Future of the Food Industry and Retail Trends - keynotes, videos

Futurist Keynote Speaker: Posts, Slides, Videos - Future of Retail Keynote Speaker, e-commerce

Video: conference keynote on the future of the food industry and related issues for Femsa in Mexico, which owns over 7,000 food stores.

Future of the food and retail industry – articles, videos and presentations on the future of the food industry by Futurist conference keynote speaker Patrick Dixon.  Clients in the food industry include the Irish Food Board, Tetrapak, Rexam, Unilever, Danone, Sara Lee, Femsa.  Food is an emotional business – just think of a mother’s anxieties when there is yet another scare about contamination of baby food.  The same applies to drinks. So if we want to understand the future of food and beverages, we need to understand how consumer emotions are changing.

Food is fundamental to nutrition, health, growth and general well-being.  Yet food can also be a poison, with 1 in 3 newborn babies born in New York this week likely to develop adult-style diabetes at a young age because of obesity. The food industry will become (even) more tightly regulated, but smart companies will always lead the way – as we have seen in nation after nation on issues such as clear food labeling, reduction of salt content and saturated fats.

The food industry is beset with many ethical issues which will grow in strength – whether safety of genetically modified food, sale of cloned cows, human breast milk from genetically engineered cows, animal welfare, irradiation of food to improve shelf life, sustainable farming and fishing.

Leaders of food and drink companies need to be sharply focused on rapid changes in public mood, perception and values, with uncompromising commitment to quality and value. Brand reputation is earned in a lifetime and lost in a day. Food brands have proved remarkably enduring because food enables us to recapture early childhood memories. 

Book Patrick Dixon, conference keynote speaker and Futurist for your event on the future of food.

Article and video on 20 key Retail trends - and impact on food and drink industries.

World can feed 9 billion people if farmed better

Food production touches on complex and interwoven issues. In 2008 and 2011 the world saw huge rises in food prices.  Each time it resulted in riots and governments falling.  So how can we feed the world?  Why did food prices rise so much?  The video on the right touches on some of these questions.

Here are some of the ways that we can increase food production:

1.    New ways to grow farmed fish - without fishing for their food.  Feeding other fish to fish is very destructive to limited marine resources.  We can also develop new breeds of fish through conventional means or by genetic engineering – although there can be a risk if such fish escape into the ocean from fish farms and interbreed.

2.    Better ways to produce meat
- vegetarian substitute “meat”, or breeding more efficient cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens.

3.    Better distribution
- reduce waste from rotten food.  Most food grown in poorer nations is lost before it has a chance to be consumed. Depending on the crop, up to 35% may be lost in the field, eaten by animals or spoiled. Up to 15% is damaged during in processing, transport and storage.

4.    Encouraging less food waste at home –30% of US food, worth $48.3 billion, is thrown away. Every year the average UK household throws away £424, mostly into landfill where it releases methane.  Retailers should stop 2 for 1 offers which we encourage over-buying,  change “best-by” dates to “safe-use-by”, and sterilise food using techniques such as food irradiation, which is much safer than many fear.

5.    End damaging and uncompetitive food subsidies
eg by EU – One of the fastest way to help food production in the poorest nations is to cut the 40% of EU budget which is given subsidies to farmers or fisheries – a total of EU48 billion or 0.3% of the entire EU economy.  The poorest nations cannot compete with EU farmers, either when trying to export to the EU, or in competition in other markets with EU produce.  This damages their agricultural investment, and prevents them earning currency from one of the main parts of their economies.  To make matters worse, the EU charges variable import taxes on food.

Huge jump in farming yields in some nations

Most developing nations have stepped up support for their own farmers, building better roads to market, subsidising seeds and fertilisers and providing safety nets to the poorest growers.

•    The Philippines set up a seed bank to improve seed quality and provide a reserved when crops are wrecked by typhoons

•    Lesotho and Uganda have created “seed fairs” to increase varieties used

•    Tanzania and Mali are subsidising use of better grain and fertilisers

•    Nepal and Jamaica have provided low cost water pumps for small-scale irrigation

•    Malawi is spending 4.2% of GDP on low cost fertilisers to farmers.  In 2005 the country imported 40% of food, but in 2009 exported 50% of what it grew, trebling Maize harvests in four years.

•    Brazil provided credit for 14,000 tractors in 12 months and a guaranteed purchase by the state of $800 of food a year (for reserves and to feed children at school). India guaranteed 100 days of minimum-wage labour to every rural household that asks, and introduced agricultural debt waivers for 40 million farmers, following the failed Monsoon of 2009. Despite huge economic growth, India remains home to 33% of the world's undernourished children.

Meat eating uses up more food

Over 30% of the world's cereal harvest and 90% of soy harvest is eaten by farmed animals who need up to 16 pounds of grain for every pound of meat they produce (some cows).  Every year our world now slaughters 55 billion animals – up from only 10 billion in 1965 – as incomes and population rise.

Eating less meat, or cutting out meat entirely, is one of the most important choices we can make to reduce our personal carbon emissions.  Cattle grazing is one of the most powerful forces driving destruction of rainforests, together with more land being needed to grow animal feed.

All this is going to create huge demand for phosphate to make fertiliser, but known reserves could run out in 100 years.  Most comes from  Morocco / Western Sahara, China, the US, South Africa and Jordan.   Expect many steps to improve nutrient management in agriculture, and recovery of nutrients from waste (water) or manure/human excretions.

Article above is adapted from SustainAgility book - Buy Now.

Presentations on Future of Food and related issues

Future of Food and Drink Industries - for Bord Bia, Irish Food Board. Impact of global trends on food and drink sector, retailing, manufacturing and farming.

Future of Health Through Food - seminar presentation for Danone on future trends affecting both food and health industries.  Growth of performance foods, wellness foods and foods as nutritional boosters.  How customers are changing - whether as personal food consumers, or in what they buy for their children.  Future of medical nutrition and baby foods.  Challenge of obesity, and influence of alternative medicine.

Future of Retail Shopping / Food and Beverages Industry Trends - keynote presentation for FEMSA - owner of OXXO chain of over 7000 retail stores in Latin America, and the world's largest Coca-Cola bottler.  Future of fast moving consumer goods, retail logistics, supply chain management, future of food and drink industry, manufacturing.

Global Trends - keynote for Tetrapak - the company packages around 60% of all liquid food sold world-wide eg cartons of milk or orange juice.

Future of Fast Moving Consumer Goods.  Household goods, food and drink trends - for The Leading Edge Strategy Group client event in London.  Impact of recession on household demand, wholesale, manufacturing and retail.  Managing risk and seizing opportunity in fast moving consumer good sector (FMCG).  Changes in consumer behavior and mood.  Impact of global warming and climate change concerns.

Future of the Paper, Cardboard and Packaging Industries - keynote conference opening sesssion for 1,500 people in Stockholm. Future of forestry, logistics, energy reduction, carbon use, recycling, government policy and related issues.

Videos on The Future of Food Industry

Impact of biofuels policy in US and EU on food prices

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