<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='32479'>Power supply at heart from tensions : How to anticipate the changes à visit ?

Food is at the heart of major ecological, economic, digital, organic and philosophical upheavals, with an impact on our health, our sovereignty and our economy. How can we anticipate the changes to come? Stéphane Brunerie, founder of Sens de l'Alimentation and an expert on the food transition, shares his convictions with us.

Stéphane BRUNERIE has spent more than 20 years  years in the agri-foodat Mars and then at St Michel. Marketing Director eAs head of product development for St Michel and Bonne Maman biscuits, he is responsible, among other things, for reactivating the French heritage brand St Michel (voted France's favourite brand). Behind this strong development, he has steered the relaunch of its pillars, a strong innovation policy, a multi-network roll-out strategy, pioneering CSR commitments and a vast communications project including the company's corporate image. 

Fiercely determined to continue taking part in the food transition, he founded Sens de l'Alimentation. Working alone or in coalition, he supports players in the agri-food industry in a variety of markets by monitoring and deciphering trends, innovation and marketing strategy. 

He is also the creator and editor-in-chief of StripFood, an online medium whose ambition is to take the time to decipher food in order to restore its central role in the transformation of our society. 

It's your turn! 🎤

The health, geopolitical and economic crises are changing consumer behaviour with regard to food, their purchases and practices. Where are we now? What do you see happening? 

We are living through a complex period of metamorphosis of our social models, the result of the concomitance of five major ruptures (ecological, economic, organic, digital and philosophical). It's a totally unprecedented situation. 

Food is at the heart of these tensions, with impacts on our health, our sovereignty, our economy, the climate and our territories. To adapt, we have entered a phase of food transition that involves all the players in the ecosystem. 

At the heart of this transition are several key issues: producing better (in a more sustainable way and reducing the impact on greenhouse gases), consuming better by changing our behaviour (e.g. combating waste) and the content of our plates (e.g. rebalancing between animal and plant proteins), combating the food divide and the rise in food insecurity and defending the sovereignty and competitiveness of our national economy and our regions. 

In actual fact, awareness is growing very fast and our ideals as citizens have never been geared towards eating better, defending social ethics, the preservation of the environment or the promotion of sustainable development. made in France and local purchasing. But in reality, words are not always followed by deeds. 

When it comes to prospects, there are several things to consider: 

A minority of consumers are therefore looking for an enhanced diet with ever more guarantees, while others are looking for solutions and good deals to consume at ever lower prices. For manufacturers, the time has come to make choices that balance pleasure, health and price. In any case, it is totally illusory to imagine that everyone consumes in the same way. It is important to explore these areas of tension linked to time, purchasing power, habits, relationship to pleasure, knowledge and know-how in order to provide solutions in terms of offers, services, advice and information. It is at this level that there is potential for useful innovation to bring about changes in behaviour. 

I also think that certain behaviours can be accelerated by the convergence of very different rationales. Take the case of meat consumption. We are seeing a convergence of behaviours towards a reduction in the proportion of animal proteins, whether for ethical, health or climate-related reasons on the one hand, or very simply for economic reasons on the other. Once again, it seems to me that going beyond the "end of the month" vs. "end of the world" divide to build a new world is an interesting idea that offers real opportunities.

The food divide will continue to widen, pushing part of the middle class into a form of "downgrading".

You are committed to the environmental and food transition. How can you make change desirable for manufacturers and consumers?

Producing or transforming in a more responsible and sustainable way is more expensive and therefore more often than not less profitable if we look at the purely economic and financial criteria. In this respect, family-run businesses with a long-term focus are clearly ahead of the game and are extremely attentive to their reputation and the commitment of their employees. 

For the others, the renewal of performance indices and perhaps new constraints should accelerate their transformation. But for some, it will already be too late. 

On the consumer side, we need to be both lucid and aware of the situation. cash on issues that have an impact on our lives (health, climate, etc.), but which are also engaging, so that we can look ahead to a desirable future. In the absence of prospects, or faced with anxiety-provoking scenarios (collapse, decline, etc.), behaviour does not change, or even tends to deteriorate. There are several avenues to explore: 

  • Our first priority must be to build up a body of knowledge, for example about the true cost of our food; food education for the very young must be an absolute priority; transparency is imperative, but it must always be accompanied by education. After that, everyone will arbitrate according to their own criteria and constraints. 
  • Encourage consumers to act individually but within a close circle; 
  • Encourage virtuous approaches that are within everyone's reach, such as anti-wasteful actions that have a direct benefit on the wallet and are also good for the planet. It's in this sense that we need to prioritise our messages. 
  • I also think it's important to choose the right words to promote our offers. Let's swap "vegan" for "vegetal", for example. A number of patisseries have found that this is the best way of attracting consumers with a much more open approach. 
  • In terms of taste, we clearly have a role to play. For example, we can encourage people to cook or eat more plant-based foods by providing ideas for tasty, varied and creative recipes. In this case, the role of chefs is decisive, not only in terms of their creativity, but also in terms of their ability to make recommendations. 
  • Forget about "degrowth", "happy sobriety", "eating well" or "the next world": brands need to imagine and deliver new positive narratives, and above all make sure they tailor them to their audience: promoting quality of life rather than standard of living, eating better rather than eating well, poking fun at certain modes of consumption, questioning the idea of infinite growth - these are just some of the interesting narratives to explore for a desirable future. 
  • And what could be more motivating than to get the ball rolling by sitting around a table, talking and tasting? There's a lot to invent around the table. 

How can consultants, and consumer research consultants in particular, help to create a virtuous circle and play their full part in this project? 

Responsible consumption as a new social norm is leading to significant reporting biases in studies. Who doesn't want to consume better? Who doesn't want to help the planet? Who doesn't want greater social justice for farmers?

source: Les Echos

 Research professionals need to innovate in order to circumvent the reporting biases that pollute so many studies. and lead to false recommendations. Yet these areas of tension are extremely interesting and a source of innovation. But you still need to know how to read between the lines.

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