The DMK Trend Summit

Our global food system is reaching its limits and the transformation is already in full swing. In the future, food will increasingly be produced and consumed in other ways. More than ever before, corporate action and policies will shape food systems now and in the future. But what does this future look like? Can we already know today what will happen in the next few years? Together with scientists, analysts, consultancies and food bloggers, the DMK Group explored these questions as part of its Trend Summit 2021.

From 8 to 17 September, experts such as trend researcher Hanni Rützler, agricultural scientist Prof. Dr. Nick Lin-Hi, Malte Lorenz from venture builder and consultancy Hungry Ventures and Tobias Basse, analyst at Nord LB, put forward their observations and theses for the future of our food system for discussion.  "We are in a decisive decade of change and in the middle of the nutrition transformation, which must make a significant contribution to meeting the global challenges," explains Dr Philipp Inderhees, Head of Corporate Strategy at DMK Group. "Our current nutrition system is reaching its limits. That is why an intelligent protein mix is needed for the future. The development towards this is in full swing." By this, Inderhees is referring primarily to the growing market for plant-based products, which is experiencing continuous growth and has been identified as one of DMK Group's future fields. 

In addition, however, the pandemic has also increased demands on nutrition - both on a social and health level, as discussion rounds with the experts have shown. "The value structure in society is undergoing a fundamental change. Holistic responsible consumption is developing from a lifestyle to a social movement. This goes hand in hand with the fact that value creation is also changing or becoming more comprehensive in the long term," emphasises Kristin Mitlewski, who deals with consumer trends within the DMK Group. "This value revolution is being driven primarily by a younger generation that will become decision-makers in the 2020s." In this context, the trends, first and foremost responsibility, can be explained primarily in socio-cultural terms and are leading to nutritional decisions being made in an increasingly mindful manner. If you want to differentiate yourself, you have to develop further as a company.

The participants at the DMK Trend Summit made it clear that this change initially means uncertainty, but offers enormous opportunities in the long term. Food trends are always characterised by the fact that they reflect relevant consumer needs. This means they offer good and also strategic pointers. It is important to be far-sighted and well prepared for a life with new rules, values and structures. This is how 'trend concepts' can ensure long-term sales growth, especially among younger generations. "We know from studies that young consumers in particular are increasing their spending on sustainable concepts," explains Kristin Mitlewski. What she means by this is that health and responsibility are the most powerful food trends of our time. And in the future they will exist even more symbiotically. A new understanding of health has developed, for example, that a good and healthy life also requires a healthy environment. 

But Corona also directs attention to the classic supply chain.  "This is increasingly developing into a lively and agile network that connects the most diverse actors with each other. Connectivity is the key trend here, enabling the transformation of existing structures in the food industry," summarises Dr Philipp Inderhees. E-commerce is continuously gaining market share, buyer reach and turnover." Especially in this field, the Corona pandemic has acted as a catalyst and innovation driver - with long-term effects on consumer behaviour and lifestyles. And what has proven itself will also find a way into the future.

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