Foodtech : When food feeds on technology and innovation

March 21, 2021

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Foodtech, food industry, or food technology? Whatever name you give to this new sector, its nature and purpose remain the same: to create new ways of buying, storing, cooking, or consuming food through technology... Or, in other words: when technology disrupts the food sector.

Addressing how to help people eat better is a real challenge, as is figuring out how to feed the world's population by 2050. The way we eat is constantly evolving, opening up a wide range of development opportunities for FoodTech. Historically, FoodTech emerged in the United States a few years ago. Today, this sector is experiencing a real boom worldwide. Everywhere, new apps, new products, and innovative services offer customers an optimized experience. Explore this thriving market and all the opportunities it offers on every continent! 





What is the purpose of the Foodtech industry? 


The food industry is increasingly adopting technology to offer products to consumers more quickly and efficiently. The idea is to provide real convenience to consumers and producers, as FoodTech also has a positive impact on the B2B sector.

In addition to:


-Responding to a quest for authenticity: taste pleasure, diversity of flavors and regions.

-Developing "personalized cooking," or even "cooking that heals," and adjusting one's diet to nutritional needs.

-Ensuring the quality, safety, and traceability of food and beverages.

-Opening up the functional food market, addressing the specific needs of different types of consumers and new food-related issues related to allergies and pathologies. 


And no, Foodtech is not limited to delivering yet another concept by bike! This sector is broken down into 6 distinct domains: 


AgTech: This category includes startups offering solutions to improve agriculture production and quality. This can be done, for example, through the use of drones, sensors, or software for managing cultivable land. AgTech also encompasses new agricultural products, next-generation farms, and urban agriculture.

FoodScience: These are startups developing new food products that meet consumers' needs for transparency, health, and environmental concerns. Products range from market innovations to the use of revolutionary ingredients or products.

FoodService: These startups are reinventing the restaurant industry. This means improving restaurant and staff management. It can also involve connecting consumers with chefs for new consumption experiences.

Coaching: In this category, startups answer questions like "is my food good for me?" or "what should I eat?". These services target the end customer and help them gain a better understanding of their purchases and diet to achieve personal goals.

Delivery: Startups here address the challenges of food delivery. This includes home delivery of grocery products, restaurant meals, or meals prepared in private kitchens.

Retail: Startups develop solutions for the food distribution sector. This ranges from digitizing the supply chain to improving the in-store shopping experience.


Technological Innovations in the Agri-food Sector: 

Innovation can affect any stage of the value creation process in the agri-food sector, including production, logistics, commerce, communication, or marketing. All stages of the process are involved, from product manufacturing to packaging and related services.

We talk about:


-Digitalization of processes in agri-food industries;

-Access of agri-food industries to solar thermal energy;

-Optimization of agri-food processes by MRI;

-Water-soluble packaging;

-And many other innovations... etc. 


An Alliance Benefitting Both Consumers and the Agri-food Sector: 


1.Technology Serving the Agri-food Sector:

The agri-food sector, like any other sector, is not spared from the obligation to adapt in a digital context dominated by new technologies. From the scarcity of raw materials and population growth, the need to optimize production, storage, distribution processes, and fight against food waste becomes elementary to ensure food security for all. But FoodTech is also associated with innovation. It involves the design and development of new food products, but also the improvement and combination of existing products. These two aspects of FoodTech thus define the landscape of startups in this sector.


2.Technology Serving the Consumer:

Today's consumer wants to change their eating habits but faces a number of social constraints such as lack of time and money, or the need for convenience. The solution to reconcile these constraints and solve this paradox lies in technological advances, which can benefit the consumer for several reasons: localization, fast internet navigation, purchasing choices, or payments.

Food companies, on the other hand, try to adapt to these new "connected" modes of food consumption and will integrate the digital dimension into their business models. Theoretically, the meeting of food and connectivity should allow for "time savings, optimization of nutritional qualities of plates, discovery of new social connections, support or coaching, substitutions." This appears as a means to solve the paradox affecting our current society and to allow most consumers to evolve their eating behaviors as they see fit. 


Challenges of Foodtech Startups: 




Conclusion :

Faced with the new demands and expectations of consumers, this booming sector will have to meet several challenges, including ensuring the availability, quality, safety, and traceability of food, in addition to adapting manufacturing, storage, and distribution processes in a digital context dominated by new techniques. Finally, and above all, adopting transparency to avoid falling back into the pitfalls of the industry where profit takes precedence over the quality and health of consumers. 

Article written by : ZIAD R. Nesrine 

Strategy & Marketing Manager at Leancubator - ASC


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