Craft food trend requires suitable logistics concepts
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the demand for craft food has increased significantly. Throughout Europe, more and more consumers are attaching importance to sustainably produced food, produced in small manufactories and not by large industrial companies. A trend that requires dedicated logistics experts.
The demand for sustainably produced food is increasing significantly. For example, 82 percent of all Germans already make sure when buying food that the product comes from the region. This is the result of the representative survey "Nutrition in the Corona Crisis" conducted by forsa on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) among 1000 citizens. Small businesses with craft competence and food start-ups wanting to position themselves in the market with craft food and wanting to preserve the tradition of the food craft increasingly profit from this development.
"Regionality and sustainability are gaining importance."
Consumers focus on sustainability and, in small quantities, food produced according to traditional methods. "Sustainable" has become the buzzword for healthy, environmentally friendly food. "The world is changing. It is a genetic phenomenon that in times of upheaval, people look for new sources of food," explains futurologist Max Thinius. For years he has been conducting research on the subject of food, advising various regions in Germany on the digitization of everyday life, the working and nutritional world of the population and is a frequent guest on the German government's scientific advisory council.
"Regionality and sustainability of food, but also the health of the individual, are becoming increasingly important. In the future we will have food of the best quality and new technologies to evaluate and use this quality in relation to our health". According to Thinius, new production methods such as intercropping, in which different plants are cultivated that complement each other in terms of growth and soil use, and selective care carried out by care and harvesting robots will make up to 90 percent of pesticides redundant in the future, he says.
"Soon, Craft Food will no longer be confined to the small regional grower. Together with intelligent working environments and modern technologies, large new food structures are in the process of being created here.” But the new food culture’s pioneers are currently still the small, innovative farms.
Small quantities safely transported – all across Europe
This rapidly growing craft food movement requires logistics concepts that meet the requirements. "Food manufacturers place different demands on logistics providers than industrial companies do", says Marc Hackländer, Head of European Network & Partner Development at DACHSER. The products are only manufactured in small quantities for narrow, like-minded target groups, not for an anonymous mass market where availability and price are the focus. As a result, the major European retail chains and discounters are often excluded as recipients. Nevertheless, these manufacturers, which up to now have often been regionally oriented, are looking for new sales channels and are attracting interest from customers in neighboring European countries.
The European Food Network specializes in the Europe-wide transport of food, even in small quantities. The member companies of the alliance are ideally positioned for this type of job. The food logistics companies are regional specialists who have grown over many years from family structures to national players, but have always remained close to their customers. Marc Hackländer: "The vehicles must be able to cope with the conditions at the pick-up and delivery location, often there are no ramps. Communication and customer processes take place on other levels - this is where listening and consulting are required, flexibility, solution orientation, thinking along with the customer. This is time-consuming, but it is worth it and it is a pleasure to be able to grow with the companies".