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Global food trade and emerging markets
Local and regional food systems

Focusing on local and regional food production, distribution, and consumption networks.


Direct-to-consumer sales and farmer's markets

Exploring direct sales models and the growing popularity of farmer's markets.


Food start-ups and entrepreneurship in the food industry

Analysing the rise of innovative food start-ups and entrepreneurship in the industry.


Plant-based and alternative protein markets

There is already a wide range of meat substitutes and synthetically produced foods. In the future, alternatively produced foods will be used to feed humanity.


Discounter versus Delicatessen and specialized trade

In many European countries, discounters have displaced classic specialty retailers such as bakeries, butchers and greengrocers. Discounters offer all product categories under one roof and enable a speedy and inexpensive shopping experience.


Regulation of food ingredients, especially fat and sugar

Various countries levy a tax on ingredients in foods that are harmful to health, such as fat and sugar, in order to control consumer behaviour. Companies then adjust the recipes of their food and beverages in these markets. There are no evaluations if these effects are always helpful, because in some cases, companies just rebrand their products and find other ways out.


Use of food traffic lights as consumer information

The use of food traffic lights is intended to educate citizens and influence their purchasing decisions. It is a means of consumer protection to point out unhealthy food. Due to the regulatory measure, manufacturers adjust their recipes.


Increasing demand for package-free foodstuff

The increasing demand for package-free foodstuffs and the proliferation of package-free stores create a positive feed-back loop that drives the rise in demand and availability. This is starting to be leveraged by conventional supermarkets as well, some of which are starting to encourage shoppers to bring their own containers and to trial refill stations. The transition is, however, complex, involving changes in the supply chain, the stores and buyers' behaviours and skills. Despite the obvious environmental benefits of not producing packaging, the package-free movement must pay attention to the undesired increase in food-waste due to the shorter shelf lives of some foodstuffs.


Increase in direct-to-consumer (DTC) online-ordering

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers started ordering food online. However, this trend started even before the pandemic stroke and is continuing nowadays. In the US, food and beverage is now the fastest-growing category in online retail. DTC brands cut out intermediary retailers, which lets them capture more profit margin and/or offer lower prices than traditional players. A notable example is farmers selling subscriptions for boxes of fresh products grown locally.


Strict diets and food preferences

Strict diets and food preferences (vegan, vegetarian, foodie, food as wellness, healthy eating, mindful eating, fermented foods and drinks, pro-/pre-biotics, food allergies, home cooking, organic, etc.) are shifting demand for particular foodstuffs. Strict diets like vegan and vegetarian or those that people with food allergies must follow are on the rise. In addition, more and more people pay more attention to their nutrition, changing the diets. These changes in people's nutrition shift the demand for particular foods and additives.


Food waste awareness

The awareness of the huge amounts of food wasted (it could reach a 17% of total global food production) could motivate producers, retailers and consumers to be more effective using their food.

Sources: UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021 (

Increased demand for food supplements and superfoods

The rising interest in leading a healthy lifestyle is driving the globally increasing demand for food supplements and superfoods. This growing demand is still low, which makes it particularly suitable for the direct to consumer (DTC) model.

Sources:; 20in%20Germany.pdf;

Insects - farming and eating as a new market

The interest in insects as food and feed has been growing exponentially in the last years. The farming of insects has an environmental impact which is lower than that of livestock species (they can be fed with biomass left from other processes, need a much lower income of food per kilogram of bodyweight, need less space area per kilogram of protein produced, see and are easy to breed. However, eating insects could bring a rise in allergies and legislation is lagging behind.