Hamburg You can not chew the most exciting trend. Or is it? Beyond Plastic or “Intelligent Packaging Needs the World” is not a trend, strictly speaking, but the fast-paced project to get plastic time under control. This also presents challenges for the food business: industry and trade anyway, gastronomy and agriculture as well.
The Austrian Hanni Rützler, nutritionist and food trend researcher for at least 25 years, source of inspiration for the food and beverage industry, dedicates a focus in the 2020 edition as the author of the Food Report from the Future Institute of Food Packaging of tomorrow.
In it, she makes clear the pressure to act, takes all the duty – including consumers -, presents developments of innovative start-ups from all over the world, prototypes of potato peel potatoes or straws from apple pomace, for example, thinks about total packaging waiver and notes, “The road to the post-plastic and zero-waste era is long – the sooner we start the journey, the better.”
Rützler's travels to the future of food are always fed by the great currents of the zeitgeist; currently about urbanization, the connection between food and design and global waste. This in turn is inextricably linked to another huge theme: life in so-called affluent societies.
“Food abundance and the seemingly endless selection options constantly require us to make decisions,” says Hanni Rützler the Handelsblatt. At the same time, consumers in digital societies are increasingly aware of the origin of food and expect transparency. “I therefore speak of prosumers when I point to interactions like these.” Enlightened consumers would demand more professional and moral food than average consumers.
All this is reflected in numerous food trends, which she describes in seven reports as a driver for changes in the world's food cultures. Accordingly, the Food Trend Map 2020 reads like a remarkable ingenuity in Anglicisms. There are only hip terms that dominate, “because their scarcity is often more precise than corresponding German words,” says the expert. However, time and again the question arises, what could possibly be meant.
But first to the structure. In a cluster with the seven different color meta levels Sustainability, Quality, Everyday Life, Health, Beyond Food, Glokal, Indulgence 38 food styles can be found. Some work on several levels: Free From fits not only to health, but also into everyday life. Others stay one level: true food for quality or food pairing for enjoyment.
Nothing is static, everything is in motion. And that's exactly what it's all about: food trends are constantly changing, like all trends are never linear and one-dimensional, but complex and networked, stand for the change of norms, needs and lifestyles. Some will not show up in the next report, others will continue to evolve, to a new culinary culture.
“But food trends also provide answers to problems that have been part of everyday life for decades: scandals, unhealthy ready meals or diets, the misery of animals in industrial mass farming and on transport routes,” adds Rützler. Food trends are meant to disturb the “keep it up” of the respective industries and to provoke an analytical view of things. On the one hand.
On the other hand, the scientist speaks of food trends only if the answers or solutions would be effective on several levels. A new product is not a trend yet. True Innovovation needs depth, time and patience, and has a shelf life of five to ten years. “The world is changing. In the future, our food system must become healthier, resource-efficient, emission-free. “
The change in food culture at the level of meals: No longer the meal times structure our everyday life, but we adapt our eating habits and structures to a faster, more mobile and more flexible life – with small portions. The Foodreport 2020 calls the snackification: the dissolution of the classic categories breakfast, lunch and dinner and of when, where and how is eaten.
Minimal meals such as bowls, salads, wraps, tapas, sushi or soups are taken everywhere, often “on the go” and spontaneous. The consumer expects that everything is equally fresh and healthy, enjoyable and not industrially produced and can be combined individually. Big kitchen on small plates: Such a development will also change the offer of classic restaurants, writes Hanni Rützler, they will have to adapt even more to the wishes of their guests. “Snacks are increasingly solving the traditional menu. The trinity of appetizer, main course and dessert is increasingly questioned. As a result, the strict rules make room for more creative and open dining options. “
More and more people want to perceive food sensually. What am I actually eating, where does it come from, what does it consist of, how is it processed, prepared and, above all, how does it taste: in a sense as a counter trend to classic convenience and “anonymous” packaged products in the supermarkets buy fruit, vegetables, meat, wine, cheese, baked goods and Co. as often as possible at the weekly market, directly in the farm shop, at the wine grower, in specialty shops.
In the Food Report 2018, the central theme is: Closer to the products. It's about looking, smelling, tasting; to capture the atmospheres of the production sites, to get to know the producers, to talk to them about the production, to find out more about the processing steps and ideal methods of preparation. More and more producers are therefore focusing on the opportunity to give consumers more insight into their work and to let them participate in the production – not just in an observational form. To put the product in the right light, they stage themselves and their activities. Everything for a food culture that celebrates real food and honors craftsmanship.
Sustainable. For more and more producers, restaurateurs and consumers sustainability becomes, according to Rützler, an essential criterion when dealing with food and food. The category is new compared to the Food Trend Map 2018. The topic is not. Because the train has long been running: in many companies, on restaurant plates, in private refrigerators, at weekly markets anyway.
Last but not least, “containert” has been around for quite some time now: food is being fished out of the garbage cans of supermarkets in order to minimize waste. The big supermarkets in the Czech Republic are even obliged by law to sell unsold goods to aid organizations free of charge.
Apart from the fact that people also dig in containers, because the money is not enough for shopping – but that's another topic – is in the Food Report 2020 from the good old “We throw nothing away” now Re-use Food; from gardening and enjoying self-produced food the sounding gourmet gardening.
The new food culture is called questioning
But that's right, the train tolerates far more followers. Does the new food culture still mean sustainability? No, it is called questioning, the author replies: “The criteria that we use and want to be able to react to the food system with changed purchasing and consumer behavior are always the results of a differentiated consideration. The many food trends in turn stand for the different forms of critical consumption. In sum, one can say that questioning has become mainstream and thus the signature of our food culture. “
Stevan Paul from Hamburg, a renowned specialist author of cooking and culinary art, is experiencing that especially young generations are emancipating themselves from industrial tasting. Whether street food, craft beer or the book book new publications just presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair: “People want to become active and learn by themselves,” he said on the sidelines of a specialist symposium, which the Genussverein Feinheimisch in Schleswig-Holstein on the subject of change in gastronomy just held.
A cheese atlas, a book about chickens, handmade pastas or the proper handling of tofu were just a few examples for Paul that a growing number of enlightened “prosumers” now want to know more about. “Coupled with a general trend fatigue, there are further needs behind it: the desire for individuality and self-determination in confusing times.”
Let's talk about eating, talking about one's own identity: values and habits, personality and priorities. We are what we eat – and more and more, which we do not eat out of conviction, emphasizes Hanni Rützler. “How we feed ourselves and communicate about it has long been a cipher for self-presentation and world interpretation.”
The resulting, naturally confusing diversity try to cluster them. For companies and restaurateurs, it then serves as a guide when focusing on topics that meet their own philosophy. The consumer in turn can dangle in his consumer decisions on ideas that fit into your own range of values or simply facilitate the stress of everyday life.
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