Food For Thought - January 2024

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 31, 2024
Kathryn Race
A plate with a question mak made of seats on it, with a fork
January 31, 2024
Kathryn Race

Tesco sees shift towards plant-forward eating

In a OnePoll study commissioned by the retailer 46% of Brits said they are eating more veg than they did five years ago and 24% are eating more plant-based foods. Top reasons for including more veg in meals include health, saving money and the environment. [Source: Tesco]

UK food prices set to keep rising

IGD's latest forecast suggests the cost-of-living crisis is far from over and UK food inflation predicted to stand at 0.3% to 2.3% by the end of 2024. [Source: Reuters]

Trouble for breakfast cereal

The category is struggling to engage UK shoppers, with volumes and penetration down year on year. Part of the challenge is that consumers are skipping breakfast more than they did before Covid, analysts say. [Source: The Grocer]

How colour affects appetite for plant-based

Research by advocacy group ProVeg suggests packaging colour can significantly impact consumer perceptions of plant-based foods. Red, for example, is strongly associated with good taste. [Source: ProVeg]

Commodity clones

A recent expert roundtable held by Food Manufacture highlighted 'commodity clones', ie alternatives to conventional commodities such as coffee and palm oil, as a key trend that will shape food and drink in the coming years. [Source: Food Manufacture]

Is glucose the new gluten?

That's the question asked by the Wall Street Journal in an article reporting on growing consumer interest in regulating blood sugar, as exemplified by the Glucose Goddess Method and increasing uptake of continuous glucose monitors. [Source: WSJ]

The next big food trends on Pinterest

The social media platform says it's seeing growing user interest in 'melty meshups' of global cuisines, as exemplified by gochujang pasta and cheeseburger tacos, as well as tropical flavours. [Source: The Grocer]

The quest for the perfect cup of coffee continues

Brits’ love of fancy coffee shows no sign of slowing down. UK consumers spent roughly £163 million on coffee machines in 2023, up from £123 million in 2019, according to Allegra. [Source: The Times]

Better space food

Researchers are racing to find ways to provide astronauts with fresh, nutritious food in space.  This is becoming a more urgent priority as Nasa looks to send crews on longer missions, including potentially to Mars. [Source: The Guardian]

Wining and dining is back

American Express has released data showing its global cardholders spent more than $100 billion at restaurants in 2023 – the highest level ever. [Source: Marketwatch]