Denney-Finch: Industry set for "defining decade"

Denney-Finch: Industry set for "defining decade"

Health and ethics are set to come to the fore as key consumer trends in the UK after the recession, according to research analysts IGD.

Speaking at the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum yesterday (2 February), Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said ethical products have all retained momentum in the recession and would continue to prosper in recovery.

“Fairtrade, organic and environmentally friendly products have all retained momentum in the recession. Fairtrade has grown 30-fold over the last decade. It’s been one part of constant evolution in consumer demand. Companies will need to run faster than ever before,” said Denney-Finch.

She added that shoppers will continue to shop for value but price will be just one of a number of considerations for consumers.

“It’s not just about price. It’s about price, quality, safety and convenience. And new dimensions of health and ethics are coming to the fore. The food industry certainly faces a testing time.”

Denney-Finch told the an audience of industry stakeholders that the next ten years would be "another defining decade" for the sector, particularly on sustainability issues.

"Most of the solutions we are going to need are known to us. We need less barriers to the food network in developed countries. We need to capitalise on rising intolerance towards waste. We cannot afford to waste energy or water. We need bigger, better and more uniformed recycling systems, and it would be good to see more business start ups and the Fairtrade ethos extended even further,” she insisted.

“The equation to solve is a complex and challenging one but we do have the resources to meet those challenges. The rest of the world comes here to see what we [UK] are doing because we are often trailblazers,” she added.