Today’s consumers are conscientious. They behave responsibly and want to eat ethically. The latest Taste Tomorrow survey revealed that consumers, millennials in particular, associate food with their personality: “I am what I eat.” Their desire to live an ethical lifestyle is closely linked to sustainability. There are numerous ways to respond to these needs. The following five concepts focus their efforts on preventing food waste.
Consumers care about the planet, people and the future
The ethical lifestyle trend is one of the nine global trends that the Taste Tomorrow survey highlighted. The main concerns within this trend fall into three key categories: the planet, people and future generations. Consumers value sustainably produced products, limiting plastic packaging and promoting zero-waste packaging. They also take into account animal welfare and locally sourced food. And as almost 90% of respondents expect food shortages in the future, they’re willing to consider potential solutions.
There are numerous ways to respond to these needs. Reducing food waste is one of them. The following five concepts do their utmost to reduce the amount of food wasted:
FoodMaven believes it is unethical to throw away fresh, wholesome and nutritious food while so many people are going hungry. That’s why they sell excess or faulty supplies of high-quality local produce to restaurants and institutional kitchens. Think crooked cucumbers, small (but tasty) strawberries, scratched tomatoes and so on. FoodMaven donates all unsold food to food banks, ensuring that quality food ends up in hungry mouths rather than in landfills.
Imperfect Produce is basically the same concept as FoodMaven, but for consumers. They fight food waste by finding a home for 'ugly' produce. More than 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown in America never makes it off the farm because they aren't perfect enough for grocery store standards. That generates billions of pounds of wasted produce every year. Produce that is just as nutritious and delicious but merely looks a little different. The content in the boxes of imperfect produce they supply to consumers, can be customised. So if you don’t like kale, you won’t get kale. This means they only deliver items the customer likes, thereby doing even more to prevent food waste.
This company rescues the nutritious grain created in the process of brewing beer, and upcycles it into SuperGrain+ flour using their patent-pending technology. With this flour, they produce all kinds of bars that contain inherently functional ingredients, like the Honey Cinnamon IPA Immunity Bar, the Chocolate Coffee Stout Energy Bar and the Blueberry Sunflower Saison Antioxidant Bar. This way, they make doing and feeling good as easy as eating a snack. And it doesn’t stop with bars. From savoury to sweet - the possibilities with this upcycled grain are endless.
Toast Real Ale
Another beer-related concept is Toast Real Ale. This artisanal brewery makes ale from upcycled bread. They collect left-over bread from retailers and artisanal bakers and use it to make premium ale. It’s also a craft beer (not mass-produced), so they are not only responding to the ethical lifestyle trend, but to the craft trend as well.
This concept offers a line of convenient, ready-to-heat sweet pepper, courgette, mushroom and tomato soups, made from overripe or excess produce. BarstensVol's recipes are specifically developed to use up produce that is commonly discarded. The recipes are prepared at De Verspillingsfabriek (The Surplus Food Factory), which employs people at a disadvantage on the labour market. Their ready-made products come in transparent packaging, serving two to three persons. Fair and delicious meals, ready to heat and eat.
Of course, the ethical lifestyle trend is not just about reducing food waste. Learn more about the ethical lifestyle trend, or find out about the other global key trends, like health and craft. Looking for a dish that suits an ethical lifestyle? Try our DIM’s recipe for a gluten-free, dim sum style dessert made of natural and sustainable ingredients.