We have conversations with the difference-makers in the food sector about how our food gets to us, where that food comes from today and will come from tomorrow. The answers to these seemingly straightforward questions are in a surprising amount of flux.


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New York, NY — Changes in how we produce and consume our food are happening so fast that the very definitions of such key food terms as meat, sweet, green, convenient and fast, are shifting. So are concepts like what it means to be a vending machine, or have a family dinner. The question is: “Are we, as humans, ready for the Future of Food?” The surprising answer seems to be, “yes!” Meat grown from cells, for instance is years from hitting the shelves but most are interested in trying it, including 74% of U.S. millennials.

A new report by Ipsos focuses on these changes and the implications for a wide range of business sectors. We asked executives from the Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s Corp. and Farmer’s Fridge as well as leading scientists and policy makers about the big questions they are facing. Ipsos then surveyed more than 25,000 people in 30 countries to start diving into the answers. The U.S. and Canada mirror global trends that show people are more likely to think that their access to healthy and quality food will increase in the future, but that it will come at a cost. Those surveyed are more than twice as likely to say that the costs of food will get worse in the future. Here are some of the shifting definitions that will drive that future:

What is Convenience? Chris Kempczinski, President of McDonald’s USA, wanted to know how customers are defining “fast” and “convenient” in today’s delivery-driven world. Do people even need a physical restaurant to order from? What role does brand play in decisions? Ipsos found some breaking points for consumers in terms of how far in advance they must order. 77% would be open to ordering food delivered from a generic kitchen rather than a branded restaurant.

Can vending machine food be as good as from restaurants? Farmer’s Fridge founder and CEO Luke Saunders also wanted to know if people need restaurants or if vending machines can fulfil some of that role. They can, according to Ipsos research, if they tackle the hot food challenges. Saunders talks us through his plans for changing the definition of vending machines.

Is the family dinner really dead? Rick Bayless, multiple James Beard Award-winning chef, keeps hearing that no one has time for a sit-down dinner any more. Ipsos data helps him dispel that myth: the family dinner is alive and well. In households with at least two people, large majorities in the U.S. and Canada (84%/85%) eat with family at least three times a week.

Can you have beef without cows? Or seafood without fish? The definitions of meat are changing as well. The Good Food Institute promotes the industry that is redefining what goes into your burger or chicken patty and they wanted to know if people are ready to accept these new products, for the good of the planet and potentially their health as well. Millennials, according to the Ipsos study, will lead the way.

Are there better ways to get sweet than sugar? Today’s health-conscious shopper is wary of high levels of sugar consumption. So how does The Coca-Cola Company help redefine sweet? Robert Long, Chief Innovation Officer, talks about the trends and technology. Ipsos finds that sugary beverages are just one of many categories that might need to rethink and reformulate.

About the Study

All of the data from the U.S., Canada and 28 other nations as well as exclusive additional research and analysis can be found in this What the Future report here.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Matt Carmichael
Vice President, Editorial Strategy, North America
+1 312 526-4786
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.