The future of food
The food and beverage industries face big changes over the next few years. Covid-19 has not only turned the spotlight on demand for food supplies but also the need for the global food system to change.
Both challenges are linked to how food and beverage companies are planning to produce more food and to do it more sustainably while meeting the global demand of the growing population.
Helping to stay on top of these shifts in production and consumer demand is food tech (in all its various guises).
According to Forward Footing, a collaborative platform analysing the food sector, its FoodTech Data Navigator, a data intelligence platform for the AgriFoodtech ecosystem, European Food Tech companies are playing a crucial role in the current and future development of this sector.
Europe pioneers new technologies and ways of producing, manufacturing, ordering, creating and consuming food, says Forward Footing.
The platform adds: “We see the role these Food Tech companies play as crucial to the change being driven at a consumer level. And just as importantly, they put pressure on large food manufacturers to innovate quicker and smarter to adapt their offerings, improve their sustainability efforts and to meet the needs of ever more demanding consumers that are increasingly seeking healthier and more sustainable food options.
These days, technology is by far the most sought-after ingredient in our diet. And this is visible in the growing investment in innovation projects such as for example personalised nutrition.”
The technologies Forward Footing put forward are insightful…
- AgTech such as biotechnological agriculture, agricultural product trading platforms, bioenergy and biomaterials, agricultural robotics, organic foods and new crop systems.
- Consumer apps – these will have numerous offerings from calculating the nutritional value of what’s on a plate from a photo, to making lunch pleasant, simple and effective in terms of its brevity. This will be one to watch, in my opinion, as this depends on people’s willingness to engage with apps and what they are offering.
- Next gen food and drink – alternative proteins have been a growing trend for some time, and it is showing no signs of slowing. The ingredients that will play their part will come from a ‘proliferation of new upcycling technologies’. These are for example air protein startup companies such as Finland-based Solar Foods. Or protein synthesis companies such as 3F Bio which create sustainable protein from renewable sources.
- Food processing – Technology is turning the art of processing food into an actual art-form, says Forward Footing. An example of this comes in the form of Natural Machines and its 3D Printer for food called The Foodini – a kitchen appliance that combines technology, food, art, and design. Turning food into an art-form by using technology seems to be the next big trend in food processing.
The potential of the technologies is huge. Will they convince investors? Some have already while others will take some demonstrable evidence. One takeaway is Europe is leading the charge and the innovators will definitively shape the future of the food industry.