In addition to the ubiquitous globalization and wide variety and availability of goods, a counter trend is also emerging currently. Regional, local and hyper-local products are becoming increasingly popular with modern consumers.
Globalization means that everything you want as a consumer is available at any time and in any quantity. However, with a growing group of consumers, other values than unconditional availability of goods are becoming increasingly important. Consumers have become more critical, they question exactly which product ends up in their shopping bags according to the motto "You are what you eat". Not least because health has become more and more conscious in recent years.
Regionality is an important factor for transparency: the short transport routes and the knowledge of the cultivation and processing areas create authenticity and trust. You know the people behind the product and can contact them directly if necessary, especially since the supply chain is short and comprehensible.
Hanni Rützler describes the new trend, which she calls "Brutal Local” in her Food Report 2020,: "The avantgarde focuses on radical seasonality, wild food and fermentation". According Rützler, food trends always develop parallel with other trends and come to a head in interaction with one another, these show which other developments preceded the "brutal local" trend:
1. Regional cuisine: the return to regional peculiarities in cooking
2. Local Food: The focus is on the regional origin of the raw materials
3. Regionality becomes mainstream: PR-focused branding dilutes the local food concept
4. New-Local: The origin criterion is reinterpreted such as "99% Origin", urban farming etc.
5. Hyper Local: focus on hyper-local products from the immediate environment and seasonality
6. Brutal local
The mega-trends of individualization and globalization pave the way for the rise of regional and hyper-local products: regionality is the counter trend to globalization; futurologist Matthias Horx summarizes it as “the culture of choice”.
Hanni Rützlers Food Report 2020, published by Zukunftsinstitut
In fact, today local food pops up everywhere: on the shelves of grocery stores with prominent labelling, in the menus of restaurants and at farmers' markets in cities and in the countryside.
Regional foods have established themselves from the foodie trend to the mainstream and are increasingly conquering the kitchens of health facilities, kindergartens and schools. The following motivations are driving the trend towards regional ingredients, as summarized by the Canadian Food Service and Nutrition Magazine:
1. Climate protection: reduce distances
The further food is transported, there is a higher negatively impact on climate protection through CO2 emissions.
2. Fresh, regional ingredients taste better
Local products are often harvested just a few hours before they are processed and therefore score with a fuller taste.
3. Seasonal and regional
The rise of regional ingredients inevitably goes hand in hand with the rise of seasonal products.
4. Support local companies
The purchase of regional products strengthens the regional economy and agriculture - a main argument for many conscious consumers.
Knowing where food comes from, how it is produced and what impact it has on the environment and the regional economy is one of the main drivers of the local food trend. Consumers want to know what they are buying.
Comprehensive surveys also show that regionality and organic products are increasingly becoming the expected quality standard for food and beverages: in Italy, 85 percent of consumers prefer products that are both organic and regional, in France it is 82 percent, in Spain 81 Percent, in Poland 78 percent and in Germany 69 percent. It is foreseeable that the trend towards "hyperlocal" food will increasingly pose challenges for organic producers.
Source: “Organics in Europe: The challenge of a new generation, Mintel, November 2019”
Denmark has the largest organic food market in proportion. As the Danish Agriculture and Food Council shows, the organic market already accounted for 12 percent of total food sales in 2018. A study has now dealt with the exciting question of whether consumers would rather buy organic or regional food. The result: Consumers are motivated by both taste and ethical reasons for both organic and regional products. However, it turned out that Danish consumers would prefer organic products over regional ones.
For AUSTRIA JUICE as a global company, regionality has been a success factor in the value chain right from the start. This is why each of the 15 plants worldwide are located in close proximity to the growing areas - seven of these are already organic certified. The short distance enables short transport routes. This allows us to provide a seamless value chain and freshly processed ingredients from the region for juices, flavors and concentrates. The motto of AUSTRIA JUICE is: "From the field to the press in one day". Due to the factories in the different countries, AUSTRIA JUICE can produce with a low ecological balance and supply its customers regionally.
These course will also determine the coming years, and so together with the members of the Sustainable Juice Covenant (IDH) we will pursue a major goal: by 2030, we want to produce our goods along the whole supply chain 100 percent sustainably.
The megatrends globalization and individualization mean that regional ingredients, along with organic products, are becoming more of a mainstream trend. This results in a new movement that Hanni Rützler describes in her Food Report 2020 as a “brutal local”: ingredients are increasingly sourced from the immediate area and also marketed as such.
In addition, regional processing, for example of fresh fruits, in production facilities directly in the growing areas and the associated high product quality of juices, concentrates and flavors play an important role in the industrial food sector. In the context of growing product transparency, consumers are demanding a supply chain that is comprehensible, gentle on the product and enables high product quality.