Smart, sustainable and immediate. food and drink in 2030.

19 June 2020

Pick fresh fruit in Central London, pop it in your mushroom-stalk box and run it past your smart diet before eating. What does the future of food and drink look like 10 years from now?

Following on from our look at the future of PR, Marketing, and retail in 2030 a few weeks ago, we are now taking a deep dive into the future of food and drink. What will we be eating in 2030 10 years from now? Will we all be vegan by then or will the world have responded to health and sustainability concerns with fresh-thinking concepts and technology we cannot yet fathom? And what on earth is a smart diet?

The best thing companies can do to begin future proofing themselves for the next 10 years is not to ignore the trends and conversations emerging now. Sustainability and responsibility are key developments which we are slowly starting to see the major players respond to. We have seen Kellogg’s launch beer made from leftover cereal, The Sustainable Dairy Partnership established to improve animal care and limit greenhouse gases, as well new and innovative solutions to packaging. Those stories we read in the weekend supplements ‘my zero-waste year’ will become more than just anecdotal. Generation Z will take over from millennials as the largest group, and they are the most environmentally minded generation yet. They will be influenced by companies showing they care, and those that prioritise the environment over profitability will win. Brands such as Meadow Mushrooms (New Zealand) who have pioneered a container made from mushroom stalks are leading the way and others will have to follow to keep pace.

Not only will we be more conscious about how our food is packaged and who we are buying it from, we’ll have access to a host of information to help us plan and execute personalised ‘smart diets’. From improved data collection to new research into our biological make-up we will be able to modify our eating habits to boost both our physical and mental health. We expect to see brands jump onto this offering personalised meal plans, recipes and products catering to individuals. Just last year we saw Yo! Sushi partner with DNAFit to offer selected customers a menu tailored to their genetic profile, so in ten years this could well be the norm. We can expect to see even more innovation in this category, we have already seen Nestlé China’s XiaoAI smart speaker, a clever nutritional assistant that remembers the family’s dietary requirements and can advise on them. Smart homes will naturally follow suit, with appliances designed to cater for allergies and intolerances.

As we start to see the reality of climate change, we will look for better and smarter solutions to food harvesting too.

As we start to see the reality of climate change, we will look for better and smarter solutions to food harvesting too. There is currently some hesitation around the use of science and technology in this field, but consumers will start to gain trust as it offers valuable solutions to unsustainable farming. We have already seen versions of vertical farming, indoor hydroponics and creative thinking when it comes to growing plants and herbs underwater, underground or on floating farms. We will see far more of this, and in response to consumer demands for fresher and better-quality foods, we might see premium indoor farms open in cities offering ‘freshly picked’ produce. Lab grown food and drink will become more common place, with the food industry taking inspiration from those around them. Couple is the first company to exclusively sell lab-grown diamond rings as an ethical, more affordable alternative to mined diamonds. Modern Meadow is a New Jersey-based biotech start-up that grows animal-free leather in a lab. Attitudes will need to adapt and change, and brands can help lead this consumer journey by ensuring they are prepping well in advance for what the next decade will bring.

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