What developments are underway in the food transition? Where do we stand in the protein transition? And how does that translate into new products and market opportunities? These questions are the focus of the ninth episode of NOM Talks, the podcast on topics facing entrepreneurs. From agility to innovation, from funding to employees. Topics covering all phases of entrepreneurship.
'The earth continues to warm.' How many publications - this one included - have begun with that sentence? It should come as no surprise that host Wim A,B. also opens this edition of NOM Talks with that same sentence. After all, there is a connection between the warming of our planet and our food production; that has been proven by now. Moreover, we cannot say that opening sentence by A,B. and many others often enough. With the power of repetition, hopefully we will get to the point as soon as possible that the earth is no longer warming.
Sustainable solutions are increasingly interesting as a business model. Also in the food industry, meaning on store shelves and on our plates. The two guests at the table in this episode of the podcast know all about that. Joining us this time are arable farmer Geert Lindenhols, owner GeertsBest and Jeanine Hiemstra, Manager Marketing & Innovation at Artisanal Butcher Van der Zee and Distrivers.
The two know each other. They work together on new products, says Hiemstra. ''We add Geert's field beans to meat products.'' Lindenhols adds: ,,We grind the field beans into flour. It makes the meatballs bigger." And more nutritious. ''I'm a meat lover, so why not?'' he adds.
In addition to flour, Lindenhols makes pasta from field bean flour, for example, he explains in this podcast. He makes a case for his own products. ''Being traceable food is very important. That has been forgotten for years.'' That's why he now has his own production line. ''Many things that agriculture produces are taken apart in a factory. As a result, healthy nutrients that humans need are lost. That is not how it should be, is not neat and that is not how the plant grew.''
According to Hiemstra, the success of the food transition depends primarily on intrinsic motivation. ,,With a progressive food vision from our customers, we as a supplier can do something. Our product development team will work with that. You have to get that latitude from customers. That's how we can get our policy right and create a sales market.'' But that leeway is often still tied to price, Hiemstra says. ''The intrinsic motivation is less, so that makes sustainable products less likely.''
A good story
Marketing and telling the right story is the key to a successful food and protein transition, according to the two guests in this podcast. After all, haven't we simply forgotten what it's like to cook and eat with space and attention due to industrialization? Moreover, don't we all have wonderful memories of a delicious dish or a nice dinner?
Telling stories about those inspiring dining experiences is not the purpose of the collection of essays "In the Kitchen" for nothing. Ten writers share their experiences, one of them being entrepreneur Wilbert van der Kamp, not unknown to most northerners. Known for sending postcards to Omapost and now co-owner of Nieuw Wongema in Hornhuizen, where - how predictable - you are served food from the neighborhood, with a good story to go with it.
Perception of food
One of the buzzwords - you hear Hiemstra say it frequently in this podcast - of our time is "experience. But despite that essential, guests say, to rid us humans of that oblivion. For example, Lindenhols wants to make food tangible again with his own products and accompanying stories. ,,I want to show that things can be done differently. For example, last August I appear to have put the first Dutch mayonnaise on the market. That it has to be foreign is completely untrue. If we want to say something about that together, we have to do it together.''
That perception is created, in part, when the chains start working more together. And when we collectively keep telling the stories. For those who believe in the power of repetition, say Hiemstra and Lindenhols, the market is very big. This ninth episode of NOM Talks is full of examples.