From the Editor: Leaping into the Future

Photo by Nick Wong

Now that a new year is upon us, it’s time to look ahead to better understand which new trends will impact us moving forward. After three years of suffering through the the pandemic, consumers and business operators alike are ready to leap into the future. But what does that future look like? (see Trends stories starting on p.14)

The pandemic has clearly shifted consumer priorities and also the foodservice landscape. Interestingly, according to a recent study conducted by GlobeScan, a global insights and advisory consultancy, and EAT, the science-based non-profit for global food-system transformation, 42 per cent of consumers worldwide think most people will likely be eating plant-based food instead of meat in the next 10 years. While there’s been a slow and steady increase in eating vegetarian over the past three years, the trend is expected to grow.

The report into healthy, sustainable, and equitable food also revealed that 51 per cent of people say they feel less secure about their food supply in the face of COVID, conflict and climate change. Of course, the level of food security varies by countries and regions, with Latin America reporting some of the highest levels of food insecurity in Brazil (73 per cent), Columbia (72 per cent), and Peru (69 per cent), while respondents from India show the least concern (19 per cent).

Even with rising food insecurity and increasing prices, 60 per cent of consumers say they eat healthy food most or all of the time, with a growing number of people stating that they eat vegetarian or vegan diets. In fact, 22 per cent say they eat plant-based or vegan food, up from 17 per cent in 2019. Interest in trying plant-based diets is also growing across all age groups; 40 per cent of Gen Z, 43 per cent of millennials, 37 per cent of Gen X, and 28 per cent of Baby Boomers say they are very interested in trying this way of eating.

More consumers are also being vigilant about what they buy with nearly nine in 10 consumers saying that buying environmentally healthy and responsible food is important to them. Two-thirds claim they’re willing to pay more for it, which is clearly an indication of the value consumers place on these goods even against the backdrop of the rising cost of living.

According to Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, the founder of EAT and executive Chair, “The fact that so many people around the world are becoming more interested in eating healthy and sustainable food is an encouraging sign; a few years ago, it would be unthinkable that 42 per cent of people globally would believe plant-based food would replace meat inside a decade.”

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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