How ethical food choices shape our future


Consumers increasingly want to make ethical food choices, taking into account their personal values and the interests of the planet and the people living on it. The Taste Tomorrow survey clearly revealed that the link between food, lifestyle and ethics is proving the old adage: “You are what you eat”. Find out about the key take-aways of this ‘ethical lifestyle’ trend.

Taste Tomorrow: a foodstep into the future 
Taste Tomorrow is the world’s largest bakery, patisserie and chocolate consumer survey. It gathers data from over 17,000 consumers in 40 countries and leads to fresh insights about health, taste, convenience, experience, digital trends and more. The latest survey reveals nine key worldwide trends. One of these trends is ‘ethical lifestyle’.

Food as a lifestyle
The latest Taste Tomorrow survey shows that food and lifestyle are increasingly linked. Consumers think more about what they eat. They want to act responsibly and eat ethically. Especially millennials want their food decisions to be in line with their ethical values: “I am what I eat, I choose my food carefully!”

How ethical food choices shape our future

Consumers care about planet, people and the future
So what do these conscientious consumers care about? The Taste Tomorrow survey clearly shows that responsible eating goes beyond the personal benefit. The main concerns can be summarized into three key subjects: planet, people and future generations.

Consumers strongly feel that we have only one planet. So they highly value sustainably-produced products and increasingly try to limit plastic packaging when buying food. But they also take into account animal welfare, and fair trade food. These concerns all impact consumers’ food choices.

How ethical food choices shape our future

Vote with your fork
Another aspect of the ethical lifestyle is that consumers now care more for other people too. Consumers care for the people and farmers who are involved in the food industry as well as for the environment. That was different in the previous Taste Tomorrow surveys, where it was all about MY sustainability: only making sustainable choices when they could personally benefit from it.

Today’s consumers think it’s important that farmers receive a fair price for their work and their products. And about 3 out of 10 consumers are determined to adapt their buying behaviour towards more ethical food consumption patterns.  

How ethical food choices shape our future

Plant-based food is the way forward
Vegan, organic and vegetarian eating are an ongoing trend and clearly part of an ethical lifestyle. Many consumers believe vegan food has a positive impact on the environment. But next to that, veganism is also believed to have a positive impact on health. 

How ethical food choices shape our future

Key take-aways from the ‘ethical lifestyle’ trend
Summarizing, we can say that food, lifestyle and ethics are more closely linked than ever. Consumers want to make ethical food choices, which are not only good for them but also for the planet and everyone living on it. Consumers believe plant-based diets are a good way forward. They also think that farmers should receive a fair price for their products. Locally sourced food and zero waste packaging are other important aspects of an ethical lifestyle.

Want to discover more about the ethical lifestyle trend and how you can respond to it? Get inspired by concepts that link food and ethics in a special way Or benefit from the ethical lifestyle trend with this DIM's recipe