The future of food, transformation and belonging
The final session of Greiner Packaging’s Innovation Day 2022, was presented by food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye, whose presentation was entitled: ‘Future-scape – food, transformation and belonging, looking at the key driving forces which continue to shape consumer aspiration and behaviour’.
Dr. Morgaine Gaye began by saying that she usually looked at upcoming trends with a five to seven year future view, but since 2020 that's really changed because things have happened more quickly.
We are now in a very, very different time, so each year now I like to give it a theme. I’m not coming from a business perspective, but rather from the consumer perspective, and we are all consumers.
“Looking ahead to 2025, I’ve chosen the theme of ‘be(longing)s’. The word belongings has lots of meanings. We all have too many belongings and we're moving into a time where we're going to have stuff that nobody else wants. So, when we're talking about packaging, it's already about more materials and more things.“
“But we’ve also been talking about a ‘new normal’, or wanting to get back to how things used to be. But sometimes this kind of idea of nostalgia with longing for the past doesn't even have to be a past that we experienced ourselves. We can look for a past that didn't exist, like a kind of collective reality. And there's also a longing for a different type of future. There is a desire for having time, downtime, still time, time without devices, quiet time – to be more yoga or pilates. More being in nature, just ‘being’ is all about that.“
“So, we have this idea of longing and active belongingness. During the last two years we've wanted to find our tribe. We've missed our tribe, family, friends, community, our culture, and ways in which we can come together.
“We really must not forget that life can change in a moment. Our expectations, our beliefs, our cultural system, our aspirations, can turn overnight and it's just been proven, because we hit a crisis in 2020 and there was no roadmap, no plan and no idea. We went from ‘normal’ to ‘crisis’ and by 2021 we were in ‘chaos’. By 2023 we will be building new foundations and will be in ‘rechart’. This absolutely new phase of humanity is about knowing things and that's why all of our ideas about ownership, about items and things, and touching things. This means that reality and ownership and value systems are all about to change. So, this rechart will be a really exciting and innovative time.
“March 2023 will be the first point since 2020, where we'll have a chance to really take stock and look back at what just happened in the last three years. We’ll start to understand a little bit more about what's just happened. And then we'll get to 2025 where we're going to start to understand really where we're at. We're going to have gathered ourselves and we're going to reach out and have to think about what this new future looks like.”
In her highly visual presentation, Morgaine Gaye then talked about the changes we should expect to see in the future, from ‘products with purpose’ and ‘less is better’, to ‘mono-materials’ and ‘waste is wealth’. From texture to more natural design and 3-D printing, she showed many examples of foods which already exist, but which are clues to the future.
“People want to feel good about their choices, and consumers are ready to pay that little bit more to know that they're actually making a difference. People want to feel that they belong. We know that we are human beings and that we have a longing for a better future. And we also know that really nobody wants our stuff. There's a lot of stuff in the world, so let's put less in it. Let's create consciously and the time to do so is coming right now.