FutureBridge unveils top five technology trends for 2021
The coronavirus has changed how we shop, where we shop, and what we consume. Consumers have adapted to a new normal, creating and shifting trends that will presumably outlast the current pandemic, according to research services company FutureBridge.
FutureBridge states that the pandemic has accelerated the food industry’s need to adopt technologies that will help address glaring structural inefficiencies. Additionally, consumers are more focused on their health than ever before. As a result, says FutureBridge, demand for already prominent trends such as immune health and plant-based diets will intensify in a post-Covid-19 era.
“Our current food sourcing and production systems are unsustainable. The need for innovation is bigger than ever,” said Sarah Browner, FutureBridge’s food and nutrition senior analyst. “In 2021, several bubbling technologies are finally poised to influence product development and operations of leading players and impact their commercial products.”
Combining its research team’s in-depth domain know-how and data-analytics derived from their proprietary industry and technology platforms for deep insights, FutureBridge has identified five key technology trends for 2021:
- Waste valorisation, from linear to circular. A third of all globally-produced food ends either as food loss or food waste. This food waste presents an excellent opportunity to feed the world sustainably, according to FutureBridge. Companies such as Incr-edible and NapiFeryn BioTech are transforming waste into beneficial ingredients or products.
- Canola set to challenge soy. FutureBridge believes it will become even more important to diversify our plant-protein sources to avoid monoculture cropping and biodiversity loss. The company predicts canola protein could unhinge soy’s dominance in the plant-based space due to its high production capabilities and valuable amino acid profile.
- Plant-based immunity. FutureBrige expects natural sources of vitamins and minerals to find increased demand in 2021. Botanicals such as acerola and citrus fruits, for example, are popular for their vitamin C content. FutureBridge analysts predict that ingredient suppliers will increasingly invest in developing unique plant-based vitamins and minerals to meet these demands.
- Supply chain digitalisation. Consumers seek information about how their food is produced, proof of where it comes from, and assurance that it is safe. We are witnessing a shift of digital technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and near field communication from a “nice to have” to a “must-have” by food companies.
- Regenerative, the new sustainable in agriculture. The urgent need to regenerate our agricultural supply base is evident in the emerging business strategies of major actors in the food sector, says FutureBridge. General Mills has committed to advance regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030. FutureBridge predicts more announcements in this space in 2021.
FutureBridge will host a webinar on the Top 5 Technology Trends of 2021 on 10 December 2020, at 10.30 am CET/10.30 am EST to contextualise these five trends in the broader techno-commercial disruption of the food and nutrition industry. To register, visit: app.livestorm.co/futurebridge/future-of-food-top-5-technology-trends-of-2021.