King, from Bord Bia, said: “We have a much more food-engaged consumer than we did before. The fastest-growing households over the next five to 10 years will be the single person household, which will lead to changing food habits. People are eating out less and cooking from scratch more. It’s about quality now, rather than quantity.”
With less income among many consumers, people were “retrenching” and focusing on “my world”, which she said was a smaller place: “Consumers are becoming more demanding and pushier to get more out of their money.” But she added the changing atmosphere was opening up opportunities for companies and brands to connect with consumers in new ways.
“The meat sector should be making the most of technology and packaging to create a better experience at the point of sale. Can you create a little fun through packaging and communications – are you shouting about your local credentials, are you communicating health benefits?”
However, she warned that consumers were becoming more sceptical about companies’ claims and were looking for proof: “They do not believe the claims of some companies about protecting the environment.