A photo of the editor, Alistair Forrest

It’s meat and drink, Jim, but not as we know it

The future of food production is plant based. With giants like Danone, Nestlé and Tyson buying into alternatives to dairy and meat, it seems the penny has dropped.

New market research indicates consumers want healthier food, preferably organic, with less processing and no additives. It’s a theme that runs throughout this issue starting with comment from our own retailers, Mike Abrahams of Wild Oats, Bristol, and Rahil Vora of Revital – on how their stores and their approach have been adapted to the vegan surge.

If they’re not fully vegan, they’re ‘reducetarian’, to use modern phraseology. No less than 28% of UK meat eaters say they are cutting right back on their consumption of meat. And alternative dairy producers are finding new and exciting sources of plant-based ‘milk’.

Consumers are becoming more aware of what they eat and how it is produced, and they want trust and transparency (see our report on Mintel’s expectations for 2018).

What we need now is for consumer attention to be turned on cosmetics and bodycare. Once they fully understand that, as Jayn Sterland puts it in her article ‘An industry in crisis’, what goes on you goes in you, they will demand honesty and transparency from the cosmetics giants.

Instead, what we have (for now) is ‘greenwashing’ on a massive scale with token natural or organic ingredients disguising an array of chemical nasties, made worse by the new ISO standard that permits such dishonesty (Need to Know).

Alistair Forrest