The demand for Provenance in food and drink is a global phenomenon and one that continues to gather pace.
Consumers are becoming increasingly discerning and enjoying the chance to enjoy local produce. It is a very innovative marketplace and the use of existing technology may bring the next big change.
With food, the rise and rise of Farmer’s Markets and the Slow Food Movement show how embedded buying local food has become across Europe and in the UK, in particular. Increasing numbers of UK consumers are looking for local provenance and the opportunity to directly support growers. They like to cook with true Farm to Table produce and enjoy fresh seasonal produce.
At the same time with drink, there has been a similar growth in micro-brewing with an emphasis to create small-batch, innovative beers. These are usually brewed with locally grown grain bringing enhanced flavour and provenance and as a result are being recognised and bought across the globe.
More recently there has been an explosion in new distilleries, particularly in Scotland, the ‘Home of Whisky’. Most are smaller, craft distilleries that are satisfying the increasing demand for locally-produced, authentic, small batch spirits. Due to the time needed to nature whisky, the initial focus has been on white spirits, particularly with the ever-increasing demand for gin, but also to satisfy a global demand for ultra-premium vodka.
This has seen a trend to Farm to Bottle with specialist distillers either growing their own or sourcing locally grown ingredients. Farm distilleries were the norm in the past, so history is repeating itself. Therefore, spirits are increasingly catching up with food to satisfy consumer demand for local provenance and sustainability.
Interestingly, the next major development could well see a partnership between farmers & distillers using existing farm mapping technology to give consumers traceability assurance on bottle labels that show where their spirits are being distilled and with which local ingredients. In an increasingly competitive marketplace this would certainly give distillers a unique selling point and consumers the type of provenance assurance with their spirits that they already have and appreciate with their food.