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Encouragement for the Food Industry to Embrace Plant-Based Options

Encouragement for the Food Industry to Embrace Plant-Based Options Bakery and Cereal, confectionery, Dairy & Soy Food, dairy alternatives, Environmental Sustainability, Fish & Seafood, Frozen, Health & Wellness, meat, Pan-industry, Savoury Snacks, Shelf-stable Food and Beverage Business EIT Food

In today’s rapidly changing food and beverage industry landscape, it is crucial for European food manufacturers to actively engage with consumers. This engagement not only encourages healthier lifestyles but also promotes sustainability choices, according to a recent report.

The report, compiled by the EU-supported EIT Food based on a survey of more than 19,000 people across Europe, highlights some key findings. While 44% of respondents considered the food they consume to be healthy, only 36% believed that the food they eat is good for the planet.

When making food choices, nearly half of the participants (49%) took the potential environmental impact into account. Although this percentage saw a slight increase from previous years, there was a decline in the proportion of people actively pursuing a sustainable diet.

Sofia Kuhn, EIT Food’s director of public insights, stressed the need for collaboration between the food sector and consumers to create a healthier and more sustainable food system. She emphasized the challenges posed by climate change and the importance of fostering trust and engagement to drive food innovations and conscious eating decisions.

The report also touched on the willingness of consumers to try new food products, with 34% expressing openness to products outside their usual diets. However, this varied across age groups, with younger individuals showing higher receptiveness to innovation.

Trust in food manufacturers was a key point highlighted in the report, with only 46% of consumers expressing trust compared to previous years. The need for honesty, transparency, trust, and openness in the food industry was emphasized to bridge this gap and build consumer confidence.

Overall, the report underscored the importance of trust in various aspects of the food system, from taste and safety to authenticity and sustainability. The EIT Food’s Consumer Observatory aims to drive this transformation towards a healthier, sustainable, and resilient food system.

Klaus Grunert, a professor of marketing at Aarhus University and head of the Consumer Observatory, emphasized the need for collaboration between the food sector and consumers to provide better information, options, and access for healthy, nutritious, and sustainable diets.

In closing, the report calls for a concerted effort to support long-term changes in eating habits, making healthy and sustainable food options affordable and inclusive for everyone. By working together, the food industry and consumers can drive positive changes in the food and beverage industry landscape.

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