Welcome to Issue 4 of Insightful Bites, our round-up of all the latest trends and insights in the world of food and drink to get your teeth into – with a special deep dive into Bread & Jam’s Future Summit.
Sustainability Lessons on World Earth Day
22 April was World Earth Day and AJ was a speaker at the Bread & Jam Festival’s Future Summit, where the guests and speaker explored all angles of sustainable food from sourcing and production, through to packaging and disposal. The event dived into the legitimacy of carbon offsetting and covered tips and tricks for embedding purpose at the core of a brand.
Here are the top takeaways from each panel session, as summarised by the brilliant Following the Footprints and annotated below:
On building a profitable business with sustainability at its core:
- Equity gives employees ownership.
- Brands must focus on aligning reality and their projected image to avoid greenwashing.
- Sustainable choices need to make financial and commercial sense to have longevity.
- Ensure you understand what consumers will focus on.
- Don’t forget to bring joy!
On integrating purpose and responsible values into your brand:
- Your purpose is why and why will be a question that peels back the layers of your brand.
- Embed your purpose into your team.
- Don’t underestimate the power of community.
- Measure your impact, qualitatively and quantitively.
- Work to understand the hierarchy of your messaging.
On Helping Consumers Challenge the Greenwashers and Support the Seriously Sustainable Brands
- Engaging suppliers is crucial.
- To strike a balance between detail and engagement, leverage UGC, impact reports and product fact sheets.
- Understand the tension between profit and purpose.
- Don’t forget to avoid ‘greenwishing’, not just ‘greenwashing’.
- “Plastic is not the enemy”.
On The Secrets of Sustainable Packaging
- Think ‘outside the box’ and don’t be constrained by traditional business models.
- Learn quickly from your mistakes, and never forget customer needs.
- Aim to change the industry, not simply your own emissions.
- Make your communications tangible, utilising equivalents.
- Work closely with your manufacturers, often they’ll want to trial an innovation with a start-up like yours.
On Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint
- Ensure your investments align with your purpose – ‘offsets and credits aren’t the only way to get there’.
- Decarbonise first, truly.
- Drive projects from the ground up, rather than buy them off the shelf.
- Your role as a CEO or change agent is to be an auditor.
- Embed the Sustainable Development Goals into your company articles.
On Decarbonising Your Business: The Easy Wins
- Know where you’re starting from.
- For micro-businesses with time and money constraints, use immediacy to target impact.
- New supply chains present huge opportunities to avoid emissions from the start.
- Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Build the cost of carbon into your P&L and have a holistic view of your supply chain.
On Ethical Sourcing: How Challenger Brands Are Doing It
- Long term relationships should be prioritised.
- Ask your farmers.
- Build a new market by going to the heart of your product
- Certify your core beliefs e.g., Fairtrade certified.
- “There is a problem in every supply chain”, and you need to be proactive in finding it.
Missed Future Summit? Check out the full article from Following the Footprints, which details all of the panel discussions and top takeaways
Hot topics: Calorie Labelling legislation & HFSS regulations
Propel reported this month that more than half of consumers have said their eating habits and choice of restaurant will be influenced by new calorie labelling laws, according to new research. The new calorie labelling legislation came into force on Wednesday, 6 April, requiring all cafes, restaurants and takeaways run by companies with more than 250 employees to include calorie labelling and counts on their menus.
We know that younger generations want to know more about what they eat, after all it is the information age, and it looks like this will be particularly key in urban areas where outlets are populated by younger consumers.
However, some are calling this ‘the death of the specials menu’ and calories have been criticised as an inaccurate measure of “health”. We think that a nutrient density score might be a really exciting step change….
Another big focus for the industry this year, is the implementation of new restrictions on promotions on food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) from October this year. Restrictions will apply to medium and large retailers including those with 50 or more employees will be forced to phase out their offering of multibuy promotions such as ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘3 for 2’ offers on HFSS products. Less healthy promotions will also no longer be featured in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents. Read all about the latest guidance that has been issued in The Grocer’s Analysis piece this month.
The Easter Weekend Opportunity
Get ahead for Easter 2023 and read Speciality Food’s interesting insights about consumer spending over Easter weekend and how Easter represents a significant opportunity for consumer spending. The article reported that “According to digital wholesaler ShelfNow, in 2021 UK consumers spent nearly £50m more on traditional Easter products such as chocolate Easter eggs and confectionery hot-cross buns than in the same period in 2020.” It also identified veganism, non-chocolate treats and traditional eggs as the top sellers for Easter 2022.
Gen Z Snack Attack
Finally, some interesting insights into understanding the snacking habits of Gen Z (anyone from the ages of 10-25) from Bon Appetit, discussing the difference between Gen Z and Millennials. With Gen Z rejecting the perfectly curated, healthy Insta grids of Millennials, the Gen Z snack aesthetic is more about indulging in something that tastes and feels good without an overwhelming sense of guilt. The piece identifies a more punkish vibe and a tendency by Gen Z to make their own decisions.
Inside Sharp HQ…
Check out all the latest news and food and drink campaigns from Sharp HQ here.