Creating a sustainable food supply to meet population demands will require more than just a focus on growing the alternative proteins sector despite its current hype, according to industry experts.
Alternative protein has been one of the biggest trends to hit the food and beverage sector in the past few years, with many strongly believing that it represents the end-solution to creating a sustainable food supply to feed an estimated 10 billion global population by 2050.
But despite its rapid growth and the keen interest both big brands and emerging start-ups have taken in this sector, experts are questioning the veracity and practicality of focusing too much on this to the detriment of developing other potential solutions.
“There is a clear overemphasis on protein [when] today the evidence clearly shows there is no global ‘protein gap,” food systems expert and author of International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) report Politics of Protein Professor Phil Howard said.
Cost of living strategy: Mondelez weighs up promotions and affordability as consumers feel the squeeze
Mondelez is seeing markedly diverse behaviours among consumers on tight budgets, and says it is weighing up more promotions on big packs and pushing low-unit price packs.
Sachin Prasad, AMEA Commercial and Strategy at Mondelez International, told FoodNavigator-Asia that he believes trusted brands always thrive in times of trouble.
However, he said the firm was seeing two distinct purchasing patterns.
ASEAN consumer confidence in regional trade relations with the European Union have plummeted on the back of the latter’s recently-passed deforestation law and its impacts on various food commodities, as major palm oil producing countries in the region move to formally protest on the world stage.
The EU parliament approved its long-debated and highly-controversial deforestation regulation in September last year despite widespread protests from countries producing several food commodities in regions from Asia to South America.
They claimed the move was a political ploy and experts warned that this was highly likely to lead to further price hikes amidst inflationary pressures.
World-first voluntary guidelines: Singapore introduces food safety standards in the e-commerce space
Singapore has developed a new set of voluntary food safety guidelines for businesses across the food e-commerce supply chain.
The guidelines for food e-commerce were developed by a working group comprised of a government agency, industry associations and private sector players.
This was formed as divergent practices pertaining to product safety were noted across different e-commerce platforms. The Working Group saw the need for “a common understanding of industry best practices for the management of online sales of food products.”
Nestle’s strategy to focus on product affordability and accessibility appears to have paid off in 2022, with the firm seeing more significant growth from its business in emerging markets even amid inflationary and economic turbulence.
Nestle published its FY2022 full year financial results on February 16, announcing total year-on-year organic sales growth of 8.3% to CHF94.4bn (US$136.5bn) and a 16% increase in operating profit to CHF16.1bn (US$23.3bn), though profit margins were reported to have dropped by 30 basis points (0.3%) to 17.1% overall.
That said, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider expressed overall satisfaction with the company’s 2022 performance especially given the challenging global environment.