As one of the UK’s leading food and packaging communications agencies we’re constantly looking at the trends that will affect food marketing and packaging PR.
So, during the last few weeks of 2016 we’ll be making our predictions about the 2017 trends that will affect food producers and processors, packaging and distribution companies as well as grocery and foodservice in the year ahead.
In the fourth of the series we look at food scares and food fraud. Look out for further instalments of food marketing and packaging PR predictions.
How food scares and food fraud will hit the headlines in 2017
Next year could see a resurgence in food scares and food fraud.
Increasing input costs will put pressure on food producers to cut costs and deliver value. In these circumstances, less scrupulous manufacturers will be tempted to cut corners in areas such as food hygiene, product testing, pest control and supply chain compliance.
There will also be opportunities for an increase in food fraud as criminals try and infiltrate the food supply chain, offering lower cost alternatives to established suppliers. Companies with extended international supply chains may be particularly vulnerable.
Increasing retail prices will also make the production of fake brands more appealing to criminals. It’s a trend that many premium fashion and perfume brands are familiar with as well as premium spirits. But what’s to stop food fraudsters targeting less expensive sectors such as coffee, beer and wine, premium cooked meats and olive oil. All this requires is counterfeit packaging and given the quality of modern digital printing this is certainly achievable.
A review by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has already identified that The National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) should be given more powers and resources to investigate food crime. The review, which began in August, recommended the NFCU be made into an “arms-length body” of the FSA, with the power to make day-to-day law enforcement decisions.
As a result, there’s likely to be an increase in damaging media reports of product recalls or food scares. Manufacturers, brands and retailers should be especially vigilant and have effective monitoring procedures and crisis communications plans in place.
Expect to see: Scary headlines in the Daily Mail, prosecutions for food fraud and the FDF’s Ian Wright on the telly.
Pelican Communications are specialists in the environment, food and drink, outdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people development. Contact us for marketing and communications expertise.