WHAT IS "SHAKING TECH" ABOUT?
We believe technology is shaking up many industries, also food & beverage. Technology and digitalization enable higher transparency and traceability along the whole supply chain.
Consumers are more informed than ever. The easy access to information about where food comes from, how it is processed and what are the exact ingredients, makes the emotional connection to a brand or product essential. According to a consumer study conducted by FMCG Gurus, 40% of consumers globally want to know the story behind products before buying them and 56% of consumers say that stories around a brand influence their purchase decision. Besides the stronger involvement of consumers, technology also enables new ways to grow, process, distribute and purchase food.
We see three main sub-trends within shaking tech:
- All about the story: Who is the farmer who has grown the ingredients? Where and how has it been processed? Is there a heritage to the technique used? With ever more information readily available at our fingertips, we seek emotionally driven stories to create a connection with brands and products.
- Future food: The whole food supply chain is impacted by technology. It may sound futuristic for many, but it is happening: vertical farms, drones in agriculture, lab-grown meat or milk or 3D printed food with much more yet to come.
- Prosumer: Being a merge of the words “producer” and “consumer” – prosumers help companies design and produce is products. Consumers have the power of choice with personalization and co-creation opportunities.
DATA ENABLES STORYTELLING
While we strongly believe storytelling is essential in today’s marketing of food & beverage products as it helps to build trust, show transparency, celebrate heritage and make consumers aware about processing techniques, we are also convinced that only with the provision of data and facts those stories become valuable for consumers. Data backs up storytelling with the necessary facts and figures.
One technology often used for this is blockchain. 1 in 2 consumers globally find the concept of blockchain tracing of the supply chain of food & drink products appealing and would also access the information provided (Source: FMCG Gurus).
INSPIRING OBSERVATIONS FROM THE MARKET
We have consolidated for you inspiring examples of how different technological developments are used in the food & beverage industry – often by chefs or startups, but also big corporations who have started to invest in certain technologies. Browse through the examples and get prepared for the future of food.
Winnow helps chefs end food waste with artificial intelligence: They provide a waste monitor system that chefs in more than 40 countries worldwide have already implemented. Instead of manually taking notes of when and how much food waste has occurred. The software connected to the trash bin does this automatically. With machine learning this system can automatically identify, measure and track food waste to help avoid it in future.
3D food printing
KFC has announced in July 2020 that they are testing chicken nuggets made with 3D bioprinting technology in Russia. The lab-grown 3D printed nuggets shall mimic taste and appearance of the original KFC nuggets at a fraction of the environmental cost. If they manage to introduce this beyond a test version, it would be the first time ever a major QSR chain sells a lab-grown meat product.
Both customers and farmers can now trace Starbucks coffee in the US. By using Microsoft’s blockchain technology Starbucks will now be able to share with its customers and suppliers traceability data they have been collecting for more than a decade. It will also be the first time now for farmers to know in which blend their coffee beans have ended up and where this blend has been sold.
Self-service machines for elevated personalization
The Finnish dairy company Valio is working on a research project with the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland on a prototype of a snack vending machine that dispensed fiber- and protein-rich dairy or plant-based drinking or spoonable yogurts as snacks according to consumer preferences.