IELKA: Five nutritional and consumer trends of the future

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Five food and consumer trends that are expected to shape the supermarket and supplier industry in the coming years are highlighted by research by the Consumer Goods Research Institute. The research was carried out in the period 5-11 November 2021, on a sample of 1,000 consumers from all over Greece, on the subject of food and purchasing trends in food. According to the research results, the five dietary trends of the future consumer are the following:

1. Flexiterians and Vegeterians

International demographic developments and cultural change combined with the global economy’s productive potential for animal protein production are contributing factors to the global increase in vegetarian consumers. In Greece, the percentage of consumers who declare themselves vegetarian is about 4%, ie 400,000 citizens, with half of them identifying themselves as vegans (do not consume animal products at all) and the other half as vegeterians (do not consume meat, fish, etc.). Next to this category of consumers there is the category of flexitarians or semi-vegetarians, ie consumers who try to adopt a more vegetarian diet, but not entirely vegetarian. This category is about 15% of the population, ie about 1.5 million citizens and is a very important social and consumer group.

2. Plant-based and lab-grown foods

The aforementioned trend is expected to intensify the search for alternative plant materials, foods and products in order to meet existing eating habits. Products such as vegetable cheese, vegetable milks, laboratory meat, etc. already exist in the Greek market. After all, there is already a consumer audience that makes these food choices (albeit at a lower rate compared to abroad). The percentages of consumers who adopt these categories are now remarkable. 14% consume dairy products of plant origin, 11% would eat laboratory meat, while 19% of the public consider these alternatives as healthier.

3. Reduction in sugar and salt

The majority of consumers (and especially the older ones) are expected to devote more and more time to planning their diet, as a result of the increase in the level of education and the average life expectancy. The public will want to stay healthier for longer and longer. A typical example is that one of the foods, which is increasingly being blamed in the eyes of the consumer public as unhealthy, is sugar. The shift to alternative sources such as saccharin and stevia seems to be gaining ground with 26% of the public choosing these alternatives. At the same time, 37% of the public state that they generally avoid the consumption of sweets and sugar. Even more intense is the tendency to reduce salt, which is desired by 48% of the public.

4. Impact of social networks on nutrition

Social media will increasingly shape consumer choices as food, cooking and consumption become more and more connected to the internet. 53% of the public cooks today with their mobile phone open next to them to see recipes, while 26% have actively asked for advice through social media. Food is no longer enough to be delicious, it must be beautiful for 75% of the public, something that is attributed to social media and the increased use of video and photography for cooking at rates of 27% and 33% respectively. Influencers will take on more active roles and influence developments more. The speeds of information dissemination and adoption of trends are becoming faster and faster, creating the need for businesses to follow these rhythms, but mainly to have a presence in these media.

5. Climate change and sustainable development

Climate change is expected to significantly affect the way businesses operate. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding and critical of the operation of businesses. The percentages are comparable in Greece and abroad in relation to the intention to buy from companies that operate in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. Specifically, the intention to buy based on the honesty and transparency of companies for the way they operate is recorded at a rate of 77% in Greece, while 67% say that it is important for them that the products they consume be produced with environmentally friendly practices. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that only a small but significant portion of the public, around 32%, is willing to pay a higher price for products produced with more environmentally friendly standards and procedures. This element also reflects the financial pressure of the consumer public.

According to the research, in the near future, a delicate balance will be struck between the consumer’s desires and the possibilities offered by companies. The organizations that will be able to operate close to this thin line will be the ones that will emerge in the next decade.

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Source From: Capital

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