July 26, 2021
Quarterly Report:

Top Ten Topics: Q2 2021

In a quarter marked by reevaluation of supply chains and sourcing, stewardship practices emerged as the leading topic of conversation among influential figures in food production. Highlights include:

  • On-farm stewardship practices drew interest from consumer-facing brands and policymakers alike.
  • Drought spread across the West, dimming outlook for the nation’s food supply.
  • A tight labor supply limited the ability for food companies to resume normal operations.
  • Increasing demand for protein brought chicken wing shortages and encouraged investment in meat alternatives.
Top Ten Topics Q2 2021

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April 27, 2021
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Top Ten Topics | Q1 2021

We’re proud to share our first-quarter 2021 report.

After four quarters, the fingerprints of the pandemic are still all over the Top Ten Topics. Workforce, protein and health all reflected discussions of food’s role in the well-being of Americans. Meanwhile, the arrival of a new administration elevated climate change and meatless foods — a different facet of protein conversations.

2021 Q1 Top Ten chart

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January 27, 2021
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Top Ten Topics: 2020 in Review

We’re proud to share our 2020 year-in-review report.

In a turbulent year, influential voices shifted discussion to previously quiet topics, including workforce, hunger and niche production practices. Meanwhile, several trends continued in spite of the pandemic. Notably, consumer-facing brands continued to partner with producers on stewardship goals and protein remains the hot topic in diet and nutrition.

See how food industry leaders reacted to the pandemic’s disruption in our latest report, “The COVID Shuffle.”

Top Ten Topics 2020

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October 28, 2020
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Top Ten Topics: Third-Quarter 2020

We’re proud to present our third-quarter report.

The coronavirus crisis continued to drive leading conversations within the food, beverage and agriculture industry, favoring topics like food security and worker safety. However, other topics snuck into the mix. Extreme weather events and farm sustainability also emerged as trending topics.

Additionally, we attached a pre-election guide for presidential candidates’ stances on key agriculture policies.

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July 28, 2020
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COVID-19 continued to upend discussions among leading voices in food production through the second quarter. Food insecurity, worker safety and supply chain disruptions overtook previous industry hot topics, such as climate change and plant-based protein.

In addition to the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests forced food companies to reflect on systemic racism.

Q2 Report Preview

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Top Ten Topics: First-Quarter 2020

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The first quarter of 2020 brought new beginnings for trade and food policy discussions, only to be disrupted by the coronavirus crisis. The effects of the pandemic upended food production in unprecedented ways. Download the executive summary for a look at how the Top Ten Topics changed, as well as analysis of “Coronavirus in 3 Charts.” The full report is also available upon request.

Report preview

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February 25, 2020
Quarterly Report:

Digging Deeper: Beyond the Top Ten Topics

report preview image

The Intel Distillery publishes quarterly reports on the Top Ten Topics discussed by leading voices in the food and beverage space — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This report looks at topics 11-20 to sample other important conversations that didn’t make the Top Ten cut.

Given our interconnected food system, this summary provides a deeper dive into issues affecting what we eat, how we eat it and where it originates.

  • Antibiotics topped this second tier as companies committed to reducing or eliminating antibiotic use in livestock in supply chains.
  • Organics continued to rise, but conversations about the label fell due to interest in competing movements.
  • Niche production drew investments from foodservice companies as states rolled out laws on housing for egg-laying hens.

Download our latest Focus Feature for more of the most-discussed topics in food and ag. This content comes from The Intel Distillery: your essential source for food industry analysis and intelligence.

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January 30, 2020
Quarterly Report:

Top Ten Topics: 2019 in Food Production (Full Report)

We are proud to share our latest Top Ten Topics Report.

As 2019 progressed, leaders in the food industry turned attention to the global impacts of food production — through trade and environment — overtaking upstream production and policy concerns. Protein also served as a catalyst for discussion, as the nutrient’s popularity set the stage for debates about non-meat protein alternatives.

2019-in-Review

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January 28, 2020
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Top Ten Topics: 2019 in Review (Summary)

We are proud to share our latest Top Ten Topics Report.

As 2019 progressed, leaders in the food industry turned attention to the global impacts of food production — through trade and environment — overtaking upstream production and policy concerns. Protein also served as a catalyst for discussion, as the nutrient’s popularity set the stage for debates about non-meat protein alternatives. This download is a two-page executive summary of the full report, which is available upon request.

2019-in-Review

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October 23, 2019
Quarterly Report:

Top Ten Topics: Bader Rutter’s Fall Report

Top Ten - Q3 2019

The interconnected nature of our food system proved the overarching theme in the third quarter as the global issues of international trade and climate change guided conversations. The balance of business and environmental priorities trickled down into other topics, bringing stewardship and sustainability messages to the forefront.

Highlights from this report:

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

The trade war with China continued the trend of uncertainty for food exporters. Meanwhile, President Trump signed a deal to export more pork and beef to Japan. Additionally, the administration lowered barriers to trade with Mexico to pave the way for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

CLIMATE CHANGE

The food system’s effects on planetary health remained at the forefront of conversations. Forward-thinking companies made a point of addressing climate change as a key tenet of their corporate social responsibility strategies.

STEWARDSHIP

Climate change spilled over into conversations about how on-farm practices impact the environment. Regenerative agriculture, carbon reduction, greenhouse gas emissions and water preservation emerged as the top trends in the environmental stewardship movement.

About the Intel Distillery

Bader Rutter’s dedicated Intel Distillery team systematically analyzes input from the 1,500 most influential voices in food production to provide summaries and perspectives of important topics. We comb these sources daily for interesting and important reading about the food and beverage world.

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