3 Emerging Technology Areas in Food Production
Companies and governments are investing heavily in the advancement of technology that will change the way we produce and eat food.
- The cultured meat market continues to garner investment as governments and companies look for ways to satisfy consumer demand for alternative protein products and feed a growing population
- 3D printed food has turned from a fringe idea to a nearly $500 million market.
- CRISPR/Cas9 technology is a key driver in the genetic engineering industry.
The cultured meat market is expected to be valued at $215M in 2025 and is projected to grow to $593M by 2032 at a CAGR of 15.7%. Consumers continue to demand alternative protein sources, driving growth in the cultured meat industry. Additionally, technological advancements in cellular agriculture, focus on animal welfare, and growing concern for environmental sustainability are all factors projected to drive growth in the cultured meat market. Poultry meat is expected to be the largest segment of the cultured meat industry due to the increasing popularity of poultry products in restaurants. North America is the largest market for cultured meat in 2021, which can be attributed to an increasingly on-the-go lifestyle and consumption of snacking products.
In 2020, over $360M was invested into the cultured meat industry — six times the amount raised in 2019. The largest protein producers in the world have invested in cultured meat, like Cargill investing and Tyson Foods’ venture fund. The US government has also played a big role. In 2020, the National Science Foundation issued a grant to UC Davis of $3.5M to research cultured meat as a source to feed the world’s growing population.
3D Food Printing:
3D food printing is not a novel concept. It has been around for decades, but recent developments in 3D printing technology and the availability of print-edible substances have made the process more accessible and less expensive. The technology uses specialized nozzles and plates to “print” food in layers, just like traditional 3D printers. Instead of plastic, however, 3D food printers use edible ingredients and can make intricate decorations, cakes, and full fledged meals. Today, 3D food printers are mainly used by professional chefs and commercial kitchens, but consumer versions of these printers are becoming more popular as the technology is becoming cheaper and easier to utilize.
The 3D food printing industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. What was once a fringe idea is now a full-fledged market with dozens of companies jockeying for market share. In 2020 the global 3D printed food market was estimated to be $485.5 million, and it is now expected to grow to $1 billion by 2025, representing a CAGR of 16.1%. Companies like Cakewalk 3D have exceeded fundraising goals on Kickstarter, while others like Novameat have raised over $300k in the pursuit of 3D-printing steak. This technology is still extremely early, but future applications have the ability to change the way we think about nutrition, dieting, and food sustainability.
The genetic engineering market size was valued at $5.1B in 2020 and is expected to grow to $11.2B in 2025 at a CAGR of 17%. Key factors driving growth include an increasing number of genomics projects, high prevalence of infectious diseases and cancer, technological advancements, and increasing production of genetically modified crops. CRISPR/Cas9 segment accounted for 40.2% in 2020. CRISPR/Cas9 technology has advanced genomic manipulation technology, accelerating the adoption of the tool.
North America had a revenue share of 38.4% in 2020, dominating the genetic engineering market. North America’s dominance is attributed to strong research, a commercial base for advanced therapy, and a growing amount of patents awarded to US companies. The US government has invested in genetic engineering research to find new treatments or cures for diseases — the NIH has awarded 24 grants worth $89M to researchers in the US and Canada.