New directions for food and beverage NPD

Wayne MartindaleTom Hollands and Mark Swainson discuss recent advances in newproduct development (NPD) that use digital platforms to analyse a wide variety of datato achieve ‘meta-solutions’ that address all aspects of a product’s performance.

The reality of a 21st century lifestyle is that we work and consume in a globalised food system that has raised living standards and increased longevity in regions where efficient food manufacturing and supply is possible. Improved nutrition is responsible for much of this and innovative manufacturing enables us to revolutionise how we develop new food products for improved quality, price and convenience. The resulting accessibility to food is not without its issues because eating more of what we enjoy means poor dietary choices can be made more often, resulting in increases in diseases, such as diabetes.

Getting new product development (NPD) right can help to tackle these problems by reformulation and the use of tools, such as nutrient profiling. NPD is getting smarter because we can begin to project how products are consumed at the population scale. Where NPD has been focused on the product and marketplace, we can increasingly project its impact in populations. NPD research is also crossing the manufacturing efficiency and consumer choice boundaries so that we can meet more sustainable outcomes at scale to react to consumption trends and at the same time maintain a responsibility to improve health. The result is a new meta- NPD approach, which has been enabled by digital technologies that dramatically scale existing methods. Meta-NPD provides an enhanced understanding of all available data about a product, including consumer preferences as well as quality, nutrition and sustainability……..

Read the full article at

Blockchain or bust for the food industry?

Tom Hollands, Wayne Martindale, Mark Swainson and John G. Keogh explore the benefits and pitfalls of Blockchain. There has recently been a wave of enthusiasm for applying Blockchain technology in the food sector. This article aims to clarify many of the questions surrounding Blockchain technologies, in particular:

is Blockchain the future for the food industry and therefore does my company need a Blockchain?

Traceability has been achieved for many years using systems that connect core business processes with strategic management of product and supply chain data, namely Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms. Companies must determine what Blockchains can offer that is different from existing ERP systems and what is the value of using them. Working within a secure cloud platform is mainstream today but this was not the case five years ago.While ERP systems have significant benefits that can be realised, they are often very expensive to implement, with the cost of implementation linked to the operational complexity. The full costs can range broadly from £150,000 to £1,000,000+ and therefore are prohibitive for many SMEs, which make up 96% of the UK Food industry

Read the assessment here: Blockchain or bust for the food industry? | Food Science and Technology

The really important problem with food waste

Cutting food waste is possible for every meal we eat or prepare or are served (see our published work demonstrating this here). While this sounds so simple to achieve the practicalities of doing it are lost in a cacophony of claims and counterclaims that tend to focus on ‘the conspiracy of supermarket powers’, consumers ‘insistence’ on perfectly formed fruits and most of the food ‘grown’ on farms is wasted anyway. The evidence for all of these things is doubtful at best, impossible to find and it leads consumers into a sense of ‘what difference does it make anyway’. Just when we were beginning to realise positive messaging can change wasteful behaviours, the last resort and the bottom of the barrel for many a futile effort, blaming the younger generation for wasting most food, has been scraped. The actual supply chain data really does lead us away from these very reactive strategies consumers find themselves trying to interpret. So how and why is this misinformation on food waste actually created?

Source: The really important problem with food waste | LinkedIn

Nutrition and NPD Innovations, 1

NCFM at the University of Lincoln are leading a European Regional Development Fund project to support small to medium sized agri-food enterprises in Lincolnshire to enable innovation in our local food industry.

Examples of our current partnerships and research in the nutrition and NPD arenas will be showcased at the first of a number of breakfast meetings that are going to communicate our projects and impact.

Our first is with Scratch Meals Ltd, who have already listed a gluten free pizza range with retailers as a low calorie option with the ‘No Dough’ pizza brand. Scratch also have the ‘Fit Kitchen’ brand of Ready To Eat meals that provide ‘three of your five a day’. The presentations will include product innovation updates in this exciting space of convenience food and health.

Working with NCFM will enable co-creation in NPD and provide opportunities to break the standard approach of mimicking or replacing ingredients that results in ‘health by stealth’ outcomes.

The ideas presented in this first ‘Nutrition and NPD Innovations’ meeting will show how the standard NPD model has been changed and develops completely new categories for consumers.

So, to find out more, please register for the event here.


The vitally misunderstood food ingredient- consumer choice

Consumer choice should be at the core of getting food sustainability right, it needs to be centre of the plate in our vision of a sustainable food system so that it resonates with consumers at every meal occasion. The reality of our 21st Century lifestyle is that we work and consume in a global food system, this has raised living standards and increased longevity when efficient food manufacturing and supply is made possible. Improved nutrition is responsible for much of this and manufacturing innovation enables it to revolutionise how we develop new food products for quality, price and convenience. The resulting accessibility to food is not without issue because eating more of what we enjoy means poor dietary choices can be made more often…….

Read the full article at : The vitally misunderstood food ingredient- consumer choice | LinkedIn

Sandwiches- a FMCG case study in utilising just-in-time and sustainability metrics more incisively

Wayne Martindale, Mark Swainson, Tom Hollands and Richard Marshall discuss the need to combine healthy choices with reducing carbon footprint in the convenience foods sector.

The sustainability of convenience foods- balancing a national diet has provided public health agencies with many difficult choices and despite dramatic improvements in what we eat, consumers routinely demand more effective action to improve diets. So what is going wrong? The impact of dietary improvement is clearly not going far enough. This article identifies where more incisive actions can deliver positive health and sustainability outcomes. Popular convenience foods are typically targeted by media stories and consumer outcry; solutions will only be found through innovative development of healthier choices. The IFST’s recent ‘Food System Framework……….

read the original at IFST’s September 2018, Issue of Food and Technology Journal here, source: Bread winner | Food Science and Technology

Is a vegetarian diet really more environmentally friendly than eating meat?

It may be meat-free but you can still think more sustainably.

Our article published in The Conversation currently has 195k readers and it calls for a greater understanding of sustainability trade-offs and their communication. Without these it is unlikely that sustainable meals will ever be realised. The article itself clearly struck opinion because it has had over 280 000 readers so far!

Beef from Brazil, avocados from Mexico, lamb from New Zealand, wines from South Africa and green beans from Kenya – food shopping lists have a distinctly international flavour. ………..

read the original article at  The Conversation.

Trendy foods should come with a recipe for sustainability

The soft creamy flesh of a ripe avocado makes an attractive and healthy addition to many of our shopping baskets. Smashed, crushed or sliced on toast for a celebrity chef breakfast, it is a fruit which is savoured across the world. But it seems that avocados may not be as green as they look. And their trendy status may be environmentally unsustainable. Their popularity has led to profitable opportunities for farmers, leading to major environmental concerns about production causing deforestation in Mexico, a nation that produces 30% of the 4.7m tonnes harvested globally. What was once an exotic ingredient for many now makes regular appearances in culinary (and political) lives. The European Union imports some 440,000 tonnes of avocados each year. And while the food production industry is keeping up with demand, we rarely stop to consider the environmental impacts of trendy food, distracted as we are by the new experiences and health benefits it delivers……….

read the original article at  The Conversation.

Sustainable food manufacturing- it is time to reboot our view of sustainability


A call to reboot a broken food system does not relate to what many food manufacturers actually do or see when they start developing new products. The wealth of innovation and vision used to tackle world level issues is far more apparent at these build-in stages than a resigned and broken status. Are the calls to ‘reboot the system’ in conflict with how our industry is behaving or is it really a case of rethinking how we measure sustainability?

‘If only we could take a long-term view, step back and take stock of what environmentalism means for consumers and their diet’

This is what product developers will often get asked when food manufacturers try to link the constraints of food product design with high level targets such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The resulting options and trade-offs that emerge will often lose sight of consumer experience. This is in part due to a lack of commercial direction coming from sustainability assessments that more often than not, do not make a lot of sense for many food and beverage businesses. For example, the calls to not eat meat, not use palm oil and not use plastic packaging will never ever work………..

read the original at Sustainable food manufacturing- it is time to reboot our view of sustainability | LinkedIn

Switzerland vote ‘no’ to ethical food standards. really?

‘Its Surprising People Wouldn’t Have Voted For Food Sovereignty’ – Prof. – Sputnik International

Read the original at: ‘Its Surprising People Wouldn’t Have Voted For Food Sovereignty’ – Prof. – Sputnik International

Our recent Radio Sputnik interview on the Food Sovereignty and Fairness vote in Switzerland

Voters in Switzerland have overwhelmingly rejected two proposals on ethical and sustainable food. Final results of the two nationwide polls show that more than 60% of people voted against them. The proposals were aimed at boosting local farming and promoting more sustainable agriculture. The proposals’ opponents, including business leaders and the government — which advised people to vote no — had warned of higher food prices and less choice. The size of the defeat will be a big disappointment to farmers’ groups and ethical food campaigners. The first proposal, called fair food, wanted more government support for sustainable, animal-friendly

Sputnik spoke to Dr Wayne Martindale Principal Lecturer of Food Insights and Sustainability at University of Lincoln on what this vote will mean for sustainable foods.