The global health crisis we are currently experiencing is forcing change at an unprecedented rate. It has had a huge impact upon the food and drinks industry which now finds itself in uncharted waters, with the future uncertain for many. However, this is an industry full of creativity and innovation, so while the situation has been devastating there should be a glimmer of hope for a unique period which could bring about game-changing innovation in the long-term.
The overarching theme of many of these updates, Thoughtful Capitalism is about consumers' growing interest in knowing where products have come from, what is in them, who they should buy from and how they can make the most of them. Within this category are the following three sub-trends as follows:
Redefined Food Systems
The need for local shopping has never been so integral, with many smaller and independent shops proving more agile and able to adapt amidst a pandemic. This has also seen online shopping and delivery increase greatly, which has introduced a great deal to the convenience for the first time, one they may never wish to return from once possible. Supermarkets have had to become bastions of good hygiene practice and cleaning more than ever, enforcing social distancing and prevent the impulse for many to stockpile early on. Finally, the situation as a whole has seen many within the industry elevated to key worker status, highlighting the genuine worth and lack of reward which the likes of cashiers to delivery drivers fail to receive.
Being part of the community has become a growing aspect of life under government restrictions, cementing a local focus upon the deli, fishmonger, butcher and many more like never before. This has highlighted the importance of local shops, which have long served us to supplement our daily lives, as a result of supermarkets being hit harder by government guidelines. In order to further support local businesses, the practice of paying forward has also increased, this simple idea has created greater resilience for the likes of restaurants for example, with customers paying for meals now to ensure their favourite establishments is still around once lockdown is lifted.
Shorter Supply Chains
This sub-category comprises several key pillars, Redefining Supply Chains and Relationships, Direct To Public Selling, Democratising the Food System and Power To The Producer. With restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars shuttered at an unprecedented speed, the traditional supply and demand model was shattered. This has resulted in many choosing to open their wholesale businesses to the public for the first time, as well as redirecting traditional stock to local shops and supermarkets instead. Another result of the changing supply structure is a return to consumers buying directly from the producer, meaning fish direct from the fisherman or dairy goods from the farmer; all of which can vary daily
To read the full the update on the 2020-2021 Trends Book, please click here.