Feb 1st, 2021
6 mins

Thankfully, we leave 2020 behind us but the Food Industry faces fresh challenges and sees new trends emerge as we head into 2021.

Safety Standards will be at the forefront of every business plan to maintain trust by consumers in food manufacturing. This includes ensuring that the people making the food are safe, as they cannot work from home, as well as the food the consumer puts on the plate. It will be essential for all companies to ensure that the manufacturing facilities are a safe, secure environment and that they are prepared for physical inspections when they recommence.

Sustainability is still a priority and although it has taken a back seat to the Pandemic, it is crucial that all businesses remain aware that the climate crisis still needs addressing. The reduction of single use plastic and plastic waste has been paused due to consumer concerns re. virus contamination but it is vital that business gets this back on track. Food waste is certain to return as a concern for all with the global carbon footprint of waste food estimated at 3.3 billion tonnes. The industry needs to devise ways of reducing the waste – it is not just down to food consumers – and to continue the good work that has been achieved thus far.

Out Of Home restaurants have had to adjust to the lockdowns with being forced to convert to takeaway overnight. This has raised concerns re. allergens. The FSA has advised these outlets that they must provide allergen information when taking an order and it should also be displayed clearly on packaging. There are currently no checks in place for this. Pubs and restaurants have also been forced to close and open in a localised response to reduce the spread of covid. This has caused problems with retention of staff, changing from sit in to take away and managing quantities of food required.

Food Fraud – as a result of the surge in demand for food and the economic downturn, the need to provide food as cheaply as possible has left the door open for disingenuous operators to take advantage. This has raised concerns on the honesty of some of the global market. It will be down to the Industry to finds ways of combatting food crime which threatens to derail consumer trust.

Plant-Based diets in recent years has seen an increase, with people choosing partial plant-based diets and this is not showing any signs of slowing down in 2021. It is chosen as a way to support weight loss and achieve health and fitness ambitions. Even the fast food chains have cottoned on to this trend and are taking full advantage.

Artisan Products have seen a rise in recent years and can expect to see a leap in 2021 as consumers seek to fill the absence of being able to eat out, with restaurant style eating at home.  This is a market that has seen steady increase over recent years. Ready-made meals could also see an opportunity here to increase production to meet the consumers changing tastes.


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