Walk into a grocery store—or open a food-shopping app—and it’s easy to feel paralyzed these days: Ziplock bags and cling wrap are bad for the environment, but . . . what’s the alternative? Same goes for meat and dairy: Even the organic, grass-fed varieties are a strain on the planet. When it comes to snack bars, which ones are good for us? And who gets to decide what that even means? And then there’s water. The bottles are problematic, and inside, what are we really getting?
The quandaries don’t stop when dining out. Meat-free burgers are suddenly ubiquitous, even at fast-food restaurants, yet Arby’s is defiantly telling customers to stick with the beef. Beer has suddenly become . . . an exercise supplement? And if you work at Google, the bag of chips you reach for this afternoon could decide a small food company’s future.
Food manufacturers and marketers know that we’re wrestling with these conundrums. They are, too. This week, Fast Company investigates some of the substantial shifts shaking up the food industry. You’ll read new takes on how food companies are struggling with trends such as “wellness” and crises such as global warming—and how some of the bravest ones are managing to keep a sense of humor.
More from Fast Company’s series on “The New Business of Food”:
- Arby’s bets $3.9 billion that its customers don’t want fake meat
- Kind Bar’s quest to fix food labeling (and inside its feud with Clif Bar)
- The $20 billion bottled water industry experiments with going bottle-less
- Kitchen makeover: Fast Company’s guide to getting plastic out of your cupboards
- Already buy organic meat and dairy? Now learn about going “regenerative”
- Why this snack curator at Google is one of the most powerful people in food
- A new category of “performance beer” has athletes celebrating at the finish line
- The TraderJoe’s YouTube channel is unexpectedly amazing—and very weird.
- This ‘Starbucks of wine’ chain is altering the way Americans experience Chardonnay
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