Developing sustainable food systems in the UK with agile innovation

The National Food Strategy report, released in July 2021, has called for food companies to urgently help address wholescale health and environmental issues within the UK food system.

Climate change, protection of biodiversity and the global pandemic have loomed over the food industry and now, the pressure has increased, as the independent review of UK food systems for the government, has proposed a shift change in how we approach food.

A Need to Adapt and Innovate

Moving the nation to a healthier diet will require improved consumer consultation and insight, and companies like VYPR are offering a glimmer of hope for businesses that need to adapt and innovate.

The National Food Strategy report recognises that individuals are not going to voluntarily adapt their food habits, so in addition to government intervention, private companies will be integral in facilitating the consumer behaviour change required. The report also summarises that driving sustainable change throughout the food system will require in-depth, credible data, to underpin decision-making.

How Can Businesses Adapt?

Ben Davies, Founder of VYPR, believes that now is the time for businesses to start working with tech partners, to become better connected and more responsive to the consumer during the new product development (NPD) process, via Agile Innovation. VYPR has adapted Agile Innovation from other business sectors and its proven approach is highly relevant for the issues facing the food industry:

“The National Food Strategy has called for the food industry to be more sustainable, a challenge that many businesses involved in the production or retail of food are already committed to… but failing to better engage consumers in the required change, is a genuine risk and potential barrier. Agile Innovation focuses on high-frequency customer insight and consultation within the NPD process, utilising iterative development to gain the rich insight that will be required to create the change outlined in the recent report. At a time when companies need to innovate successfully under pressure, understanding the consumer’s response throughout the NPD process is business-critical.

Embedding relevant, predictive consumer intelligence throughout the innovation and change process is also proven to have significant reductive impacts on: food waste; energy; packaging; and the overall resource, required to turn ideas into successful products. Understanding potential consumer purchasing intentions, via robust and actionable data insight, will be crucial for companies challenged with developing a sustainable food system of this scale”.