Why do people keep talking about FoodTech and why is it so important? Is it using drones to farm? Is it finding the next sustainable alternative to sugar? Or is it simply a way that we can track our potatoes? FoodTech encompasses all of these topics. However, it isn’t a natural assumption that the Food and Tech industry would compliment one another. Nonetheless the long-overdue collaboration has created a pioneering industry that ensures we strive towards a more sustainable future. But what even is FoodTech?
Here at Forward Fooding we see FoodTech as the emerging sector exploring how technology can be leveraged to create efficiency and sustainability in designing, producing, choosing, delivering and enjoying food.
On paper that looks great, but how is this emerging sector disrupting the long standing Food industry and pioneering the future? The first and most crucial aspect at the centre of it all is innovation.
With over 1,700 FoodTech companies, predominantly startup companies, registered and mapped on Forward Fooding’s Global FoodTech map there is clear drive towards including Tech such as robotics, drones, 3D printing, AIs and more into the food industry. Attempting to make the industry more efficient while working towards more sustainable solutions for our ever-growing population. Some areas that are being focused on include sustainable farming methods, sustainable packaging, food waste reduction. Examples of some companies using this tech in the food world are: Snact, Breedr, LettUs Grow as well as many hundreds more that can be found on our GlobalFoodTech Map.
One of the most interesting aspects of this system is the competitive nature that the industry has created. A variety of companies are eagerly working to find the best solution to the varying problems in the Food Industry. However, as a large number of these entrepreneurs are all focused on overlapping issues such as food waste and non-reusable packaging a positive growth loop has been created in the industry. This has lead to greater innovation resulting in successful beneficial solutions for the industry but most importantly the consumer.
The FoodTech industry, however, is not only driven by innovation, it is also largely driven by the consumers needs. Within the last 5 years the food industry has seen a massive shift in consumer mentality, with a significant increase in ‘conscious consumption’. Consumers are now more than ever wanting to know where their food comes from? How it was made? Whether it is sustainable? Is it locally sourced?
With various companies using block-chain technologies it has made it easier than ever for the consumer to see where their food is coming from and the impact it has. A perfect example can be seen by one of Forward Fooding’s resident companies — Almond. Almond is an app which rewards customers for buying responsible brands, while helping one understand and reduce their carbon emissions.
Such innovative ideas are demonstrating the vast range of companies FoodTech encompasses, our GlobalFoodTech map helps collect and store information on the latest StartUps in the industry, making it easier for you to discover them and hopefully use them! In addition Forward Fooding has just launched our new FoodTech Data Navigator, the first data analytics platform specifically designed to assist users in doing “deep-dive” analytical analysis on all the up and coming FoodTech startups.
The competitive and cyclical nature of innovation from farm to fork and consumers mindfulness of conscious consumption have driven the prominence and increase in FoodTech innovation and increase in industry investment. So how has FoodTech disrupted the long standing Food industry making it one of the hottest StartUp and Investment trends of 2019?
An example of just how important FoodTech is becoming can be seen at this years CES. CES is world renowned as the largest and best consumer tech show globally, with the biggest of companies realising their newest and swankiest products. Some notable releases being the Microsoft Xbox (2001), the Blu-Ray Disc (2004), to LG’s rollable TV (2018). However the talk of the town at CES 2019 was a Burger … Yes, you read that right a Burger, but not just any old Burger. The Impossible Burger 2.0, a 100% meatless burger promising to be the same or better than a ‘real’ burger. Created by Impossible Foods the Impossible Burger shows the pioneering present in the FoodTech industry and how vital it will be in the coming years. Most importantly Impossible Foods has demonstrated the importance of collaboration between big corporations such as Burger King and StartUps, in order to make sure there is a beneficial future for everyone. Hence, the necessity for collaboration between the big companies supplying the economic and logistical resources, with FoodTech StartUps, providing innovative solutions is more prevalent than ever.
Finally, the big question is why is it important to get involved now? Firstly, from an investment perspective the FoodTech industry has been predicted to be valued at over $250 Billon by 2022 (as per Forbes) with over $17 Billion invested in to FoodTech companies (innovating from Farm to fork) in 2018. Clearly the industry is moving in the right direction!
More importantly researchers have predicted that by 2020 2.4 million people will have health issues related to meat, costing the healthcare system an estimated $285 Billion, where it could be used in many more prevalent issues such as cancer research. Moreover, Oxford research has, conservatively, estimated that a meat diet will cost the World economy over $1.6 Trillion by 2050. If these numbers aren’t painting an image of the importance for greater recognition of the FoodTech industry, we are not sure what will.
The need for change is now and it is urgent, but fortunately it has already begun. Here at Forward Fooding, we are helping accelerate the growth of the FoodTech industry, primarily through StartUp and Corporate collaboration, an established necessity. In addition Forward Fooding offers StartUps, such as Almond, opportunities to tap into greater sales channels and access knowledge, resources and information from industry experts. Lastly, with our latest service having just launched, the FoodTech Data Navigator, we hope to pioneer the field for FoodTech company data collection, helping investors, corporates and even startups understand consumers better and where the industry is heading.
If you are just interested in learning more about Forward Fooding, and the corporate or startup services we provide or you are curious about the FoodTech industry in general, check us out at http://forwardfooding.com
Written by Armaan Dobberstein — Marketing Associate at Forward Fooding, avid foodie and chef as well as an interested FoodTech fan!