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It is no surprise that and consumer tastes have changed dramatically in the last decade. For starters, the price of most agricultural commodities has increased hugely, and there has also been a sea change in what the public wants – one time niche markets like organic or fairtrade products are now de rigueur, and pictures of smiling South American farmers (who produced the product you’re holding) are now expected on packaging. This transformation is also happening with grocery store marketing. Big high street branches in the UK, like Waitrose and Marks and Spencer, are working hard to change public perception of what and where their food is coming from; consumers are also educating the marketing men.
This is good business for the aforementioned brands as smart players look ahead and see how they can better connect with their customers. A recent CNN article joined many other news sources in recently trumpeting the latest wave of environmentally conscious 21st century entrepreneurs. As was stated in the article, “A U.N. report estimated last year that around the world, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted.”
To combat this staggering figure, many young start-ups are using waste products like coffee grounds and then selling things like mushroom-growing kits with the discarded grounds in them. This may at first seem humble, but there is definitely a groundswell for businesses to change how they market food: “Waitrose, the U.K.-based supermarket chain, in October achieved its goal of sending zero food waste to landfills. Instead, unwanted food is donated or sent to anaerobic digestion plants to convert the material into biogas. Other major U.K. retailers are following suit, with Marks & Spencer announcing similar plans,” stated the article.
As the pressure to feed an ever-increasing population continues, consumers and brands have to rethink their consumption, and what is desirable. This is a good thing, and about time. The reality is that our choices will become more limited unless we embrace a different pattern of supply and demand; a new paradigm is approaching.