It's green for traffic lights

This year the food industry will accept the traffic-light labelling system, while green issues such as the carbon footprint will become more important with the public

There are several things I'm seeing in my crystal ball for 2008. The on-pack traffic-light labelling system is going to be fine-tuned with greater collaboration between the Food Standards Agency and the food industry.

I think the whole issue of labelling will become a much more integrated process with the food industry beginning to come round more to the FSA's way of thinking with regards to on-pack traffic light labelling. Food companies will engage in a much closer dialogue with the FSA because, although GDAs do have their place on certain products, traffic lights are here to stay.

While health will be a major issue for next year we are also going to see a sharp increase in demand for indulgence foods. People are fed up with being told that certain foods are 'bad' for them and indulgence products will be an important growth area for the industry.

In addition there will be growing demand for companies to source more natural ingredients and naturally derived preservatives, as well as products that contain fewer artificial colours and flavours. Consumers are becoming more aware of artificial ingredients and want to avoid them.

I also predict more green initiatives as companies try to reduce their carbon footprints and consumer interest in environmental issues and climate change continues to grow.

The carbon footprint debate will impact on nutritional issues quite dramatically. For example, if you consider certain foods, including exotic superfruits such as pomegranates, which come from the tropics, there may be a conflict between the carbon footprint created by transporting them halfway across the world and their nutritional content. This is going to be a very significant issue this year.