Personal freedoms have become more regulated over the past decades, as governmental legislation and personal responsibility has come into tension and new laws have created boundaries around things such as smoking, e-cigarettes, food labelling, additives, animal welfare and sugar. Certain EU laws were passed in 2015 that regulated the use of marketing words which have been commonplace for a long time, giving consumers a clearer idea of what they are eating.
Alcohol will be next in line for regulation. With strain on the health service from binge drinking and alcoholism, companies will develop foods restricted to circumnavigate the new laws. We will start to see more brands creating alcohol-infused foods from candies to mustards, milks to more liqueur-filled chocolates, à la 1970s.
Governments will create barriers to eating and drinking too much. Taxation and legalities will change with regard to forbidden foods and ingredients. Over indulgence will start to be more frowned upon as ‘supersized’ and ‘grab-bag’ sizes become something of the past. Small artisan producers will also be the creators of new products and experiences.
In line with the prohibition trend, companies will use imposed restriction to create scarcity of products to increase brand value and desirability, with the value of products being linked to availability. From a recent time, when having everything was feasible, scarcity puts the meaning back into products and experiences. The abundance of food and products has been magnified over the past 35 years and meaning has been over-ridden by quantity and availability. Less becomes much more. Small batch making with an ethos of ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’, will drive value and consumer interest.