GET TO KNOW: Laura Johnston, Founder and CEO of Daily Dietitian

Laura Johnston, CEO and Founder of Daily Dietitian will be part of our panel of speakers taking us through Food and Craft Drinks on the move.

Laura launched Daily Dietitian in 2014 when she saw a gap in the market for healthy, fresh and personalised meal delivery. It is the easiest way to have fresh, nutrient-dense, delicious meals, delivered to your door. Daily Dietitian takes away the stress of planning, shopping and cooking, making it easy for you to stick to your diet and achieve your personal goals. Their chefs create lunch, dinner, and snacks using fresh, seasonal ingredients and then, mid-morning they deliver directly to you. All their meal plans are dietitian formulated and tailored to your unique needs.

We had the pleasure of asking Laura a few questions on the food and beverage industry:

FNA: What do you believe has been the key change in the F&B sector over the past five years?

LJ: Consumers are more demanding than ever before. It is no longer about “food” but about the overall “experience” and the “connection” with a brand, its values and ethics. People are spoilt for choice and their expectations are high so companies have had to find innovative ways to set themselves apart.

FNA: Where do you see the three key challenges driving innovation in the industry over the next five years?

  1. Individuality. Food and beverages will need to be personalized to allow consumers to follow unique diets more targeted than gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, each chosen for a consumer’s one-of-a-kind physiology. Where gut health is a current trend with probiotic foods, soon we’ll be eating to stave off depression, help us sleep, and enhance overall mood. Nutrigenomics will come into play here (the study of how our diets influence our genes). A growing body of evidence and scientific interest in the field have put us on the brink of revolutionary advances in personalized nutrition. Companies that show innovation in this space will be rewarded.
  2. The environment. Whether it’s lack of land, water, pollution, or severe weather that’s preventing the ideal growing conditions, innovation in “fast”, “fresh” farming is key. Vertical growing, aqua or hydroponics ecologically sound commercial farms of the future will be able to be located wherever they’re needed.
  3. Being healthy. Fat is back, protein must be high quality and sugar is out. Consumers want to eat healthily but their definition of what this means continues to change. F&B companies need to keep up and quickly. Trends are moving away from supplementation and towards whole foods and intrinsic nutrition (nutrients that are inherent in the ingredients).

FNA: The F&B sector is undergoing huge change. What are the three tips you would give for success in the coming five years?

  1. Through social media, everyone now has the ability to become a food critic. It’s no longer just about fashion, what you eat (or where you ate) has become an important form of self-expression and people collect like to collect and share their experiences. Encourage social media engagement to positively build your brand, monitor your social channels to learn more about your consumer and identify “influencers” to be your spokespeople.
  2. Use big data. Having a better understanding of your customer is going to be of paramount importance in the foodservice industry. Why guess when you have information at your fingertips. Knowledge is power – listen to what your customers want and need.
  3. Be socially and environmentally responsible. Helping reduce the negative impact of waste in the foodservice industry will connect consumers to your brand.

FNA: Which type of people do you believe would gain the most from attending your session this year?

LJ: Anyone who is interested in personalized nutrition, leads a busy life and cares about what food they put into their bodies. We are nutritional experts, we live and breathe food, study the effects it has on the body and celebrate its health benefits.