It’s a strange old world. We (Thomas Jardine & Co) have worked with two relatively new food producers in the last couple of months who at first glance have nothing in common BUT are actually part of a growing food movement. The first, Bakes and Balls is run by a retired school master Stephen Hall and focuses on producing energy balls that are vegan, gluten free and nut free. The second is a still lemonade created by a seven year old schoolgirl called Molly Rose. The link between these two is their connection to the growing need for food with a social impact.
Stephens product clearly meets the needs of several diets and he also sources his ingredients as ethically as possible. Molly is a wonderful young girl with a very good business head on her shoulder (supported by her mum) but is determined to share the profits of her endeavors with less fortunate children, they have already arranged the first run of bottles and will be ready for market this year. Provenance is important to these two up and coming food makers but what is equally important is the social impact their product has.
In the speciality food market food provenance has always been important. The growing debate over global warming , sustainable food supply chains and food poverty has meant that the social impact of food manufacturing is becoming equally important to a number of our consumers.
Political movements are ensuring that food and drink consumers are becoming more socially aware of the impact their purchases have. Globally the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition has shown that food that is good for you is also good for the planet and they are taking this argument to a summit in New York in September. So expect a further movement towards fruit and vegetables and away from red meat.
As with the two food producers I mentioned, there is now a move to ‘balance’ healthy eating and treats With today’s “betterment” consumer trend, people are wanting to indulge while still maintaining a “healthy” lifestyle
Every consumer segment will want socially aware food and drink. A fine example of a healthier treat is Philippa and Simon Guest new Little Cook Box aimed directly at the younger consumer , which was discussed recently in Produce Business UK This move to creating healthier food is not a passing fad for smaller food businesses, Nestle are refocusing their image away from confectionery towards a brand that is ‘fit for the future’ supplying future consumer needs based on health and sustainability.
So when looking at your foods provenance it may well be worth capturing the social story behind the food maker as well.