The researcher’s Food & Drink Trends 2017 report revealed that around a third (1.3bn tonnes) of the food produced for global human consumption is lost or wasted, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.
Consumer awareness of the issue of food waste is also spreading, due to the efforts of operators increasingly reducing or donating food past its sell-by date, blemished or damaged.
Packaging can also make a difference when it comes to food waste and the report showed bread is one of the most wasted food items in the UK.
Keeping bread fresher for longer
Mintel also found more than half (56%) of UK adults would be interested in bread or baked goods with packaging that keeps them fresher for longer.
However, the global researcher predicted this year the stigma associated with imperfect produce will fade.
According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), the number of global food and drink launches with on-the-go claims increased by more than half (54%) between September 2010 to August 2011 and September 2015 to August 2016.
Yet, food does not always have to be “fast” and instead, many consumers would seek "balance", a trend that has already led to products with “slow” claims such as slow-roasted or promising slow-release energy.
Slow grew by 214%
Mintel GNPD has revealed that global food and drink launches that include “slow” in the product description grew by a staggering almost 214% between September 2010 to August 2011 and September 2015 to August 2016.
Yet, these packaged “slow” products still offer convenience by taking care of the time-consuming elements on behalf of consumers.
Mintel predicts that this year, the time spent on or saved by food a food product will become a clear selling point.
The paradox between fast and slow often manifests itself at meal times and although consumers want to save time at some occasions, during others, they are willing to spend, at least, some time.