Organised by IFSTs Food Innovation Group 

We go behind the scenes of trend spotting. We look at the rigour and process by which trends, whether these are food or lifestyle trends, are identified, validated and communicated

What you will learn about: Current trends relevant to the food industry.

How trends are identified. The tools that are available and the process used to identify trends and validate them. From AI that scans social media, to new launches globally, culinary trends etc.

Target Audience: IFST members and non-members, food professionals involved in innovation and NPD (technical or marketing), anyone with an interest in new products/packaging (from food manufacture, ingredient and packaging suppliers, food organisations) 

Chair: Susan Arkley, MIFST, Chair of the Food Innovation Group 

Susan has over 20 years of food industry experience, specialising in product development and innovation. She has managed innovation teams and projects (from concept to launch) in a variety of different companies from SME’s to large global corporations. Susan is now a Freelance Food Consultant, part-time lecturer and IFST volunteer. Susan is Chair of the new Innovation Special Interest Group, a member of the External Affairs Group and a committee member of the IFST Midlands Branch.

Speaker: Charles Banks, director and co-founder, thefoodpeople 

Charles is a Co-Founder, a fourth generation foodie, an expert in food futures and a ‘champion of change’. Cooking at his mother's side in the kitchen is where Charles' obsession for food began! He and his business thefoodpeople are known for shifting the future of food and drink by harnessing the power of trends.

thefoodpeople, established for over 15 years, are a global trends business, specialising in future foresight in the food and beverage sector. A united group of trend spotters and innovators, we’re a team of psychologists, chefs, marketeers, product developers, academics, flavourists, historians and anthropologists. But more than that TFP are ‘champions of change’ that bring their inherent experience, as well as an obsession for food and drink, natural curiosity, intuition and tenacity. This is underpinned by our vision ‘to shift the future of food and drink’. What drives us is our desire to shape a better future across society by harnessing the power of trends.

Charles adds “The reason that “thefoodpeople” exists is because we’ve been in your shoes. We know what it’s like; we know it’s not easy identifying and activating trends. It’s a fact that consumers are moving faster than industry, so decoding your businesses place on the future horizon and designing brilliant but nimble business models, strategies, and developing deep, value-based connections with consumers are essential traits of innovators both today and tomorrow. So do the most powerful thing a business can do – champion & harness change, don’t let it harness you”.

Abstract: The human art and the science of trend spotting

In this session we'll cover how, at thefoodpeople, we spot trends, how we validate them and how we create the strategic frameworks that make 'sense of trends' to apply to industry strategy. In addition, we'll provide an overview of the 21/22 food and beverage trends framework as well as the tools and techniques that you can apply to be a 'trend spotter'.

Speaker: Richard Maryniak, founder, Black Swan Data and Citizen Good

Live Q&A:  Susan Arkley, Charles Banks and Richard Maryniak