Moderate, ecological and enjoyable consumption of meat: this is what the new Future Foodstyles of Healthy Hedonism and flexitarian stand for. Photo: Unsplash/rawpixel
A total of 18 million tons of food lands in the trash each year in Germany, while hunger catastrophes prevail in other countries around the world. Against this background and in the face of increasingly scarce resources and a continually increasing world population, it isn't surprising that a growing number of people are giving some thought to their lifestyles and focusing on the theme of "re-use food". The desired goal here is to ideally produce no more waste, or to throw away nothing, and to reuse all recyclables.
The conscious use of food products is increasing. Smart appliances in the kitchen could support this development. The first refrigerators that scan food products for their expiration dates and make suggestions as to which delicious dishes can be made from them will soon be available. They are an important statement of the kitchen industry and a step in the right direction for keeping up with this transformation of societal consciousness.
Environmentally-conscious lifestyles promote a new ecology
However, not only neo-ecology is an important lifestyle trend. Particularly the megatrend of individualisation in the meantime has an influence on all facets of human life. More and more interpretations of socially-compatible and environmentally-conscious lifestyles will appear, for which nutrition is one important piece of the puzzle in a sustainable lifestyle. Whether as a meat-eating vegetarian, known as a flexitarian, who doesn't want to completely refrain from eating meat, but instead eats it less often, and in this way practices moderate consumption of meat with an eye to animal welfare, or as a healthy hedonist, who is committed to the sensual and healthy enjoyment of food, food consumption is much more than the satisfaction of needs for both groups. It is a statement that expresses an attitude in which enjoyment plays a central role.
Thus, also the trend toward sensual food. The senses of taste and smell are developed into a testing authority here, providing a compass for the evaluation of quality and acting as a corrective. The idea behind this, which is based on scientific findings, is that learned (poor) nutritional habits can only be changed with a trained sense of taste. The eye is less trustworhy here than the other senses. According to future researchers, this trend will become increasingly important for orientation in the context of an overabundance of food, and will result in a refinement and further development of the language of enjoyment. Those who can communicate through taste are more likely to find their own individual taste, according to the hypothesis. Product segments like wine, coffee and chocolate, which have in recent years experienced a high degree of diversification and enhancement through flavour and quality variants, are seen as the avant garde of this development.
Food as an expression of individuality and group affiliation
It can generally be confirmed that food will in future increasingly become an expression of individuality or of group affiliation. Although highly contradictory trends can be seen, such as the quick availability of food in fast food restaurants on the one hand and the wish for quality in combination with sustainability on the other, demands on the entertainment value of food will increase. We seek a linking of the food with unforgettable moments, both when visiting a restaurant and at home, in company or alone.
At home, the kitchen remains the centre of the home for many people. The wish to address all senses with the preparation of food will intensify in the process. As will the demand for inspiration and recipes, for suggestions and assistance with the preparation of food by way of apps. The advance of the smart kitchen thus appears to be unstoppable: integrated and networked refrigerators and stoves, web-enabled screens on the surfaces of refrigerators and collections of recipes provided by an app are already found in the offering of many kitchen manufacturers today. And yet there is a lot more to look forward to in future. Trade fair events like the new Future Foodstyles and Future Technology formats at LivingKitchen are an expression of the great importance of societal developments and new technological solutions for the industry. With a variety of kitchen concepts ranging from compact to homey-collective, many kitchen manufacturers also offer a selection of kitchen designs and concepts that address these needs, which will increase in future, and support their users in their respective lifestyles.