Research shows food safety, waste and sustainability emerged as key concerns when making purchasing decisions
United Arab Emirates - February 24, 2021: Consumers want the F&B sector to focus on improving food safety, switch to sustainable packaging and put greater emphasis on tackling food waste, according to a new study released at Gulfood 2021, the world’s most competitive global sourcing platform, which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) until Thursday 25 February.
Tetra Pak, a world-leading food processing and packaging solutions company, unveiled the findings of its latest consumer survey during a session titled ‘The Evolution of Consumer Behaviour’ at the all-new Market Society Workshops, full day of content featuring some of the biggest names in business.
The latest annual TetraPak Index Report canvassed 15,000 consumers spanning 20 countries, on their concerns around COVID-19, 68% of respondents stated food safety is a major concern for society.
Elsewhere in the survey, 67% of respondents said the world is heading for an environmental disaster unless daily habits change, while 64% believe climate change is the result of human activity, yet 63% said global COVID-19 lockdowns have triggered some environmental improvements.
“This is the 13th year we are running the report, and like previous years we have used several tools to come up with the report such as desktop research and expert interviews. We also sampled 15,000 consumers across 20 countries, so the data shared is scientific and relevant to a broad range of consumers. We asked consumers what the top three issues are that the food industry should tackle, and the results weren’t all that surprising, with 53% saying that the F&B industry should improve food safety, 52% saying manufacturers should use sustainable packaging and 48% concerned about food waste,” said Belin Alev, Head of External Communications for Europe, Central Asia and Middle East and Africa for Tetra Pak, who presented findings.
Alev added that 50% of respondents see sustainable packaging as a top priority and will pro-actively avoid products that use excessive amounts of unnecessary packaging. Three quarters of respondents also believe companies should be obliged to help with the recycling of their packaging.
“The last area we looked at is around food waste. In recent years, the topic of food waste has not been high on the agenda, however if you consider that a third of the world’s food production goes to waste this is still something that certainly worries consumers – 77% of respondents see it as a concern and 47% believe they can make a positive difference,” she said.
Other key sessions of the day included Purpose Driven Marketing by Peter Debenedictis, Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft MEA and The Future of Food Marketing And Advertising by Mustafa Shamseldin, Chief Marketing Officer, Africa, Middle East & South Asia, PepsiCo.