Consumers crave convenience, but they’re worried that online grocery shopping and eating on-the-go has resulted in them “losing touch” with food.
“They worry about a loss of connection with where our food comes from, and with each other, as we cook and eat together less as families and communities,” the Food Standards Agency noted in its “Our Future Food” report.
These concerns were also linked to other worries, most notably access to affordable and nutritious food. Indeed, consumers appear to foresee a future in which food was a marker of a “two-tier society: where healthy and less processed foods are increasingly a luxury, and people who are more financially pressured relying more on convenience foods”.
Labelling, unsurprisingly, cropped up in the extensive research (which involved a poll, online forum and workshops). The information available to the public is improving, the participants said. They hope this trend will continue, perhaps leading to opportunities for data provision to help them in their decision-making.
Some were interested in the potential for the information provided on labelling to be expanded to include details about the complexity of the supply chains involved, or the global environmental impacts of food production.
The findings precede the FSA’s summit on the future of food tomorrow, February 18, in London.