This post is the second in this series on the future of food. 2021 Food & Drinks Trends. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you to go ahead and read 2021 Food & Drinks Trends. Health and Well-being and then come back here to follow the discussion.
Consumers are more and more aware that their food choices matter. And this is a good news. They know that they need to switch to a more sustainable diet to preserve non-renewable resources and protect their health. They want to nourish bodies and minds.
Data from recent months show that changes in eating habits since the pandemic represent an opportunity to reduce meat consumption, with long-term health and environmental benefits.
In addition to healthy and nourishing food, there is a growing demand for low-carbon, ethically produced, and affordable food.
According to IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), up to one million species could be wiped out in the coming years if current trends do not change.
With a regard to biodiversity for food and agriculture, FAO in “Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture” report stated that of the 6000 different species used as food, only nine contribute to 66% of total food production today.
The direct consequence of the loss of biodiversity in food is a higher risk for food security, due to climate change, pests, and diseases.
Developing short supply chains
For the last ten years or so, there has been an increase in local vegetables supply, with the reintroduction of old, often forgotten varieties. Vegetables such as topinambour, parsnip, black radish, rutabaga, and golden turnip are increasingly demanded by the consumers. The reasons? Partly to surprise their guests with ‘new’ colors and textures, partly to preserve biodiversity by reviving local varieties.
Moreover, the prolonged lockdowns and the disruption in the transport logistic have highlighted the urgency of developing short supply chains. In 2021 we should see the increase of local food production and local varieties and make the food system more resilient to crises.
The new ECOSCORE
A new label has been introduced in France to guide consumers in their food choices. This indicator, called ECO-SCORE, follows one of the proposals of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate Change to reduce the impact of food on the planet. Yuka and other French apps and sites are launching the ECO-SCORE to inform consumers about the impact of the food they buy on the environment. The label is based on AGRIBALYSE , the French environmental reference database on agricultural and food products.
Changing our eating habits to reduce the carbon footprint on our planet is possible. Consumers need practical guides and clear examples on the consequences of their food choices. They need to know that their efforts lead to positive results.
We can expect that all the Food and Trends discussed in this series of posts, Health & Well-being, Home Cooking, and Sustainability, are here to stay.
FAO, Food Outlook, June 2020.
Valentina Curzi, Home cooking, January 2021.
Valentina Curzi, 2021 Food & Drinks Trends. Health and Well-being, January 2021.
Valentina Curzi, Plant-based trend. Protecting our health and that of the planet, January 2021.
Need a more detailed analysis on food and beverage trends? Want to develop educational tools to guide consumers? Contact me.