‘What people mean by health is different coming out of the pandemic’

Danone today (30 June) released an ‘unprecedented study’ looking at changing attitudes to food.

The ‘Food Revolution Barometer’ was produced in collaboration with Bloom – a start-up that has developed proprietary social media data collection and analysis technology – and ‘change agency’ Futerra.

Tracking conversations about food and beverages on English-speaking social media platforms since 2018, the Barometer’s journey starts before the onset of the global coronavirus crisis. People’s relationship with food shifted, ‘sometimes wildly’, during the pandemic and the report charts the evolution of our connection to food, both at an individual and systemic level.

So, what macrotrends have been identified and how will they impact Danone?

Nigyar Makhmudova, Chief Growth Officer at the French dairy giant, observed a fundamental change is the way people think about both personal and planetary health.

“What people mean by health is different coming out of the pandemic. Before, the focus was on physical health. Now, more [focus is placed] on mental health. Physical and mental health are intertwined, and we need to serve both dimensions,”​ she told us.

“Understandings of the environmental price [of food production] are also shifting. Previously it was about packaging. Now it is more about regenerative agriculture, replenishing natural resources with the way we harvest and produce products.”

Food for body and mind

The link between the microbiome and other health benefits will play an important role for Danone’s future innovation / Pic: GettyImages-nastco

A rising tendency to see ‘food as medicine’ is frequently cited as an upshot of the pandemic. According to the Food Revolution Barometer, ever-more informed consumers are also increasingly frustrated at a lack of ‘credible and reliable information’.

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