Food for thought – April 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.

April 17, 2023
Kathryn Race
A plate with a question mark on it, with a spoon, fork and knife
April 17, 2023
Kathryn Race

Brits embrace alternative cooking methods:

One in three (33%) UK citizens have switched away from conventional ovens towards microwaves, air fryers and slow cookers for at least some meals in the past year, according to research from WRAP. [Source: WRAP]

Food industry takes up record warehouse space:

Concerns about supply shortages, as exemplified by the recent fruit & veg crisis, have prompted food companies to hold more stock. Figures from Savills show demand from food manufacturers for warehouse space rose 58% to 4.3 million square feet in 2022 – the highest level since 2007. [Source: FT]

European plant-based sales soar:

Sales of plant-based products across 13 European countries including the UK have increased by 22% since 2020, according to new figures from NielsenIQ analysed by GFI. Plant-based seafood was the fastest-growing category, up more than 300%, albeit from a small base. [Source: Vegconomist]

Healthy eating habits of centenarians:

Research suggests people from places with unusually high life expectancy, also known as the ‘Blue Zones’, have four key habits in common: eating pulses and lentils; eating nuts; eating a large breakfast, moderate lunch and small dinner; and eating with family. [Source: Washington Post]

More UK children at risk from food insecurity:

A new report by the Food Foundation warns 27% of UK households with children under the age of four experienced food insecurity in January 2023. It called for more government support to better protect young children’s health and development. [Source: Food Foundation]

Is ‘greenhushing’ the new greenwashing?

In light of the EU’s new Green Claims Directive, Vogue examines the growing trend for companies to stop communicating about their environmental credentials for fear of being accused of greenwashing. [Source: Vogue]

Simpler BBQs on the menu:

The Grocer’s Focus On Barbecue reports on the ‘one meat’ barbecue trend, with shoppers opting to simplify their protein options in a bid to save money. [Source: The Grocer]

How could AI change packaging?

A thought-provoking read from The Dieline explores how designers are leveraging artificial intelligence to develop new brands, packaging designs and creative campaigns, including for food and drink brands. [Source: The Dieline]

The barcode at 50:

On 3 April 1973, the barcode became the retail industry standard after an international agreement was reached. (The barcode itself was invented in the US in the 1940s). The first barcode in the UK was scanned in 1979 in a supermarket in Spalding. [Source: BBC News]

Florence Pugh eyes cooking show:

The British actor, known for films such as Don’t Worry Darling, is in conversations to turn her popular Instagram cooking videos into a fully-fledged show. [Source: Delish]