9 estimated to reach 9 billion people by 2050, which would require the world grain output to rise by 50 percent and meat production to double in order to feed everyone, if world food patterns remain the same, according to the United Nations. Flexitarian trend Consumers are responding. The “flexitarian” trend is gaining traction, seeing a sizeable minority of consumers making a concerted effort to avoid meat/poultry on some days. This and similar campaigns which advocate eschewing meat/ poultry on certain days tend to have a holistic message combining ethics with healthiness. Illustrating the level of traction this concept has garnered, over a third (35 percent) of consumers who eat and buy unprocessed meat/poultry/game make a point of regularly having meat-free days. This is higher among women than men (39 percent compared to 32 percent) and climbs to 42 percent for the ages between 16 and 34. This is having a profound impact on the food and drink market. Greater mindfulness about meat/poultry consumption is only likely to benefit higher welfare and organic options. This point is supported in the findings that consumers who regularly enjoy meat-free days place more emphasis on animal welfare and less on low prices and special offers when buying meat/poultry/game than the average shopper. Beyond meat, more global food and drink companies should consider innovating and creating products that are responsibly sourced, transported, processed, sold and consumed. The momentum is starting, with inspiration from across the food and drink industry. Increasing awareness As consumers become more food aware, they have begun to show a greater interest in specific ingredients and products, driven by a number of motivations including food safety, product integrity and sustainability. A spate of food recalls in North America has also made consumers more cognizant of ingredients, their sources and their quality. Meanwhile, the horse meat scandal that rocked Europe in 2014 inspired consumers to ask more questions about the origin of food ingredients. Since April 2015, the European Union has required country of origin labelling for meat products. The required origin labelling for meat could lead consumers to expect similar information from other animal-derived products such as dairy. A majority of Italian, Spanish, French, Polish and German adults agree that cheese packaging should provide more information about the origin of the milk used to make cheese. However, the desire for environmentally-friendly attributes varies by market and by category. When considering dairy drinks, for example, only 13 percent of UK category users considered environmentally-friendly credentials important. In the United States, meanwhile, there is niche interest in claims that have an element of sustainability, such as milk from grass-fed cows, which is sought by 13 percent of consumers. Despite this, the past year, sustainability is shifting from a niche concern to a necessity as issues such as drought and other natural phenomena require companies to incorporate sustainability into their product development.
Insight AAK No 3 2016 E-book
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