Earlier this month we published Adaptive Appetites, our 2022 food and drink macrotrend. Here, we examined how inflation and supply chain fragility are sending food and drink prices soaring. This is resulting in consumers and companies who are adapting rapidly – embracing frugality, innovation and indulgence to navigate this uncertain landscape.
The cost of living crisis across Europe and the US is powering a level of adaptation and acceleration in the food and drink sector in a similar way to how the 2020 pandemic and its associated lockdown measures ushered in new waves of unprecedented digital acceleration. This is resulting in food and drink businesses adapting to new technologies – from biotech to new kinds of solar sustenance – while consumers themselves are re-evaluating priorities as budgets shrink, and food and drink become more precious and costly to consume.
Against this backdrop, adaptation has become the order of the day, as the economy, resources and tastes themselves contract and force us to think, act and execute solutions differently.
As The Future Laboratory’s co-founder Martin Raymond puts it: ‘Food and drink brands need to disrupt by extracting cost through the use of alternative materials, substitute foodstuffs, smarter data supply chain capture – but crucially by co-partnering with consumers themselves in how they can adapt and change their tastes to accommodate hitherto unknown grains, ingredients, drink types that may be unfamiliar, or on face value, unpalatable.’