In-depth food features

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By giving our journalists the freedom to write about subjects in more depth, these longer reads offer a deeper look into the big issues the food industry is facing along with extra background coverage, statistics, and comment.

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Hatching new ideas - Big Food's incubator and accelerator programmes 21 Jun 2018

Andy Coyne

Our guide to some of the main food sector incubators and accelerators operated by major food manufacturers.


Should food majors develop subscription services? 20 Jun 2018

Simon Creasey

There are a growing number of fledgling companies developing subscription-box businesses across the consumer goods sector - but, so far, major food manufacturers have shied away from moving into the market. Simon Creasey weighs up why and whether we may see interest from food companies rise.


What are the prospects for insect-based food? 10 May 2018

Simon Creasey

Two major European retailers have started to stock edible, insect-based food, a sign a growing number of consumers are starting to accept the idea of eating the likes of crickets and mealworms. Simon Creasey looks at the scope of the market so far, consumer interest in the products and what the outlook for the sector could be.


How can food companies engage in the Global Goals agenda on water? 1 May 2018

Ben Cooper

Following just-food's in-depth look at how food companies are aligning sustainability objectives with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Ben Cooper examines how food companies can engage in UN SDG 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.


Why should food companies consider becoming B Corp? 5 Apr 2018

Ben Cooper

A B Corp business takes into account stakeholders in general, rather than holding as pre-eminent the return to its shareholders. The B Corp movement has grown substantially since its launch in the US in 2007 and now claims a foothold in some 150 countries. Food manufacturers, from the very small to just about as large as they come, have found themselves drawn to the B Corp ideals of sustainable business. Ben Cooper spoke with B Corp food companies and advocates for the B Corp movement in the US and the UK to find out more.


The growing consumer pull for sustainable food in the US 1 Mar 2018

Ben Cooper

In just-food's latest deep dive into the market pull for more sustainable food, Ben Cooper looks in-depth at the US market.


What could drive evolution of India's food sector? 12 Feb 2018

Mini Pant Zachariah

For a flavour of senior industry executives working in India see the country's food industry developing, Mini Pant Zachariah went to India Food Forum in Mumbai to hear from some of the leading lights in the sector.


How is Big Food using accelerators and incubators? 6 Feb 2018

Simon Creasey

As the food majors of North America and Europe broadly struggle to rejuvenate sales in the face of changing consumer habits, company strategists are looking at a range of ways to kick-start their sales. Some have turned to accelerators and incubators to, one, support fledgling businesses and, two, try to tap into the new trends shaping the industry - and how to innovate to meet them. Simon Creasey reports.


Why - and how - 2018 promises to be buoyant year for M&A in food 10 Jan 2018

Dean Best

The final days of 2017 saw a flurry of transactions in the international food sector, bringing to an end an active year of deal-making. This year looks set to be another busy one for food-company strategists. Dean Best looks at what could lie ahead.


The six mega-trends that will shape the US food industry in 2018 2 Jan 2018

Victor Martino

Operating in the US food market? If you thought 2017 was a heady mix of challenge and opportunity, wait for 2018, writes just-food's US columnist Victor Martino, who gives you six mega-trends your business must embrace to thrive over the next 12 months.


The food industry in 2018 - bolder aims, broader horizons for sustainability 1 Jan 2018

Ben Cooper

Food companies are being spurred by the UN Global Goals and heightened consumer expectations to increase the ambition and broaden the scope of their sustainability programmes. Ben Cooper identifies the issues and trends that will shape policy and action in 2018.


The food industry in 2018 - the e-commerce trends to watch 1 Jan 2018

Andrew Pearl, Profitero

Taking advantage of the rise of the e-commerce channel will be a priority of an increasing number of food company strategists in 2018. Andrew Pearl, director of strategy and insight in the EMEA markets for e-commerce analytics firm Profitero, presents four trends to watch in the channel in 2018.


The food industry in 2018 - the nine foodservice trends to follow 1 Jan 2018

David Henkes, Technomic

The foodservice channel continues to show growth, even in more mature markets, presenting an opportunity for food manufacturers to capture. David Henkes, the advisory group senior principal at US-based foodservice consultants Technomic, sets out the nine trends that will shape the sector in 2018.


The food industry in 2018 - the challenges and opportunities of navigating a UK market in spotlight 21 Dec 2017

Andy Coyne

As we approach 2018, just-food deputy editor Andy Coyne outlines what companies operating in the UK should factor into their strategies in the new year.


Food companies seek boost from revenue growth management 6 Dec 2017

Simon Creasey

In mature markets like North America and western Europe, packaged food manufacturers have in recent years found top-line growth hard to come by. Some have turned to revenue growth management - moves to optimise their prices, promotions and product range - to try to revitalise sales. Simon Creasey analyses the benefits and challenges of implementing the practices.


Why are food companies aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals? 9 Nov 2017

Ben Cooper

Over the two years since the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) were launched, increasing numbers of food companies have sought to align their sustainability aims and objectives with the targets. Ben Cooper examines why and what benefits alignment could bring for the goals and for the companies themselves.


The potential for blockchain in the food industry 24 Oct 2017

Simon Creasey

Blockchain and how to harness the technology is one of the hot topics in boardrooms. A number of the world's largest food manufacturers and grocers are looking closely at the concept and its applications. Simon Creasey analyses the potential uses, benefits and challenges of using blockchain in the sector.


How sustainability is influencing M&A in the food industry 6 Oct 2017

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper looks at how sustainability considerations are influencing food industry mergers and acquisitions.


What does Generation Z want from food? 25 Sep 2017

Simon Creasey

Move over Millennials. There's a new consumer cohort in town and food manufacturers should stay paying them more attention. Simon Creasey takes an in-depth look at what makes Generation Z tick, what shapes their buying habits and how food companies should respond.


How the food industry can help reverse climate change 25 Jul 2017

Katy Askew

Climate change is widely viewed as one of the biggest threats facing humanity. The impact of global warming can be seen across the world and it is already causing insecurity and uncertainty in food industry supply chains. As a significant CO2 emitter, the food industry is uniquely positioned to tackle the issue through innovation. Katy Askew looks at how food makers can help mitigate – and even reverse – global warming by using their supply chains to rejuvenate farmlands and forests.


Direct-to-consumer in the UK - analysing the problems and potential 17 Jul 2017

Simon Creasey

The continued rapid growth of grocery e-commerce in the UK, combined with the tough trading conditions in serving traditional, bricks-and-mortar retailers, is leading a number of food manufacturers to investigate whether selling directly to consumers could be an option worth pursuing. Simon Creasey weighs up the prospects for the fledgling channel.


Does sustainability sell in the UK? 13 Jul 2017

Ben Cooper

Consumer concern has long been an important reason for food companies to take sustainability seriously, not only for reasons of reputational protection but increasingly for the value strong sustainability credentials can bring to a brand. In the first of a series of articles looking at the market pull for more sustainable food, Ben Cooper looks at the relationship between consumers and food sustainability in the UK, and asks whether sustainability sells.


The food market in 2017 - the food policy hotspots in Latin America, Asia and Australia 25 Jan 2017

Ben Cooper

In part two of his survey of the food policy areas to watch worldwide in 2017, just-food's contributing editor Ben Cooper runs the rule over the likely developments in Latin America, Asia and Australia this year.


The food market in 2017 – food policy hotspots in the UK, EU and US 22 Jan 2017

Ben Cooper

Following the seismic political shocks of 2016, the food sector has much to ponder as the new year gets underway. just-food contributing editor Ben Cooper sets out the food policy areas to watch in the UK, the EU and the US in 2017.


The food market in 2017 - consumer trends and M&A 18 Jan 2017

Dean Best

In an uncertain business environment, with executives watching closely how the incoming President Trump could affect areas from regulations to trade, how the UK’s Brexit talks could unfold and how major European economies will vote in a series of elections in 2017, where are the opportunities for M&A in the international food sector this year? Dean Best reports.


The food market in 2017 - three major drivers of M&A strategy 17 Jan 2017

Dean Best

A year of geopolitical uncertainty awaits and there are few things business dislikes more than uncertainty. What impact could there be on M&A in the food sector? Dean Best reports.


The food market in 2017 - the big foodservice trends to watch 11 Jan 2017

David Henkes, Technomic

Foodservice is rapidly becoming a global industry, and operators and manufacturers need to be aware of, and stay ahead of, big trends to be able to fully capture the growth opportunities available. David Henkes, advisory group senior principal at US foodservice consultants Technomic, outlines eight trends he expects to see across the foodservice market in 2017.


The food industry in 2017 - The key questions for digital strategists 8 Dec 2016

Keith Anderson, Profitero

In his latest column for just-food, Keith Anderson, vice president of strategy and insights at e-commerce analytics firm Profitero, outlines what food companies interested in growing online must consider in 2017.


Packaged food in Thailand - online food sales are set to take off 27 Oct 2016

Michael Tatarski

The online channel is expanding in south-east Asia and Thailand is at the vanguard of that development. Michael Tatarski analyses how the online space is growing in Thailand.


Packaged food in Thailand - impulse and health to drive premium segments 26 Oct 2016

Poorna Rodrigo

After a period in the economic doldrums, Thailand looks set to be a potential opportunity for domestic and international food manufacturers marketing premium wares. Poorna Rodrigo surveys what is driving demand for premium products in south-east Asia's second-largest economy.


Packaged food in Thailand - demand for convenience to continue to thrive 25 Oct 2016

Jens Kastner

The growing urban lifestyle of Thai consumers has been driving demand for packaged convenient food. Convenience stores are gaining in importance for Thais amid the urbanisation of the country and look set to remain a key channel for manufacturers to target. Jens Kastner looks at the growing demand for convenience in the south-east Asian country.


Packaged food in Thailand - demographics driving healthier categories but price key 24 Oct 2016

Jens Kastner

As the Thai economy shifts away from being agricultural- to more skilled-based, as well as industry-and-commerce-focused, many consumers are gaining knowledge of the nutritional value and the health benefits of certain products and ingredients. Meanwhile, Thailand’s population is ageing, which also looks set to drive demand for improved health through food. Jens Kastner surveys the development of the country's healthier food segments and looks at what could lie ahead.


What are the next major markets for gluten-free? The fledgling gluten-free market in Czech Republic shows promise 21 Oct 2016

John Shepherd

Gluten-free has a well-established presence in the markets of western Europe, notably Italy, Germany and the UK, but the sector is rapidly gaining traction in eastern European countries. In just-food's series of market spotlights on the next five countries manufacturers should target, John Shepherd looks at the Czech Republic.


What are the next major markets for gluten-free? UAE leads growing Gulf interest 20 Oct 2016

John Shepherd

The Gulf is emerging as one to watch for the gluten-free sector. In just-food's series of spotlights on the next five markets manufacturers should target, John Shepherd looks at the gluten-free market is developing in the region.


What are the next major markets for gluten-free? Poland touted as one to watch in Europe 12 Oct 2016

John Shepherd

It has been markets in western Europe, notably Italy, Germany and the UK, where gluten-free has taken hold but the sector is building in countries further east. In just-food's series of market spotlights on the next five countries manufacturers should target, John Shepherd looks at Poland.


What are the next major markets for gluten-free? South Africa's fledgling but growing market 12 Oct 2016

John Shepherd

The gluten-free market has taken root quickest in markets in North America and western Europe but manufacturers looking for more business opportunities could look to South Africa, a country where the category is in its early stages but one touted for expansion. John Shepherd reports.


How to implement a zero-based budgeting strategy 11 Oct 2016

Katy Askew

The process of zero-based budgeting removes the budget's baseline and requires every cost to be justified. In contrast to other budgeting techniques, it encourages critical thinking of historic expenses. It can offer big savings - but the process can also be complex, convoluted, costly and there are no guaranteed economies. Execution is key. In just-food's final part of our special report on zero-based budgeting, we look at best-practice on the implementation of the strategy.


Is zero-based budgeting right for everyone? 10 Oct 2016

Katy Askew

Zero-based budgeting is essentially a cost-control mechanism. By re-setting each line of the budget at zero, it focuses attention on expenses and challenges existing costs. There are, however, contradictory views about whether the adoption of this method is supportive of revenue growth while its risks and limitations mean that it is not necessarily a good fit for everyone. Katy Askew reports. 


What are the next major markets for gluten-free? - France the "sleeping giant" of the sector 6 Oct 2016

John Shepherd

Over the past decade, gluten-free has established itself as a significant category in markets in North America, western Europe and Australasia. Gluten-free specialists have become sizeable businesses, with some building notable international operations and some attracting takeover interest from larger rivals. In a series of articles, just-food's John Shepherd puts forward five markets seen as the next for gluten-free manufacturers  - and conventional businesss interested in gluten-free to target. First, we look at France, where gluten-free has taken longer to develop compared to some of the country's neighbours - and therefore one that could present opportunity.


Why zero-based budgeting is shaking up the food sector 6 Oct 2016

Katy Askew

Zero-based budgeting is not a new concept. It was developed around five decades ago by Peter Pyhrr, an account manager at semiconductor firm Texas Instruments. After being taken up by US president Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, the method fell into obscurity. Recent years have seen it experience a revival in the food industry. In this series of articles, just-food examines zero-based budgeting and asks if it is a miracle diet for packaged food companies seeking a shapelier margin profile.


What are the risks and rewards of zero-based budgeting? 6 Oct 2016

Katy Askew

A growing body of food makers are adopting zero-based budgeting as a tool to reduce costs and improve resource allocation. The method has also proven popular with investors with a focus on return on invested capital. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all answer to the challenges facing CPG companies today. In the second part of our series examining zero-based budgeting, Katy Askew takes a look at the pros and cons associated with the method.


What are the prospects for the low-FODMAP diet? - analysis 4 Oct 2016

Simon Creasey

FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that has been linked to digestive issues, including irritable bowel syndrome. A diet in low in FODMAPs is said to ease symptoms and there are signs of a market taking root in Australia, parts of Europe and North America. In the main, it is smaller firms that are marketing low-FODMAP foods but some of the major names in the industry, including Nordic business Fazer Group and, notably Nestle, are showing interest and have recently launched products. Simon Creasey looks at developments so far and weighs up the prospects for the fledgling category.


Packaged food eyeing 3D printing but progress uneven - analysis 3 Oct 2016

Keith Nuthall

What impact could the 3D printing of food have on the sector? It's one of the most-discussed issues among product developers. While there are chefs experimenting with using 3D printing to customise dishes or add some automation to their kitchens, some of the food industry's packaged food giants are also looking closely at the technology. Mandy Kovacs, Poorna Rodrigo, Kitty So and Kathryn Wortley report.


Why companies cannot lose with employee engagement in sustainability 22 Sep 2016

Ben Cooper

Initiatives aimed at involving employees in sustainability aims are now commonplace in progressive food companies, and for good reason. Ben Cooper examines employee engagement in the food industry and explains how food manufacturers are reaping the multiple benefits of enthusing employees around food sustainability objectives.


How food companies are involving employees in sustainability - case studies 22 Sep 2016

Ben Cooper

Sustainability concerns pervade every aspect of a food company’s operations so opportunities and approaches to engage employees in sustainability are immensely varied. Here, just-food looks at the different ways six global food manufacturers seek to engage their workforce in their sustainability aims.


Food companies can lead on workplace nutrition - analysis 28 Jul 2016

Ben Cooper

Improving the diet of employees can boost productivity, morale and staff retention, making workplace nutrition an increasing priority for any company. But, Ben Cooper writes, the nutritional value of workplace catering at a food company is likely to be more closely scrutinised than at other companies, while the food sector has a unique contribution to make in improving workplace nutrition at large.




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