The Future of Food

A HARD LOOK INTO THE STATE OF FOOD, CURRENT CONSUMPTION PATTERNS, AND WHERE FOOD IS HEADED IN THE NEAREST FUTURE.

Source: Diaspora Kitchen

Source: Diaspora Kitchen

Did you know, today, worldwide, for every malnourished person, there are two people who are obese or overweight? 868 million undernourished people and 1.5 billion obese or overweight people globally – according to Eating in 2030: trends and perspectives 2018 report. Guess where the highest concentration of malnourished people reside, yes your guess is obviously as good as mine. Africa remains the continent with the highest prevalence of undernourished people in the world. Affecting almost 21% of the population (more than 256 million people), South America follows immediately after with 5% in 2017, and fewer in Northern America and Europe with 2.5%, according to the state of food security and nutrition in the world 2018 report.

Did you know 36 million people die every year from lack of food and 29 million people from too much food globally? This is a perfect case of choosing your demon, would you rather die from the lack of or too much food? My answer is neither.

And did you know one-third of all food produced worldwide is made for feeding livestock? In addition, a growing share of agricultural land is used for the production of biofuel. This means we are choosing to feed both animals and automobiles instead of people (Eating in 2030: trends and perspectives 2018 report).

Also, did you know every year 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food is wasted, while 868 million people suffer from hunger globally? This is the state of food in the world at the moment, we are likely headed for hunger, aren’t we?

Source: Video Blocks

Source: Video Blocks

Right now there’s so much conversation about the importance of food, which is why we see an increasing number of Africans adopting health consciousness and consuming more organic food as opposed to the synthesized meals. However, following the obvious trend of emotional eating the conversation would soon shift from the importance of food to the importance of healthy eating. People are anxious with weight loss and as such take up unhealthy dietary plans that do more harm than good. The growing scale of depression and emotional ill health in Africa is causing people to find solace in food without much care of the composition of what they put in their mouths.

The future of food is seemingly bleak but the great part is, it can be salvaged. We do not have to adopt the knee jerk approach where we have to wait for the future to come before we implement measures to deal with it.

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What can we do?

  • Use the high interconnectedness that currently exists among people to disseminate information around the importance of healthy eating.

  • Institutions should promote the adoption of lifestyles and eating habits that favor the consumption of foods that contribute to a healthy diet and have less impact on the eco-system of the planet

  • The industry should focus more on promoting the purchase of healthy foods and use balanced price leverage to discourage the use of junk food

  • Strategies should be deployed to encourage people to find the space and time to devote to meals in the company of other people. This way they are motivated to eat healthier meals.

  • More so, the food industry must continue to develop new forms of convenience foods that have a high level of nutrition

Brands; the New Village Head

STORYTELLING IS THE TREND THAT BRANDS IN NIGERIA ARE TAKING VERY SERIOUSLY AND IT’S SHOWING UP IN THE ADS

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

As said by the Hand of the Queen (Daenerys Targaryan) who eventually became the Hand of the King (Bran the Broken), Tyrion Lannister said in the grand finale of the decade long series Game of Thrones, “What unites a people? Arms, Gold, Flags? Stories, there's nothing more powerful in this world than a good Story. Nothing can stop it, no enemy can defeat it”.

In many African homes or villages, the village head or the oldest person in the area is supposedly the best story teller as he or she tells the most mind joggling stories in every genre that brings everyone together. Till this day, the best stories I have ever heard, came from the tongue of a village chief and I know that isn’t peculiar to just me as I have met many others who share the same story.

As I said before, brands in Nigeria have begun to harness the power of great storytelling to deliver returns on investment (ROI) and achieve top of mind awareness (TOMA). Two brands that immediately come to mind are Maltina and Airtel, they are currently milking this playing field and achieving set objectives.

See below the stories they are currently telling around their brands.

Changing the Nomenclature

EVERYTHING EVOLVES, DON’T THEY? THESE EVOLUTION BRING A CHANGE OF NAME – THE NEW NOMENCLATURE.

I sat in a board meeting with a group of C-suite individuals and each one of them had fancy titles that made them eligible to sit at the meeting. Many of the titles with which they introduced themselves, I certainly had never heard before, for example, one had the title – Chief Responsibility Officer C.R.O. I was quite shook at the time as that sounded away from what I have been used to. After everyone was done introducing themselves, it occurred to me that the mental research I had been carrying out for months in many top flight organizations in Nigeria most especially was ready to become an article. At that meeting, no one introduced themselves as human resources (HR).

Why?

Organizations now have more fancy and encompassing names for the position such as talent manager, personality manager, and so on. This is in view to reflect the discipline’s broadened scope and strategic value.

The evolution is not limited to the office of the human resource alone. You must have noticed that the positions that used to be the best fit yesterday have all changed as organizations are making strategic efforts to future proof their businesses. For example software engineers used to be programmers, account managers used to be sales reps.

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What is driving this?

Like every evolution it is catalyzed by certain reactions. In humans, it may be due to genetic mutation – thanks to Marvel’s X-men we no longer see this as impossible. In environment, it may be due to climate change or something less severe. Now in business, it is driven by the human centered design trend.

Everyone is creating products and services that meet daily human needs, so also, organizations have begun to see the relevance of putting internal activities in place to foster a great working experience for employees – we are human too.

Soon organizations with little or no focus on tending to their employees will phase out as they would find it extremely difficult to attract and acquire top talents. Soon mediocrity and mundanity would creep in and then we will no longer hear of that business – sad story.

The mantra now should be “future focused, human centered”. Your employees need to know you have their best interests at heart and they’ll put in everything necessary to take that business from where it is to the place where the strategic direction points.

Retelling the African Story

BY TAPPING INTO POP CULTURE, BRANDS ARE ATTEMPTING TO ERASE STEREOTYPES THAT BESET AFRICANS

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Across Africa, we are seeing a number of forward-thinking brands attempting to rewrite the narratives the world have held Africans by. Retelling the African story has become imperative and brands are holding hands with Africans to effectively tell do this.

Long before I was born, there have been a number of stereotypes the world seems to attribute to Africa and truthfully those labels don’t tell the real African story. We are not poor or lagging, we are lions (courageous and daring) and we are consistently pressing towards the mark (heading for glory). Africa is beautiful and the world owes it to itself to see this. Little wonder why a number of brands have begun to make efforts to erase these unhealthy stereotypes.

Emirates in conjunction with BBC have decided to bring remarkable Africans together to retell the African story from the works they do. These are exceptional Africans who have attained a good feat doing amazing things all over the world and as such Emirates, BBC, and these young people have curated what they now call the African anthem.

Tafer Lager seized the opportunity presented in the form of a celebration of the Namibian independence to show us that “there’s more that connects us than divides us”. With the pleasant sounds made by Namibian drums, the brand shows the unity and love that exists in the hearts of Africans.

So as it is, brands are doing their bit in trying to retell the African story but the question I present to you who are reading this article is, what story are you telling? Does your story buttress the stereotypes or do they tell the real African story?

Battle for the Eardrums

THE EARPIECE WEARING CULTURE IN AFRICA IS CREATING A WHOLE NEW MARKET

Source: Dreamstime

Source: Dreamstime

It’s a bright and sunny day on any particular day of the week as it is every other day in tropical Africa when it is not a rainy season – one of the predominant seasons in Africa. Still nursing hopes of beholding a snow flake fall through the African skies but loving the African weather just the way it is, we wake up every morning to a hot or cold shower, say a prayer – most of Africa is very religious, get dressed, and head out to conquer the world. Although, we often stop at the door, walk back into the house to pick up a vital accessory we nearly forgot - the earpiece.

The earpiece wearing trend in Africa has become a culture, a way of life that has eaten deep into the society. I remember riding the bus onetime and realized that nearly every single person sitting in the bus had their earpiece on. Although, the elderly in the society frown at it out of concern for their ears but the massive youthful population housed in Africa have almost entirely embraced the culture. You’ll find people on the streets, at homes, or in their offices (places where they do business) wearing an ear plug.

Source: Marketing donut

Source: Marketing donut

This culture is largely buoyed by the love for contemporary African music, the need to speak to friends, loved ones, and business partners while driving, the need to get the best out of video calls, and the shear need of wanting to be alone or cut one’s self out of the presence of others in order to concentrate.

This culture has given rise to a growing market which has made audio music providers such as Deezer, Boomplay, Apple music, Samsung music, Spotify, and so on very popular. As a result these audio music providers or platforms are in a battle to deepen their market share on the African soil, deploying exemplary marketing strategies to win the fight for the eardrums.

However, the side effects to wearing earpieces may include tinnitus (noise in ear), hyperacusis, ear infection, pains, loss of hearing, or worse, affect the brains. In as much as we may not be able to abandon the trend we should devise healthier means of using our beloved earpieces to prevent any of these side effects from occurring.