The Future of Food

The Future of Food

Today, we live in a world of rapidly growing population, changing climatic patterns and soaring human health issues. More than ever, the future of our food systems is critical.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD REPORT (2016)

A range of converging powerful forces are fundamentally redefining how humanity lives, and are reshaping what we eat, and where and how our food will be grown.

The Future of Food lays out some of the key drivers of change and concludes that the global food system is at a major tipping point. The Future of Food poses some hard questions and outlines predictions for the future of food looking out over the next thirty years.

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Future iQ predicts that the food industry is ripe for disruption, and the future will be built on innovative ways to expand food supply, and a strong focus on human health implications.

THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF FOOD

Food is essential for our health and survival. There is a growing disconnect between where food can be grown, and where it will be consumed. The rapidly growing global population in Asia and Africa, coupled with the impacts of climate change, are reshaping the global food story. Local food production potential is forecast to decline in areas where population growth is greatest, and where there is already significant hunger.

2019 World Hunger Map – Click to View

Future iQ Predictions

There will be a divergence within the global food system:

  • We will see continued strong emergence of healthy ‘local’ or regional food systems in developed and wealthy countries, where the emphasis is on freshness, health and authenticity.
  • Simultaneously, there will be the rapid growth of a massive industrialized global supply chain that produces, processes and distribute huge quantities of highly engineered and manufactured healthy food to global population concentrations, increasingly living in mega cities.
  • In the next two decades, there will be dramatic shifts in food producing zones around the world, and a realignment of global supply chains. There will be winners and losers.
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There is an urgent need to create more sustainable food production systems that protect our ecosystems and produce better human health outcomes.

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THE CASE FOR DISRUPTION

Future iQ believes the global food industry is ripe for disruption:

  • There is a massive dichotomy in food induced health outcomes across the planet. Nearly 2 billion people don’t get enough food; and nearly 2 billion people get too much.
  • Many of the planet’s food production systems and areas are unsustainable, creating soil erosion and nutrient depletion, and resulting in the destruction of forests and natural ecosystems.
  • Fresh water resources are becoming increasingly polluted and stressed, fundamentally changing the way we need to think about food production.

Future iQ Predictions

Our ability to measure and predict ‘food health’ will spur innovation, transparency and food safety in the food supply system.The solution to defining ‘food health’, lays in creating a system where the consumer can easily access and measure the health of their food, across multiple dimensions such as:

  • Embedded content and impact of nutrients and toxins within food
  • Impact on the consumer, including effect on health and the joy of eating
  • Environmental cost and benefit of growing and getting the food to you
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Global Nutrition Profile – Click to View
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute. 2015. Global Nutrition Report 2015

Just like smoking, at some point the societal cost of poor individual dietary choices will trigger certain societal actions. Diets may become regulated, unhealthy foods banned, our Body Mass Index(BMI) may influence our insurance premiums.

TECHNOLOGY AND CONSUMER BEHAVIOR WILL DRIVE TRANSFORMATION

Future iQ predicts the transformation of the global food industry will be driven by simultaneous changes in technology and consumer behavior.

  • Technology allows a radical shift in how food can be produced. We will see more protected or controlled environment production, on a massive scale, and high-tech large-scale autonomous farming operations.
  • Consumers will continue to move away from traditional animal-based proteins, to new and novel plant-based protein products. This trend has started; and will accelerate.
  • Environmental safeguards will protect important food producing regions, and their natural resources of soil and water.
  • Food health concerns will drive innovation in food tracking and authentication, and in full transparency of foods ‘health profile’.

Future iQ Predictions

  • Within a decade, 3D printing of food will dominate customized meal assembly in hospitals, schools, institutions, and fast food outlets.
  • Rapid shifts in diets and tastes may mean we are on the cusp of a food taste and flavor revolution.
  • The values, preferences and consumer behavior of the emerging generation (especially millennial females) will have a direct impact on shaping our future food choices and industries.
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