The head of the federal healthy lifestyle exhibition Veg-Life Expo Igor Zhukarev answers the question, commenting on the latest trends in the development of alternative protein sources in Russia
“New approaches to the creation of innovative food products expand the horizons of consumer perception of food. However, the transition to protein from insects and its use as a key food staple in Russia will, at best, become possible in the next 5-10 years, when generation Z becomes economically active,” Igor Zhukaryov noted.
Now the most popular alternative protein is vegetable, which is based on the deep processing of legumes and cereals.
Currently, more than 50 projects for the development and production of vegetable meat are already being implemented in Russia.
“At the same time, not only taste and nutritional value, but also a beneficial effect on the body remain the key criteria for choosing food. A conscious choice of nutrition underlies modern consumption trends, and the main focus is healthy lifestyle products, - said Igor Zhukaryov. - Food should be healthy, tasty, affordable and understandable. The Russian consumer will not accept products from fly larvae for quite a long time. It must be admitted that this goes against the understanding of healthy lifestyles. The Asian type of food, which is replete with exotic ingredients, is quite alien to our patriarchal consumer.”
It is important to single out the age categories of consumers, added Igor Zhukarev. People over 45 have difficulty accepting innovations in the food industry and are not ready to change their taste habits. However, malnutrition, bad habits and products of dubious quality and origin often cause cardiovascular and other diseases, as a result of which a person is forced to eat healthy food.
“Everyone will come to a healthy lifestyle, but sooner or later, the decision is individual. We are seeing an annual growing interest in healthy eating, healthy dietary supplements, and plant-based alternatives on the part of young people. They understand the value of their health, well-being, and performance, so they are ready to follow the principles of a healthy lifestyle, reduce animal protein intake, and choose organic and plant-based products. Rare gourmets look at the oriental traditions of eating fried insects and are interested in trying it. However, no one is always ready to eat such food, ”added the head of the federal healthy lifestyle exhibition Veg-Life Expo.
Nevertheless, the prospects of food from larvae cannot be completely denied - it takes time, marketing and gastro education, adds Igor Zhukarev.
“For example, gastro-tourism. People travel to taste the authentic food of the place they come to, while learning about history, traditions, culture. It is also necessary with new trends in food - it is important to tell, enlighten, but not impose. Then in 20-30 years the attitude towards insects as food will be different,” he said.
You can learn about current food consumption trends, healthy lifestyle guidelines, effective and functional food, as well as the prospects for food from insects in Russia on October 20 and 21 at Veg-Life Expo.