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Getting ahead with green eating

You are what you eat – today’s food industry is undergoing profound change. This movement didn’t start yesterday, but its impact is increasingly clear. Kebab booths and sausage stands used to be part of the everyday lunch selection. But a walk through city streets today reveals a wide range of soups and salads, what is known as “bowls.” “Health food” has long threatened classic fast food in many places. These days, the authenticity of food and products is in the spotlight – convenience now comes second.

Back in 2013, the European Food Trends Report indicated that a new awareness of nutrition was emerging. Just two years later, it is clear that this change has already fully taken place and will make its mark the food industry in the next few years. But how will this awareness have an impact and what is important to today’s customers?

Local, fresh, organic

Today’s consumers no longer accept food that supposedly looks “good” and is fairly healthy. They are now demanding the very best the industry has to offer. Local, fresh, homemade, seasonal, natural, and additive-free are keywords, which describe this awareness of high-quality food. The question emerges – why is this happening now? The European Food Trends Report1 describes it as a growing mistrust of the food industry. That’s because consumers want to know where the ingredients come from, so they can verify the quality. Manufacturers and retailers are recognizing that it takes a lot of effort to win (back) the trust of their customers. Production conditions and food origin are now being more carefully scrutinized than in the past.

Top trends: “Nose-to-tail” and “smoked”

It’s not just about simply eating to cover energy requirements and the daily routine any more. Eating habits or preferences have become so pronounced today that to a certain degree, they express the characteristics of the person. A vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet defines a person’s character and how they perceive the world, comparable to qualities such as diligence, courtesy or openness. But not only non-meat eaters exhibit various attitudes.

One mega-trend in the meat industry is “nose-to-tail”, where the entire animal is used if possible. So products that have been rather despised in years past – such as head of veal, pig trotters, offal or tongue – are finding their way back onto our plates. We are also going back to eating like our ancestors. One way of returning to the kitchen of the past is the “smoked” cooking phenomenon. Although smoking food is as old as fire itself, there is currently a revival taking place. It’s not just meat and fish that’s getting smoked. Add vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and chocolate to the list. Smoking seems to know no limits.

You are what you eat

For the authors of the European Food Trend Report, it is clear that our society feels that good food represents a good life. Our relation to nutrition also defines our behavior, who we are and who we want to be.

 

As a result, it’s no surprise that seasonal and regional products best meet this requirement. These are also important criteria when it comes to pleasing customers. Consumers are even more enthusiastic if a wide selection of products is available and all under one roof. which cuts down on tedious, time-consuming shopping. You could almost say that food should convey a certain romanticism, even joy. When time is already scarce, a few minutes to eat in peace should at least be a highlight.

We would even go so far as to say that fine dining is making a “green” comeback. And not just green in terms of ingredients. The ambiance and the origin must be right, too. After so many difficult years with a lot of junk food on the table, we can best sum it up as follows: local, organic, seasonal – today, authenticity is in demand.

 

1 Source: GDI Study 43, European Food Trends Report, Bits over Bites: Food Consumption in a Digital World

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