The pandemic has made consumers more responsible and aware. Sustainability and health are by now leading concerns in our shopping baskets. A market worth 2 bn a year in Italy.
We're eating up the planet. Literally. According to a recent study by the WWF, if humankind does not change its eating habits within the next ten years, we risk losing up to 70% of terrestrial biodiversity and up to 50% of freshwater biodiversity. And these old habits are often even bad for our health! Sustainability and health are ever more closely intertwined: issues that, up to quite recently, were only discussed at scientific conferences, but now, thanks in part to the growth in awareness occasioned by the pandemic, consumers are increasingly aware of and informed about, reading labels closely to choose healthy and environmentally friendly products.
This is confirmed by the data: the market for functional food products is growing fast, with the International Food Information Council Foundation (Washington) reporting that Japan (over 38% of the global market), Europe (29%) and the USA (31%) are leading the way. Even in Italy the market for health and functional foods is growing, by now worth around 2 bn euro a year. A Nielsen survey of over 60 countries reports that 67% of Italians say they are worried about the long term impact of artificial ingredients on their health, 53% are ready to pay more for food and beverages free of undesirable ingredients, but only 37% are prepared to sacrifice flavour in favour of healthiness. What do the producers say?
More innovative products for the aware consumer
“The change set in during the lockdown, and consumption of pantry-style food products will consolidate itself," says Francesca Rognoni, Marketing Director for Farmo, "as most likely will the demand for organic, vegan, vegetarian and other healthy foods. More and more people are worried about how and where their food is produced and how it affects their health and that of the planet as a whole. We want to expand the options by testing alternative natural materials which are not only gluten free, but have other nutritional qualities - all without compromising flavour.”
These trends are likely to grow even more next year, and will be showcased at the TUTTOHEALTH area at TUTTOFOOD 2021, at fieramilano from 17 to 20 May.