Food trends anno 2016

This week I went to an interesting seminar from IDA (the Danish Engineer Association) called ‘Food Trends’.
There were 3 speakers, Professor Klaus Grunert from MAPP (Aarhus University), Susanne Kofoed from Landbrug og Fødevarer and Jeff Salter, Innovation Director at COOP Denmark.

All three speakers were in general telling the same story, but seen from 3 different perspectives (as researcher, as member of a professional organization for agriculture, food and agribusiness and as innovation director of a big supermarket chain in DK).

The three main food trends that came up at the seminar were the following:
1) Responsibility
This is better known as ‘from farm to fork’-responsibility, meaning that you know where all food is coming from and know what is happening at all levels of the food chain. This is focused on both health and sustainability. This is also visible in the ‘clean label’ strategy which a lot of companies are promoting now. No more chemicals in food and beverages are no GMO food e.g. but more ‘natural’ ingredients.
2) Authenticity
Food needs to be truthful, honest and sincere. This is very often a question of communication and storytelling.  That is why ‘local’ food is so popular these days. People go back to the farmers in their neighbourhood to buy vegetables and fruits or even meat. Craft brewing is also a good example, as most craft breweries also started as very small local microbreweries.
3) Convenience
Eating out or eating in-house needs to happen in a convenient way. Food needs to be ready fast and preferably brought to your house. On top of that, the food needs to be healthy and produced in a sustainable way. In Denmark, aarstiderne (www.aarstiderne.com) is very popular, where you can just order the raw ingredients in all kind of formats (vegetarian, world kithcen, …) and they are dropped at your place. You just need to cook them with the recipe provided and ready is the food in no-time. Or you can go to the supermarket to pick up the raw ingredients in a convenient package that you just need to cook.

Another important item mentioned was how all kinds of e-commerce also has found a way into how people get their food. Some people not even go shopping anymore in a supermarket, but order everything online. On the other hand, street foodmarkets and food festivals are getting very popular as well. According to some people, this is beause people become more and more foodies. Especially generation Y is more and more interested in ‘real’ food and I have even heard that young people would go rather to a food festival than a music festival… interesting trend :-).

If you want to know more about the foodculture in Denmark, you can always visit http://www.foodculture.dk