British consumers are moving from ready meals to easy to cook products
Farmers and meat producers in the UK must pay attention to the significant shifts in shopping and eating habits as those factors could have an impact on farm businesses in terms of where future emphasis and opportunities should lie. The retail is expected to reshape the farming industry over the next couple of decades.
The future dietary choice will dictate over the farmer's decision about how and what to produce, mentioned Ruth Edge, one of the NFU's adviser, during the National Farmers Union Congress NFU19.
Nathan Ward from Kantar Worldpanel said that nutritional habits are changing slower than expected but that doesn't stop the British consumer to look for new products. "The shopper has a huge choice these days, but we’ve seen a move away from ready meals and a shift to meals that take longer to cook but require less effort in the preparation. Interestingly, there was no drop-off in meat eating during Veganuary this year. Tastes and habits might be changing, but not quickly", he commented during the same event.
Despite the fact that consumers are paying attention to food and they influence the market, it seems that a small proportion of shoppers knows details about its origin. "I was struck by one of the speakers this morning who said that ‘consumers have never cared more, but known less about their food’. It’s important to reconnect customers to where their food comes from and also for farmers to de-commoditise the commodities and look where the market growth might be, and aim to capture some of that value. We have to provide transparency, traceability and disclosure to our customers and technology can help us do that.", explained Judith Batchelar OBE, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand.