FMCG Gurus

2nd August 2022

The Future of Food: Upcycling in 2022


Consumers across the globe are becoming more and more concerned
about the state of the environment. One of the key issues consumers are most
concerned about is food waste with 68% stating this. Consumers will have been
exposed to high-profile stories about retailers, brands, and foodservice
outlets throwing away perfectly edible food because of its appearance. In addition,
they will also know that their shopping and consumption habits mean that they
are guilty of food waste that could be avoided. So how does this create an
opportunity for upcycled foods?

Food Waste Issues

FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that 81% of global consumers
say that it is important to avoid food waste. The issues regarding food waste
will resonate with consumers from an environmental and ethical perspective
driving demand for innovation that can prevent this. Consumers recognize that
it is not just brands and manufacturers causing this problem but admit that it
can also be attributed to forgetfulness. Consumers also attribute this to
issues such as products having too short shelf life and concerns about the safety
of easily perishable products.

In order to address the issue of food waste, consumers are actively
making changes to their diets and lifestyles. FMCG Gurus market research shows
that 48% of consumers state that they have changed their diets in order to
behave more sustainably, with 70% of these consumers making greater attempts to
reduce food waste. Whilst much attention is given to the growth of plant-based
diets, research shows that if consumers are to act in a more sustainable
manner, they are more likely to focus on resourcefulness and make greater
efforts to avoid food waste.

Upcycled Ingredients

Upcycled ingredients are ingredients that have directly been
sourced from food that will otherwise potentially go to waste and re-used to
make other products. Once heard this definition six in ten consumers say that
they find this concept appealing. When asked why they find these ingredients
appealing, the two most popular answers are that these ingredients are deemed
better for the environment in general and help tackle the issue of food waste –
showing how the topics of sustainability and ethicality are having a greater
influence on food choice across the food and drink industry.

When it comes to environmentally friendly products consumers
want brands to show transparency along the supply chain. Many consumers are now
less trusting of brands due to high-profile greenwashing cases and believe that
brands can sometimes make misleading claims in order to drive higher prices. This
means that brands need to provide evidence to make claims made. In addition,
authenticity certification will appeal to the growing number of consumers who
want to know the story behind the product that they purchase. This is highlighted
as 51% of global consumers, who find upcycled ingredients appealing, would like
products to carry an upcycled certificate for authenticity purposes.

This blog is based on FMCG Gurus: The Future of Food: Upcycling – Global Report. For more information, please click here.

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