all meat or replacing red meat with leaner choices, more than half of Americans are willing to reduce their intake. Add to that the 62%1 of consumers who say they are “very willing” to eat more fruits and vegetables, and there’s a growing and sustained audience for businesses who steer away from the steer.
2. Stop the Waste
Many people point to the same dark cloud in the world of food production — food waste. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about one-third of the food produced globally for humans is never consumed. More than that, the production and eventual decomposition of all that unused food accounts for 8%1 human-related global greenhouse gas emissions related to human activity.
While what food producers make isn’t wasteful by nature, it can become wasteful. We simply must work harder to be certain that what is produced gets used. That starts by ensuring healthy food options last longer. At Chaucer Foods, our freeze-drying process improves the shelf life of many key foods and a longer shelf life can lead to less waste. Innovations in packaging and general transportation are also essential in continuing to limit the amount of food we dont use.
3. Watching the Business Behind the Product
Succeeding in food production isn’t just about what you make, it’s about who you are. More than 41%2 of Millennial investors put a significant amount of effort into understanding a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, compared to 27% of Generation X and 16% of Baby Boomers. More than 83%3 of consumers think companies should actively shape ESG best practices while 86% of employees prefer to support or work for companies that care about the same issues they do.
Whether it’s the people investing in your business, the people working for your business, or the people who buy what your business sells, who you are — your brand story, the mission and vision, the corporate values, a dedication to the environment — will drive your success this year and well into the next decade. As food manufacturers, you have the opportunity to do so much more than just manufacture a product and your customers will be watching.
1“Climate Change And The American Diet,” Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.2021.
2“2019 AFLAC CSR Survey,” AFLAC. 2020.
3“Beyond compliance: Consumers and employees want business to do more on ESG,” PWC. 2021.