This week I attended the Food Matters Live Exhibition at the Excel in London. It was a great opportunity to catch up with my network and gain further market insights, particularly around the trends and challenges the food sector will be facing in the coming years.
It was evident that there is still a lot of enthusiasm, innovation and desire to grow the UK food sector and its manufacturing. The sector is seen as a strong provider to the U.K. economy and will continue to be so.
Currently, the industry provides £108bn to the UK economy and employs 1 in 8 of the UK workforce. Food manufacturing is bigger in the UK than the UK automotive and aerospace sector combined. With over 10,000 new products launched every year from the UK food sector we already have a strong foundation to build on and increase our productivity.
With food demand set to increase by 70% over the next 25 to 30 years, food alternatives will be required. By 2050 it is expected that 70% more animal protein will be required worldwide. It is felt that this is currently not achievable. Alternative proteins are therefore required... Alternative proteins were on show at Food Matters in the form of insects! Most people see insects as a 'no go' when it comes to their diet. However, it is estimated that 2 billion people around the world already consume insects as a source of protein in their diet. So will the UK and Western Europe adopt this future trend? Insect flour used in products is seen as the first step, but fried and roasted insects are also seen as an alternative.