Five tasty good food trends

19 April 2016

Seventy experts from business, health and nutrition gathered to chew over the future of food business in a healthy NZ on 14 April. Conversation at the Good Food Forum was lively and dynamic! Check out the top trends that emerged.

The Sustainable Business Network was delighted to host the second in our 2016 Event Series, the Good Food Forum, which looked at the future of food. A host of expert speakers provided plenty of food for thought:

  • Emily Dowding-Smith, Sustainable Business Network;
  • Dr Wilma Waterlander, The University of Auckland;
  • Dr Fiona Curran-Cournane, Auckland Council;
  • Angus Brown, FoodBowl, NZ Food Innovation Network;
  • Grant Rosewarne, CEO, NZ King Salmon;
  • Lisa King, Founder, Eat My Lunch; and
  • Paul Johnston, Life Health Food brands.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. It’s too easy for people to buy unhealthy food

A startling 86% of foods in supermarkets are now ultra-processed. This means they are made with ingredients not normally found in a household kitchen, including artificial flavours, colours and emulsifiers. We can’t expect people to avoid them all.  We need to change the food environment to make healthier food more readily available.

  1. LOHAS is one of the most important markets for food businesses

The ‘Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability’ (LOHAS) market segment is growing at 30% per year.  There are opportunities for good food businesses to tap into these consumers. Transparency, through labelling and certification, is a key focus for this group.

  1. Development pressures are affecting food production

Versatile farmland is a precious resource that is vulnerable to development. This is particularly relevant in Auckland where over 8% of prime land was converted to development between 1975 and 2012. We need to collaborate to protect this prime versatile land, so food production doesn’t suffer at the expense of urban expansion.

  1. Food businesses are starting to work with health and community groups

The problems in our food system are complex. The next decade will see a shift in socially aware businesses working closely with health and environment groups to ensure a healthier food system. Corporate social responsibility is needed to address issues like lack of access to healthy food, poverty, malnutrition and obesity in our communities.

  1. There will be a rise in business models that bridge the gap between business and community

New businesses like Eat My Lunch, which has a ‘buy one give one’ model that provides lunches to school children, are working to bridge the gap between community issues around food and business. They are raising awareness at the same time.

Thank you to all our sponsors of the Good Food Forum: Yealands, Hallertau Brewery, AUT Business School and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

You can view the speakers’ presentations here.

The Sustainable Business Network runs projects on good food including the National Good Food Network and Good Food Boost mentoring programme. Our upcoming work will look at pre-consumer food waste, food and procurement, and the role of food business in a healthy New Zealand. To find out more or get involved, contact Emily Dowding-Smith.