Industry statistics and consumer trends
Food and drink manufacturers know that the key to success is to make and supply products that the public wants. And because consumers' needs are changing all the time, it is important companies are prepared to respond to new trends.
How industry responds to changing consumer trends
One of the most important developments in recent years is that our lives have
become busier than ever, leaving us less time to cook meals from scratch. For
example, it's estimated six out of ten mothers of children aged five or under
have part time or full time jobs.
The food and drink industry is well aware of the complex diet, lifestyle and
health challenges facing society, and has responded to this by producing new,
convenient products that offer great taste and nutritional balance. These
chilled prepared meals, washed and cut vegetables and fruit, and 'on-the-go'
The industry has also responded to rising concerns about how many of us are overweight. It is estimated that in Britain nearly a quarter of adults and nearly a fifth
of children are obese after increases in the last decade. This is not just
because of what we eat. It's also because we exercise much less – partly,
because we have busier lives. But, even though exercise is a vital aspect of
plan to make the nation healthier, the food industry knows it also has an
role to play, and it has responded in a number of ways.
Consumers are increasingly more concerned about the environment we live in, and
how our behaviour affects it. Because of this, many food and drink companies
developing plans to enable them to conduct their business in a more
environmentally friendly way.
Via FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition our member companies have pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, send
less waste to landfill sites; use less packaging; cut water use; and be more
efficient in ways of transporting food around the country.
Improving food literacy
Our sector has also shown real leadership on public health in other areas.
Clearer on-pack nutrition labelling will not, by itself, tackle issues such as
obesity. But it is an important tool in helping improve the food literacy of
so that they can make better informed choices – which is why FDF and its
support the use of Guideline Daily Amounts as the best way of presenting
information to consumers.
GDA's tell shoppers, at a glance, how much fat, saturated fat, sugar, salt and
calories are in a portion of a product, and what percentage these levels
represent of someone's recommended daily intake of each of these nutrients.
Product reformulation and innovation
The industry has worked hard to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in the products we eat to ensure they are healthier but still taste great.
Research by independent consultancy Mintel revealed that over 700 product lines
have been launched with new recipes since January 2007.
Mintel's research also shows that the total sales of healthier eating options in
some key food and drink categories are now worth £8bn - and in some areas are
growing at twice the rate of the market as a whole, suggesting that consumers
welcoming industry's provision of healthy eating options.
To try and better understand the impact of our members' ongoing work around
reformulation, renovation and product innovation, FDF asked Kantar Worldwide to
at nutrition information for approximately 28,000 branded products made by FDF
members. The data shows that on salt, for instance, members have collectively
reduced the amount in their foods by 9% across the board to an average of 0.31g
100g of product in the past five years.
The amount of saturated fat in our products has similarly declined by 9% over
that period. These achievements of course stand on top of the progress made by
industry before 2006 – and many individual categories of food have made even
progress than this average figure.