Food for Thought - January 2023

Spotting interesting trends and finding noteworthy food facts and figures is a big part of what we do at Ceres. Here are 10 recent articles, reports and long reads that made us stop and think.

January 11, 2023
Kathryn Race
A plate with a question mark on it, with a spoon, fork and knife
January 11, 2023
Kathryn Race

Cost of living dampens festive joy

Survey data from the Food Standards Agency reveals seven in ten (69%) consumers reported taking at least one action to save money on food for Christmas 2022, including buying ‘yellow-sticker’ food items close to their use-by date (25%); buying less fresh food and more long-life foods instead (17%); buying less food than usual for Christmas (23%); and changing to cheaper brands (33%). [Source: FSA]

Environmental claims lack credibility

A majority of Brits don’t see environmental claims made by businesses as credible, new polling from consultancy Sensu Insight has found. Just 19% said they found ‘green’ product descriptions reassuring and only 23% take environmental claims at face value. 30% believe most sustainability claims are “slightly exaggerated” and more than 70% assume such claims are not verified independently. [Source: edie]

Food in the workplace

Gen Z care a lot about food in the workplace, according to a new survey. 85% said access to healthy food at work was important to them, 50% expect dedicated areas for eating at work and 30% see team lunches and dinners out as important. A good coffee machine, subsidised lunches and free office cakes on a Friday also proved popular. [Source: MSN]

Putting eco-labels to the test

A new study exploring the impact of eco-labels on consumer choices has found they are effective at steering people towards more sustainable options. In particular, the study looked at how eco-labels on food menus could be used to influence protein choices and encourage a move away from red meat. [Source: The Guardian]

Cultured meat taste test

Oxford startup Ivy Farm Technologies has unveiled a pork meatball made from lab-grown meat and put it up for a taste test in The Sunday Times. The meatball costs £50 at present, but Ivy Farm says this could fall to 50p once production has scaled up. It plans to produce 12,000 tonnes of cultured pork a year by 2025-26. [Source: The Sunday Times]

Is the age of direct-to-consumer over?

An interesting opinion piece from Shimona Mehta at Shopify argues that DTC will evolve into CTC in 2023 – connect-to-consumer. “This new approach is about taking many pathways to reach customers simultaneously: From social media to Web3, from online shopping to the high-street stores. To adopt it, brands will need to be creative about how they tell their story and grow their communities on these four different platforms.” [Source: Wired]

What’s next for food colours?

The right colour is critical to food NPD success. For 2023, experts predict soft pastels to be big, especially within bakery and for products positioned as healthy and sustainable. At the other end of the spectrum, big, bold colours and ‘psychedelic’ pigments are tipped to be popular with Gen Z consumers and are said to be especially well suited to products containing ‘mind-boosting’ ingredients. [Source: Food Navigator]

The snackification of caviar

Fish eggs are having a major moment on TikTok thanks to influencer Danielle Matzon who likes to put caviar on Doritos, crackers and bread. “The concept of caviar (luxurious) as a snack (functional) is a practice in contradictions, especially in light of food inflation. Naturally, some TikTok users […] portray their takes as budget-friendly options; one person describes themself shopping at Whole Foods, inspired by Matzon, despite ‘knowing damn well [they] belong at Aldi’s’.” [Source: Eater]

Livestreaming your food

A new Samsung oven features technology that automatically recognises what food you’ve put in it, recommends the correct temperature and time, activates ‘burn protection’ if necessary – and allows you to livestream the view from inside your oven to social media. [Source: The Verge]

Marie Kondo’s grocery shopping strategy

The tidying guru reveals that kombu (dried kelp), dried shiitake mushrooms and tofu are on her current grocery list – and that she likes to go shopping with intention and a plan. “Usually, before a week of school lunches for the children and family dinners each night, I will go to the grocery store to gather ingredients. I’ll always survey my kitchen beforehand, assessing what I need more of, what I already have and what is expiring soon so I can get inspiration on what dishes need to be cooked first. After I get an understanding of what we have on hand and what is needed, I’ll handwrite my list.” [Source: Epicurious]