Topic 2015: Sustainable food — is a consumer trend developing into a market trend?
Social, environmental and ethical aspects have become essential requirements that food has to fulfil. Although many consumers still can’t clearly define sustainability, they are increasingly making sure that the products they buy are organically produced, locally grown or fairly traded. In addition, more and more consumers are saying that they want to spend more money on sustainable products. Sustainability plays a major role for many different consumer groups. Sustainability is often closely associated with people’s traditional quality expectations regarding taste, freshness and health. Sustainability is thus turning from an additional or singular purchasing aspect into an attribute that is merging with people’s quality perceptions and evaluations of products. As a result, sustainability has become a consumer trend.
Although the sales figures for products labelled as sustainable have been rising for many years now, they are still at a low level compared to the market as a whole. There is a big gap between people’s statements that they are willing to buy such products and the actual market figures. For example, the Society for Consumer Research held a survey in 2014 in which 26 per cent of the respondents stated that they deliberately bought fair trade products and spent more money for them. However, according to the Transfair organization, sustainably grown bananas only have a 3.5 per cent market share even though they were the most successful fair-trade product in 2013. A similar gap can be seen in the other sustainable product ranges. This demonstrates that the claims and the actual behaviour of consumers still differ greatly. We can refer to this as a market trend only to a limited extent.
Keynote speaker 2015
As the founder of the Forsa Institute and one of the leading opinion pollsters in Germany, Professor Manfred Güllner knows what consumers think and feel. He will explain why there is often a gap between customer attitudes to sustainability issues and their actual buying behaviour and what industrial companies and the trade can do in order to turn a consumer trend into a market trend.
Prof. Manfred Güllner (born in Remscheid in 1941) studied sociology, social psychology and business administration at the University of Cologne from 1961 to 1967. After graduating, he initially worked as an assistant at the university’s sociology department until switching in 1970 to the infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. infas later served as his model when he founded his own institute, Forsa. Güllner also gained extensive expertise when he worked as the Director of the City of Cologne’s statistical office. In Cologne, Güllner was also in charge of the Board of Elections. In 1984 Manfred Güllner founded his own opinion polling institute, Forsa. This enabled him to make use of the extensive experience he had gathered to date. Forsa was initially based in Cologne and later in Dortmund. Since 1991, Güllner has been researching and working at the heart of Germany’s political life, in Berlin.
For many years now, he has been assessing the political mood in Germany every week for Stern magazine and the RTL television channel. In these polls, Güllner determines which political party people would vote for if national elections were held the following Sunday. Although opinion polling is Güllner’s passion and lets him make headlines, this activity is only one of the institute’s aspects from a business point of view. Forsa also conducts market research for many companies. As a result, Güllner is always well-informed about the business sentiment in Germany and people’s buying behaviour. In 2004 he was appointed an honorary professor of media and communication science at Freie Universität Berlin.
Manfred Güllner is known to most Germans as an opinion pollster, an author and a writer for magazines and newspapers.
Theater am Tanzbrunnen
Admission: 18:00 Uhr
(Start: 18:30 Uhr)
President of the Federal Association of the German Retail Grocery Trade
Word of welcome
Dr. Wolfgang Ingold
Chairman of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries
Keynote: Is sustainable food the wave of the future or just an illusion?
Prof. Manfred Güllner
Founder and Managing Director of Forsa, Gesellschaft für Sozialforschung und statistische Analysen mbH
Question and answer session
Michael Kolz talks with Professor Manfred Güllner and the audience
Welcoming remarks from Koelnmesse and transition to the get-together
President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse
Host: Michael Kolz, phoenix
Chefs from Cologne’s starred restaurants will present culinary specialities:
Sonja Baumann & Erik Scheffler
Sonja Baumann // Chef de Cuisine
After a career in renowned starred restaurants, this experienced professional chef has been an indispensable ambassador of our restaurant’s cuisine for many years. Sonja Baumann’s usual motto is simply to make things tasty. On this basis, she skilfully and confidently tweaks classic recipes and conjures up sophisticated gourmet creations. After spending four years as a sous-chef under the direction of Bernd Stollenwerk and Sven Messerschmidt, she joined Erik Scheffler in 2015 to head our gourmet kitchen, where she ensures outstanding gastronomic standards, smooth processes and a dash of culinary exclusivity.
Erik Scheffler // Chef de Cuisine
"People who consider themselves too important to do small things are often too small to do important tasks.” This quote from Jacques Tati has had a big impact on Erik Scheffler’s impressive career. His own name became synonymous with gourmet cuisine after he learned his craft at renowned international restaurants and passed his chef de cuisine exam with distinction in 2013. Together with Sonja Baumann, Erik Scheffler has headed our kitchen since 2015. He successfully maintains our 17-point rating in the Gault Millau by coming up with distinctive interpretations and meeting the highest standards of creativity and perfection.
“My cuisine is actually a simple one. The things I most enjoy making are little frikadellen.” These are the words of a brilliant chef de cuisine who likes to incorporate local and regional influences into his gourmet cuisine. His unusually creative gourmet recipes are the result of the distinguished stages of his career mixed with his great talent and passion for personalized cuisine. A recipient of the Peter Hesseler Rinderrouladen Award in 2005 and the Peter Hesseler Personalessen in 2008, Jeske has maintained La Société’s restaurant star in line with his philosophy that “pressure creates diamonds”.
Jan Cornelius Maier & Tobias Becker
Jan Cornelius Maier // Chef de Cuisine // Initiator
started his career after studying law for four semesters in Bonn and being trained as a chef at the Hotel im Wasserturm in Cologne and with Christian Rach in Hamburg. He then became a junior sous-chef under the direction of Bernd Stollenwerk at the Gut Lärchenhof restaurant. From there, Maier’s ambitions and desire for perfection drove him to Christian Bau in Perl-Nennig (three Michelin stars). It was followed by a position as Chef de Cuisine in Saarbrücken. He was afterwards commissioned to establish a Tuscan-Emilian restaurant concept in the German restaurant sector in Frankfurt am Main. He did this successfully for more than six years. As a result, the BIANCALANI in Frankfurt now has two concept restaurants and a total of 28 Gault Millau points.
Tobias Becker // Küchenchef // Initiator
After completing his training at the Gut Lärchenhof restaurant, Becker went to Trier in order to study food technology. After several instructive years in Trier, he went to the two-star restaurant Becker‘s in order to perfect his craft. He subsequently helped to open and develop a concept restaurant in Cape Town, then came to Cologne to receive advanced training as a service professional at the La Societè restaurant. He then took up the offer of HASE Catering GmbH to serve as the Chef de Cuisine. Here he has helped to develop one of Germany’s most successful and exciting catering concepts.
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