How will Germany eat in 2030?
In line with our own way of working, the future study focuses on the consumer and his wishes and needs. Consequently, it states: “Ultimately, we need a value chain that is entirely geared to the needs of the consumer. But what do these needs look like in times in which nutrition styles are the main perspective for one’s own view of the world and one’s own way of life? And what does this mean for trade, industry, agriculture and politics?
For the study, experts from a wide range of fields, from architecture to mechanical engineering, from sociology to advertising, were asked about influencing factors on our future eating and shopping behaviour. On this basis, five future scenarios were developed together with consumers with an affinity for the future, which were then evaluated in a representative survey.
The results show that people would like to see a gentler use of increasingly scarce food resources and that the origin and production of food will be questioned even more critically in the future. Further results are a stronger value orientation on the part of consumers, the personalisation of nutrition, an increasing online demand for food and clear expectations regarding inspiration and advice to retailers.
The most important results & recommendations for action:
Focus on consumers
Science and media have so far assumed a supercritical and worried consumer. The study has now identified a surprising new, more realistic optimism on the part of consumers.
The risks of global development with regard to the environment and global warming are certainly perceived, but positive scenarios for one’s own diet are nevertheless seen. This is not least due to the fact that more and more people are talking about nutrition: Materiality, the effect on one’s own health and enjoyment, but also sustainability and global responsibility all lead to a completely new view of the goods provided by trade.
It is precisely this that leads to a shift in power: in this way, the customer becomes an active actor from an overburdened consumer who only had the impression of being able to choose between two evils. In the future, more and more customers will see their ethical responsibility and are willing to accept it.
On the other hand, consumers themselves face the greatest challenges. If nutrition is to become the leading perspective of lifestyle and the desires for a healthy, enjoyable and ethical diet are to be satisfied, the consumer must assume more responsibility. Maturity has its price. For many, however, this new task will be too complex – also because the new role of nutrition is difficult to shape with the strategies with which one has grown up. Therefore, according to the study, it is necessary for old and new communities to “create an occasion” in order to ignite a kind of new social campfire in private and public areas or even in canteens.
Future scenarios, consumer orientation and positioning
The study finds that orientation, control and personal responsibility are becoming more important than ever under the highly complex living conditions of the present and future.
The five future scenarios in the consumer’s need:
- In the scenario “Resource-conserving nutrition in a value-oriented society”, the principle of ethical consumption provides orientation.
- In the scenario “Community food as an experience in a de-structured society”, the individual seeks access to and belonging to the community through food.
- Reliability in the form of self-optimization for the necessary performance capability characterizes the scenario “Nutrition for self-optimization in a performance-oriented society”.
- In the scenario “Reflected enjoyment in a society based on self-responsibility”, nutrition offers the opportunity to become active on one’s own responsibility for a healthy body.
- In the scenario “Simple satiety in a virtual environment”, eating is characterized by the fact that it is abundant, simple, fast and available everywhere – and thus offers relief in an increasingly complex environment.
According to the representative survey, around 80% of Germans like at least one scenario. Ethical, collaborative and health-oriented diets are particularly attractive. Scepticism, on the other hand, is caused by social conditions such as high pressure to perform and technical innovation.
One important finding of the study: In reality, the future scenarios described will coexist and complement each other. Each scenario is potentially relevant for everyone. Depending on the phase of life, everyday situation or current mood, consumers will make temporary choices for this or that scenario on a case-by-case basis.
According to the study, those who not only offer innovative products but also break new ground in the service segment will be successful on the market. Not least against the background of the digital transformation, there will be a completely new relationship between offline and online trade. The changes will be fundamental to such an extent that it is not enough to modify the supply chain. It must be revolutionized.
- The orientation towards the customer experience is essential. Ultimately, this means a value chain that is entirely geared to the needs of the consumer.
- Innovations do not only affect the products of the food industry. New services also emerge and fundamentally change purchasing, cooking and consumption patterns.
- Sustainable cooperations with other industries and service providers (e.g. logistics) are decisive in the implementation.
Adaptable, cosmopolitan, value-oriented, consumer-oriented and open to innovative start-ups: these are the core requirements for industry.
The breadth of the product range will increase even more in the future. Consumers want to reorient and supply themselves according to their situation and phase of life. The dynamically growing concept of personalization will have a strengthening effect, as it will increase diversity to extremes.
It will be important to bring the high demands on enjoyment and health more strongly into the low-price segment, as this will be in demand by a growing proportion of the population as the social gap opens up.
It is also interesting to note that the diffuse label “bio” is losing its unique selling point in the study’s forecast, and the focus is shifting to a wider range of foods that are both healthy and fairly produced and sustainable.
According to the study, change in agriculture is naturally more difficult, since the conversion of production may take years. Nevertheless, a successful future of food (production) will only succeed if agriculture actively contributes, offers alternatives and participates in both the implementation and development of new products.
Eating outside the home
The importance of out-of-home catering will become even more important in the future. With the rise in out-of-home consumption, providers in this segment are becoming increasingly decisive in establishing innovations.
The study finds that the mature, digitally networked and operating consumers of the future have emancipated themselves. First and foremost, they need a new quality of information. In times in which nutrition styles are the leading perspective for shaping our lives and politics as well as world interpretation are strongly perceived and shaped by nutrition issues, politics must seize the opportunity to communicate directly with consumers at eye level.