Food Waste and Shortages: Alternative Protein Sources

31st August 2023


The climate crisis is impacting food production in several ways. Extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves, can damage crops and disrupt supply chains. Changing weather patterns and temperatures can also affect the growth and productivity of agricultural crops. Additionally, the loss of biodiversity can impact crop yields.

Over the next decade, the inadequacy of food supply chains will be emphasized by food waste and shortages, population growth, and erratic weather conditions. To address these challenges, companies in the food and beverage industry must continue implementing sustainable practices, such as promoting regenerative farming and sourcing ingredients from sustainable and resilient supply chains. These efforts will lessen the impact of the climate crisis on food production and ensure a more sustainable and secure food system for the future.

Food Waste, Food Shortages, Consumer Insights, Market Research, Climate Change, FMCG, Food And Beverage, Upcycled Ingredients.

Consumer Concerns

Consumers have become more attentive to the environmental credentials of food and drink brands. Some critical concerns among consumers include food wastage and shortages. For instance, FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights highlight that 68% of global consumers are concerned about food waste and 43% are concerned about food shortages. This highlights the direct impact of these environmental issues on health and the damage to natural resources. Additionally, consumers are aware that rising temperatures can have an effect on food supplies due to increasing temperatures.

As a result, more needs to be done to protect food sources. Companies must ensure corporate and social responsibility should be put at the forefront of brand philosophy and implemented along the supply chain.

Packaging Innovation

Consumers deem short shelf-life one of the biggest contributors to food waste. For example, FMCG Gurus’ market research reveals that 59% of global consumers state short shelf life of products is the main contributor to their food waste. This highlights the opportunity for packaging innovations by extending the shelf life of products without using preservatives. In doing so, brands must provide maximum reassurance over the safety and quality of such products to ensure appeal.

Alternative Protein Sources

Food Waste, Food Shortages, Consumer Insights, Market Research, Climate Change, FMCG, Food And Beverage, Upcycled Ingredients.

With inadequate food supply chains, the plant-based market is more of a necessity than ever before. This creates an opportunity for the plant-based market to offer an alternative protein source amid these food shortages. It is important to note that over the last couple of decades, plant-based products have moved away from being a niche, but are part of a large proportion of consumers’ diets. Many consumers incorporate plant-based products in their diets through an avoidance or moderation of animal-based products, due to health, sustainability, and ethical concerns.

As a result, brands must position plant proteins and hybrids as a necessity to help address the food crisis. FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that consumers find a variety of plant-based protein sources appealing. For instance, 60% of global consumers find nut protein appealing, followed by 56% who deem soy protein appealing. However, during today’s cost of living crisis, the plant-based market must address barriers of affordability in this market to enhance the value and appeal of protein sources and hybrids.

Upcycled Ingredients

Over the last couple of years, upcycled ingredients have become a growing trend from a new product development perspective. With excess food being put back into the supply chain as opposed to adding to food waste, consumers find this process appealing due to its ethical and environmental benefits. For example, FMCG Gurus’ market research reveals that 71% of global consumers say they find upcycled ingredients appealing. The reasons for this are due to associations with naturalness and tackling food waste.

Additionally, during a cost-of-living crisis, upcycled ingredients will have higher appeal, enabling these ingredients to be positioned as a win-win for the environment and the consumer.

The article is based on FMCG Gurus: Addressing Food Waste and Shortages – Global Report 2023. For more information, please click here.

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