just-food authors and correspondents
Articles by Jonathan Thomas
Sugar is under the spotlight, with academics and NGOs emphasising what they see as its central role in growing obesity. Such views are gaining more mainstream media attention, which has profound implications for the food industry and, in particular, for the chocolate sector. However, what are the prospects for low-sugar chocolate? Jonathan Thomas investigates.
The UK continues to witness a rapid increase in demand for gluten-free foods. The sector represents the largest within the UK market for free-from foods, targeted at people with food allergies or intolerances, and it is a category seeing dramatic growth.
As the market for gluten-free foods expands in the future, it is highly likely the way companies target and market their products may undergo some form of change.
Aside from the US and UK, where the gluten-free category is witnessing strong growth, there are a number of other gluten free markets look likely to develop elsewhere over the coming years.
In addition to being one of the world's largest markets for gluten-free foods, the US continues to represent one of its fastest growing.
Despite concerns over returns or on the ability of social media to reach a mass audience like other forms of communications, the food industry is increasing its use of sites like Facebook and Twitter to market their brands or connect with consumers.
At the brand level, many leading social media campaigns fall into one of the following two categories: to support a new product launch and to assist with marketing and promotional activity.
The world's retailers are increasing their use of social media to promote offers and interact with consumers. However, shoppers also use networks to interact with each other, which can benefit business but is also eroding price as a weapon of competitive advantage.
Social media is likely to assume ever-greater significance within the global food industry but, writes Jonathan Thomas, there is still uncertainty among marketers over how to make the most of the phenomenon.
Increasingly demanding requirements from food manufacturers and their consumers mean that packaging is becoming progressively 'smarter'. Active or intelligent packaging is a sector which continues to grow in size, with expansion driven by new applications and innovation. Jonathan Thomas reports.
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