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FT-Annual2017 7 search for healthy and nutritious ‘real food’ will increasingly be trumped and influenced by a new reference set. Two years ago, it was chefs that were the rock stars. Now that they’ve gone commercial, bloggers, dietitians, gym instructors, work and drop-off-zone word-of-mouth will be the new influences. Insurers may even enter the fray with linked discounts to diet plans. Coffee We’ll get even more precious about coffee. In all its forms. Niche Cool niche will flourish - Rouge Society, Lewis Rd, Proper Crisps, Vogel’s, Whittaker’s, Genevieve’s, East Imperial and Soda Press Co. And craft beer will proliferate even more. Kereru and Yeastie Boys are good examples. Blurring of nutraceutical and food The blur between nutraceutical and food will continue, driven by a need for ‘real food’ and genuine health and nutrition needs (obesity, diabetes, skin whitening and care, gut health, metabolic health, joint health, weight management, cognition, stress, sleep). And so I believe we will see a focus on ingredients such as beetroot, aloe, yakon, grapeseed, kiwifruit, blackcurrants, whey and pycoginol. These will be branded, the IP will be owned, and the benefits will be well articulated on the pack. Tech investment This respect for (branded) ingredients will drive investment into capabilities in thermal technologies, robotics, sensing, optical technologies, light and data use – and it’ll be across the whole food value chain. If we can find the investment, the focus on the process and the physical will create momentum in Manufacturing 4.0 in New Zealand. New multinationals and partnerships Wilmar International, Douwe Egberts, Sinolife, URC, Charoen Pokphand Foods and other ‘new’ multinationals will start to replace familiar names like Danone, Nestle, Pepsi, Kellogg’s and General Mills as our multinational reference set. And large brands are looking for partnerships with small brands. So perhaps an age of partnerships is closer as entrepreneurship in corporates gets harder. My Food Bag My Food Bag will continue to grow, but face increased competition from supermarkets and niche fresh distributors clawing back the market. Integrity NGOS and Government regulations will attempt to stay ahead of consumer concerns of safety, sustainability, traceability, labelling and end-of-life reuse. Pure ‘Free from’ will continue to be in demand – free from gluten, dairy, meat, eggs, soy and wheat. Story-telling and CSR Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will ‘spill over’ to large private firms and SMEs (from listed organisations). QR codes are just one marketing tool increasingly used to give consumers and shoppers visibility on where their food is coming from, how it is processed, the story of the founder/creator/corporate and how to prepare it. Those stories will become more emotive and in tune with shopper and consumer concerns (social, environmental and economic value). I expect a war of words over the attempt at owning the position ‘grass-fed’. Milk And coconut, sheep, goat, deer, soy and nut milk products will become more obvious on shelves and in various formats. What we won’t see… I believe we are a way off from drone deliveries. Also 3D printed food. And I can’t guess at the implications of Brexit, Trumpism and our own general election. Bon Appétit!

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