Actionable insights
from Brandology ®
Experts in marketing strategy
and execution, strategic
planning, innovation
trend tracking & positioning
Food Price Wars Are Coming
Food demand is very likely to exceed food supply in the not-too-distant future. Food shortages will lead to significantly higher prices, more countries with serious hunger problems, and potentially even wars over food access and cost.

The coming food crisis is due to the unfortunate alignment of two factors. First, the global population is growing and becoming more affluent. More people require more food, and as income rises, consumers seek out less resource efficient foods, moving from grains to meat and dairy products.

Second, climate change is affecting food production, and will have an even greater impact in the future. Scientists have shown that grain yields decline as much as 10% with temperature increases as small as 1 degree. Additionally, global warming will lead to more floods, droughts, and long-term water shortages.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations projects that wheat, grain, vegetable oil, and dairy product prices will increase by up to 40% in real dollars in the next decade.

Remember the food price spike of 2007-2008? Have you been watching the price of wheat this summer? Both are giving us a taste of what the future likely holds for food and ingredient costs.

We should think about...
  • How can we best mitigate ingredient cost increases?
  • Is it realistic to expect to pass on our cost increases to consumers?
  • What can we do to help address the coming imbalance of food supply and demand?
Sources: New Scientist 2009, Reuters 2009, Scientific American 2010,
Stanford University 2009, Time 2010
Copyright 2010. Brandology and InformAction are registered trademarks of Brandology