10th Annual Food & Beverage Trend Summit Recap

Tuesday 21st November saw the 10th annual Food & Beverage Trend Summit take place, held virtually with thousands of guests and an inspiring speaker bench sharing insight and information. Our 10th anniversary event saw over 2,500 people joined to hear from both thefoodpeople's team alongside a host of virtual stage guests, covering various aspects of the industry in detail over the course of the day.

The event began with thefoodpeople co-founder and director, Charles Banks sharing insight into our trends framework for 2024/25, exploring the defining areas of change on the foresight horizon. As with each year's Trend Summit, Charles shared findings from thousands of hours of research and industry insight to create subsequent predictions, including the global driver for the coming year, mega trends and more granular trend manifestations.

A few key takeouts from Charles' talk include:

"Scientists are already using AI to speed up world-changing discoveries, while food producers are working with AI-powered tech to cut costs and improve efficiency..."

"The debate around 'ultra processed' foods continues to gain momentum, as we begin to understand the links between what we eat now and how that food is processed - and our long-term health down the road..."

Following Charles on the virtual stage was a regular at our annual Trend Summit, Amelia Boothman, a Brand Strategist and Associate Strategy Consultant at 1HQ. Amelia dove further into the trends framework to identify the social and cultural forces and drivers in food and beverage, both in and out of home.

Key takeouts from Amelia's discussion include:

"Savvy resilience is becoming normalised and embedded in our behaviour. We have now adapted and learnt to live in a smarter life, finding the positive ways to live in this new reality..."
"Evidence is constantly building that we can eat for long-term health, not just short-term fixes, tailoring our food to our biology, age, biome and genes..."

The next member of thefoodpeople team on the virtual stage was Shokofeh Hejazi, Head of Insight, sharing the culinary and gastronomic trends for 2024/25, from food philosophies and cooking techniques to cuisines and ingredients.

Key takeouts from Shokofeh's insight include:

"Filipino is emerging as a new 'it' cuisine, thanks to ingredients like purple ube, banana ketchup and pandesal bread rolls which are becoming more and more mainstream..."

"Diners are budget conscious essentially, so we are seeing that when they dine out - many are leaning more towards what we call safe bets - essentially meals that strip away the bells and whistles, in favour of 'guaranteed deliciousness..."

Following a break for lunch, Chief Commercial Officer of The Jamie Oliver Group, Megan Van Someren took centre stage to share insight into the group's ambitious social impact agenda. This included about maintaining brand relevance and growth, as well as creating a multi-channel experience whilst delivering on the brand's promise of enabling better and more joyful mealtimes.

Key takeouts from Megan's insight include:

"I often think of Jamie as the OG of how food can make a difference in the world. He's shown how food can really shine a light and improve people's lives..."

"The e-learning space enables us to touch more people but through digital platforms bringing all that Jamie can do in terms of inspiring more confidence in the kitchen."

Kate Hofman, Founder and Chief Brand Officer at GrowUp Farms, joined Charles to talk about agricultural supply chain resilience, sustainable food systems and the benefits and technological advancements of indoor vertical farming.

Key takeouts from Kate's insight include:

"We use 94% less water to produce that final bag of salad compared to the bags of salad that you can buy in the shops today..."
"It's our responsibility in the supply chain to be making a transformation happen so that consumers only have good choices to make when they're standing at the shelves..."

Our penultimate discussion of the day saw both Reniera O'Donnell, Food Initiative Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and Dominie Fern, Founder and Director at The Wild Hare Group, take to the virtual stage. The pair, together with Charles, discussed redesigning the way we produce our food and how better is possible across food and drink.

Key takeouts from Reniera and Dominie's insight include:

"We know that the food system is responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions and half of human-induced biodiversity loss, so we actually cannot fix those global challenges without fixing the food system..." - Reniera O'Donnell
"We are the only ready meal business in the UK to achieve 3 stars for Great Taste - we work so heavily on making sure these meals taste brilliant..." - Dominie Fern

Our final guest of the day was Dr. Kevin Hall, of the Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases - an expert in ultra processed foods. Kevin discussed the casual effects related to the over consumption of UPF, how not all UPF's are created the same and what this means for the food industry going forward.

Key takeouts from Dr. Kevin's insight include:

"There are very good reasons why UPF's have become popular, and have allowed for changes in society. For example we don't require a single member of our household anymore to spend a huge portion of their day essentially preparing food for the family..."
"Even though the cost of food has gone down as a fraction of our disposable incomes over the past century... it's still for many people a huge cost..."


Videos from each of the virtual stage discussions will be published on our YouTube channel from January 2024. tfp trendhub subscribers can access the trend predictions covered during the Trend Summit on the tfp trendhub, including our 2024/25 Trend Predictions here.

If you're not yet a tfp trendhub subscriber, get in touch using the contact form below and a member of our team will be in touch.