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New focus on food as medicine

Agribusiness Agenda 2019

New focus on food as medicine

Agribusiness Agenda 2019

With change now a constant, organisations need to remain continuously relevant to consumers, develop new capabilities and make bold commitments to thrive in an ever changing environment.

This year’s KPMG Agribusiness Agenda marks its 10th year of publication. 

In this special edition Ian Proudfoot, KPMG Global Head of Agribusiness, and his team revisit each of the previous Agendas and reflect on the conversations that they have been based on. 

As ever there is a wealth of valuable insights including updates on some featured case studies, a 2019 assessment of the New Zealand agrifood sector and industry views on what needs to be done to supercharge the 2020s.

To read Agribusiness Agenda please click here.

Accelerating Agri-Food

The Health and Wellness decade

Like all other industries, the agri-food sector is being disrupted through innovation and technological transformation, with consumer needs and demands underpinning the pace of change.

The growing focus on food-as-medicine is driving massive change within the agri-food industry. Traditional big food companies, agricultural producers, pharmaceutical businesses and start-ups are all being attracted to opportunities in food for health and wellness purposes. For agri-food companies, this means a shift away from commodity models where producers decided what to produce and what would be offered to consumers, towards the creation of highly specialised and enabled food that is designed with specific nutritional profiles. 

As consumers become more educated about what they eat and attentive to the impact that food and lifestyle has on health, this is resulting in a health and wellness trend sweeping across parts of the community. This trend is shaping an evolution of not just food products, but the way in which we grow, consume and market our food. 

The health and wellness food market was valued at USD769 billion for 2019. 

Our view, however, is that consumer focus on the impact that food has on health is still nascent and we will see the trend accelerate exponentially in the coming decade. As a result we consider it is likely that the 2020s will be a decade where health and wellness dominates the food system. This will drive change across the entire supply chain. From ensuring soil health is optimal to focusing on the growth of nutrient dense produce, through to the how food is presented to consumers (such as composition of the packaging used) and the way food is cooked and waste products re-purposed. 

We have all been told many times that prevention is better than cure. In a traditionally reactive environment, or cure focused approach to health, consumers are awakening to the power of a proactive, preventative approach, with food as medicine as a core foundation. 

It is notable that it is not just consumers awakening to the power of a preventative system; governments across the world are constantly challenged to meet the spiralling costs of curative care systems and are prepared to explore preventative care models with the expectation that a healthier population will reduce the long term costs of health.

It is significant that millennials, who have now taken on the role as the largest consumer group, are the biggest supporters of the health and wellness ideal. It was reported that 53% of millennials place health and wellness as the most valued area of their life. 

Read the full article in our Accelerating Agri-Food - Opportunities from the Global Agrarian Revolution publication here. (PDF, 2.87MB)