European Food Trends Report 2017 (EN)

Food is Eating My Life. Why Food is Becoming the New Pop.
Authors: Christine Schäfer, David Bosshart, Christopher Muller
GDI Study No. 44
Languages: German, English

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    European Food Trends Report

    Food is Eating my Life: Why Food is Becoming the New Pop

    For a long time, food was a clearly defined experience, usually celebrated in rituals of the community. The tasty dinner at the family table, the fragrant curry at the business lunch. For the average modern European, of course, it’s no longer roasts and sausage sandwiches that are on the menu, but crisp salads, olives, cheeses, pasta. And of course organic, local, fresh and natural, and nevertheless convenient. But until now, eating was almost always presumed to be a social act of limited duration. When the pasta is finished, when the wrap is eaten, the act is complete and the focus of very busy people turns to something else.

    The Food Trends Report 2017 shows: this is now changing. Food is finding its way into almost every area of our lives. It is a wellness experience and lifestyle, an orientation point in the formation of the identity of the modern self, a compass in the search for morality, and sometimes an ersatz religion. It is one of the hottest topics in the social media chatter of the smartphone society, an apex of the culture of fun, but also an investment opportunity and a catalyst for a life that is as comfortable and sustainable as possible. Food is everything and everywhere! 

    Two trends in particular stand out: food is health and food is high-tech. Health has become a lifestyle. Food is not only expected to taste good and fill the stomach, but also to be conducive to inner wellbeing. People are giving thought to their digestion, books like “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” are becoming bestsellers. The stomach and gut are threatening to steal the brain’s crown as the key organ. Digestive wellness is becoming a driver of many other nutritional trends. Genes and diet interact in complex ways that are not yet understood. The better you know your body, the better you can treat it. Biohacking allows the self to play around with building the best version of itself. Superfood, nootropics and smart drugs can help in the process of self-optimisation. Our lives today are shaped by high-tech. Nothing happens without the Internet, smartphones, computers and the Internet of Things. Where everything is increasingly networked, digitisation will not spare the world of food. Customer expectations are changing, and the entire architecture of the value chain is also being transformed. 

    The world of food is in a state of turmoil. Value creation networks are emerging in which various different components are digitally linked, from drone delivery and 3D food printers directly in the homes of consumers to smart packaging offering customers an individual shopping experience through additional digital information on product content and production channels. For companies, this means that the focus of the value creation network shifts to customers as these digital technologies give them more and more influence.

    What’s next? Maybe we’ll think nothing in 10 years of frying up an in-vitro steak or printing out a 3D pizza. One thing is certain: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are” – truer today than ever before.  

    By the way: Author of the study and researcher Christine Schäfer will also speak about the latest trends in the food industry in your company. For further information please contact Ingrid Schmid.

    English summary

    Deutsche Zusammenfassung