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The Future of Food

7 August 2019 by Food&HotelAsia

Food is a wonderful thing. It nourishes, it excites and it pushes boundaries. It has evolved from being more than mere sustenance: the ancient civilisations that first domesticated crop would never have been able to even begin imagining the molecular gastronomy of Ferran Adria, or burgers made from plants that bleed and taste like real meat.

Predicting what lies ahead for the future of food is just as challenging, as the global economy and markets are continually shifting. Today, factors like technology, climate change and the sustainability movement have dramatically altered the landscape. This article takes a look at what’s in store for food – and remember, you read it here first.

Adoption of technology

The way we shop, prepare, cook and eat has completely transformed ever since technology got involved. For example, grocery shopping is no longer a weekly buy-in-bulk activity with the advent of online retailers that offer next and even same-day deliveries, or start-ups that allow you to order precisely the ingredients you need for a meal, conveniently delivered to your doorstep. AI is transforming the way F&B companies track and manage their supply chain and is even capable of helping companies identify consumer trends and use that data to develop new products. Mordor Intelligence reports that AI in the F&B industry is expected to show a CAGR of over 65.3 per cent from 2019 – 2024. Chatbots, POS systems and even ordering kiosks are all benefiting from embracing technology, indicating that the future of food will be very closely tied to tech.

Alternative meats and milk will grow

Faux meats have been around for some time now, but never have they seen as rapid a growth until companies like Impossible and Beyond entered the market. On-trend branding and marketing coupled with a general shift in consumer preferences towards consuming less meat and embracing plant-based diets has seen the market grow by an impressive 20 per cent in the United States, and the overall alternative meat market is expected to become a US$140 billion industry in a mere decade, according to this report by CNBC. The plant-based milk industry is seeing similar growth. According to Nielsen’s, sales of plant-based milks were up 9 per cent (US$1.6 billion) and sales of cow’s milk actually went down.

Convenience is king

As consumers become more time constrained than ever before, the desire for convenience is definitely not going away anytime soon. But we’re not talking about unhealthy, instant meals packed with sodium and sugar either. The future of food will revolve around technology that addresses the need for convenience, but said food needs to also be fast, inexpensive, healthy and flavourful.

All senses go

It has been 10 years since Heston Blumenthal served his famous ‘sound of the seas’ dish where diners listened to recordings of breaking waves to enhance the salty flavours of seafood. It is a well-known fact that our senses work in harmony to establish flavours and textures: desserts are creamier when served in round dishes rather and square plats; background hissing or humming makes food tastes less sweet and chips feel softer if we can’t hear that crunch. This field known as “neurogastronomy” combines our understanding of food science and neurology, and we predict that it will eventually, add a whole new dimension to the way we consume food the way molecular gastronomy did.

 

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