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February 15, 2023 Issues & Insights

More beef industry insights from the 2023 Nourish Trend Report

This is the second article in a two-part series. The first part is available here. <*link to first article once published>

Sustainability and affordability aren’t the only consumer demands that Canada’s food system stakeholders need to be mindful of.

According to Nourish Food Marketing’s 2023 Trend Report, customers are looking for individualized wellness options, shared food experiences, and more transparency on how their food is produced, all of which offers opportunities for the beef industry.

Following our first installment <*link to first article once published> on this year’s food industry trends, here are four more key takeaways from the latest Nourish Trend Report.

A greater desire for personalized wellness creates new marketing opportunities.

Despite the growing interest in improving sleep quality and investment in sleep technology, personal wellness has yet to be capitalized on by the food and beverage industry.

“There’s lots of naturally occurring sleep aids in terms of foods,” said Jo-Ann McArthur, President of Nourish Food Marketing. “Is there something that you’re already selling that you could hone in on this benefit?”

Similarly, food personalization geared towards women is an opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of, and the 2023 Trend Report predicts female consumers will be looking for products designed with their health and nutrition needs in mind.

“If I was to tell you that there’s an unaddressed market of over half the population, you’d probably be interested. And yet the way that most categories, including medical research, have approached females is we are just smaller men, and that is not the case,” said McArthur.

“As females, we not only have different hormones, hormonal cycles, but we go through some very different times whether it’s pregnancy, menstruation, pre-menopause, menopause, post-menopause. And so there’s opportunities to support (those stages) here.”

Consumers want shared food experiences through a digital format.

In a world with less shared cultural moments than in the past, digital cooking platforms are finding popularity with those who want those connections. McArthur referenced the livestreaming platform Kittch, where users can access cooking classes and videos from chefs all over the world.

“Walmart in the U.S. has actually partnered with them so you can watch and you can order the ingredients and cook along with the chef at the same time,” she said.

As well, cooking and recipes are top categories on TikTok, with social content now driving culinary trends, as opposed to trends trickling down from fine dining.

“You want to make sure that that whole phygital world that you’re harnessing the power of video as well as these social shopping categories, and understand that trends and also the consumer journey are very much changing, thanks to social media platforms.”

Phygital – The concept of using technology to bridge the digital world with the physical world with the purpose of providing unique interactive experiences for the user.
Source: Monash University

People want the real story, not perfection.

While the food system has fielded calls for greater transparency for some time, there’s a hesitancy to share behind-the-scenes details until they’re perfect. According to Nourish’s research, this is the wrong approach.

“You need to tell consumers what you’re planning to do and take them on the journey because everybody knows we’re not their yet, but you’re going to get marks for being transparent,” said McArthur.

An effective way to communicate this journey, she suggests, is by leveraging the technology we all carry around with us. QR codes can be used to show consumers where and how a food product was created, as well as provide recipes and cooking tips. “That is transparency, but it’s also food with a story,” she said.

Don’t assume the consumer knows anything about food production.

When you share that production story with your customers, consider their gaps in understanding. Sustainable livestock production in Canada is a great example of this, McArthur noted.

“Consumer understanding in this whole area is really driven by what’s happening south of the border, and the way we are farming, the way we raise our livestock can be very different. And unless we get that message out, consumers are just going to assume it’s the same as in the U.S.,” she explained.

“If you talk to consumers, do they know that the Canadian grasslands are the second-most threatened ecosystem in the world? And the fact that we’re raising livestock there is very, very important in terms of sustainability. But do consumers understand that? No.”

Nourish Food Marketing’s annual roundup of the top trends in the food and beverage industry (as well as some agricultural trends), offers food system stakeholders guidance on how to turn these trends into opportunities. The 2023 Trend Report, titled “The Future is Transformative,” is available for download on the Nourish website.

About the Author

Piper grew up on a purebred cow-calf operation in Southern Alberta, and she studied English and history at the University of Alberta and journalism at the University of King's College. She has written for industry publications for more than a decade.


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