FreshIncite July 2018

What We’re Seeing

The urgency of the waste problem increases risk of a hasty responseTop

boxbootbig-small.jpgSensitivity to waste is quickly moving from a corporate social responsibility, to an urgent and significant commercial imperative. Households are becoming increasing aware of and sensitive to both food waste and packaging waste. This is confirmed by the MealpulseTM food consumer panel where 73% of households indicate they ‘would like to recycle the packaging on my fresh food’, and 69% indicate they ‘will buy a smaller portion if it saves me throwing food out’. 

The profile of the waste issue has been impacted by recent events such as the decision by China to ban foreign waste.  While a range of immediate initiatives have been put into place, such as the NSW Return and Earn container deposit scheme and the ban of single use plastic bags by major retailers, longer term solutions remain unclear. 

Solutions are complex, and are also impacted by the dilemma of packaging, i.e. the benefits it provides versus waste it generates. For consumers the benefits include grab-and-go convenience, extended shelf life, and communication of product features. For operators packaging provides operational efficiencies and lower instore operating costs. As such, solutions must be balanced and considered. 

FreshIncite: Growing sensitivity to waste is creating a sense of urgency, with increased risk of quick responses that meet community views but are in danger of not being the most workable supply chain solutions. 


Foodservice winning share of stomach, putting pressure on retailTop

 casual_dining.jpegShare of stomach continues to migrate from retail to foodservice. This is reflected in the ABS Household Economic Survey which shows foodservice share increasing from 28% in 2003-04 to 34% in 2015-16 – representing share growth of 21%. 

Foodservice operators have successfully stimulated consumer interest in food by revitalising their offer and improving home delivery options enabled by ordering apps such as UberEats and Deliveroo. Eating out, or ordering in, is now a more convenient and attractive solution for tonight’s meal when compared to cooking from scratch or purchasing ready-meals from retail. 

Operators have also responded to lifestyle trends by improving the social experience with meals and events that are social-media friendly and enhancing experiential dining which has drawn consumers to consider eating out as an affordable ‘recreational’ expense. 

Foodservice share growth is significant and is likely a conservative estimate as it only captures spend at a household level and does not include commercial and institutional spend. Evidence from the U.K. and U.S. where share is nearing 40%, suggests growth may be set to continue. 

FreshIncite: The quiet but steady growth in foodservice continues to put further pressure on retail, and evidence from other developed countries suggests there is potential for more growth to come. 


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