The Rise of the FoodTech Industry: Trends, Ideas, Startups
The FoodTech industry is booming, and for good reason. With the world’s population growing at an alarming rate, the need for efficient and sustainable food production is more crucial than ever.
FoodTech startups are using technology to solve some of the most pressing food problems. From innovative ways to produce food to tools that help restaurants run more efficiently, these startups are changing the way we eat.
If you are interested in learning more about FoodTech or want to join this exciting industry, keep reading. This article will tell you all you need to know about FoodTech, including its key trends and notable startups.
8 major FoodTech trends to watch in 2023
Alternative protein sources
Overpopulation, a growing carbon footprint, ethical considerations, and limited resources on the planet make people gradually refuse animal products. In this regard, companies of alternative protein development are popping up here and there. The manufacturers of AltFood extract protein from plants, insects, and laboratory creations. Every year, the taste of such food gets more similar to the taste of “real” food. Additionally, its nutritional value is often higher, and production is more eco-friendly and cheaper.
Examples of AltProtein startups:
JIMINI’s creates insect snacks, protein bars, granolas, and cracker bites.
The Protein Brewery grows protein-rich food in proprietary laboratories.
Ento raises crickets and uses them to develop nutritious foods.
Food safety and traceability
Modern customers are increasingly concerned about food quality and are willing to pay more for organic and healthy products. Blockchain technology allows tracking of the whole chain of product creation. It gives information about raw materials, transportation and storage conditions, as well as the production of ready-to-eat food. Thanks to the blockchain, consumers are convinced of the high-quality standards of product creation, and companies strengthen their brands.
Examples of food safety startups:
FoodDocs delivers AI-powered software helping food companies to ensure that food-related documents comply with industry standards and legal regulations.
FairFood uses blockchain technology to provide valuable insights into the products’ supply chain from farm to spoon.
AgriLedger allows farmers to trace food origins, store transactional data, and see the whole chain of financial operations.
Each person is unique, so it is impossible to develop a one-size-fits-all nutrition plan. In order to achieve the desired result, you need to consider many factors, such as:
- state of health
- fitness level
- taste habits
Personalized food applications use innovative technologies to design menus and meal times based on users’ needs. Their main goal is to help users optimize their health without changing their lifestyles.
Examples of personalized nutrition startups
FitnessGenes designs personalized nutrition and workout plans based on the user’s DNA analysis.
DayTwo allows users suffering from metabolic diseases to improve sleep quality and overall well-being through the following personalized nutrition plans.
Anrich3D is engaged in food 3D printing to provide custom and handy dishes according to users’ nutrition needs.
Food service digitization
Today, more and more companies are digitizing their services. Banks are abandoning physical offices in favor of Internet banking, eCommerce stores accepting payments through online POS terminals, and financial institutions minimizing paper-based document flow. The food industry is no exception. Modern users can order food from numerous food-selling platforms. Additionally, they can use digital menus in restaurants, AI-based assistants in virtual shops, or digital self-service kiosks in cafes and fast foods.
Examples of food digitization startups:
AAHI develops digital menus for restaurants. The guests can use a digital menu to order through a QR code and pay using NFC.
Lean Restaurant provides a fully-packed digital solution for food service organizations. For example, Kitchen and Waiter apps allow staff to track orders, and E-Menu and E-Payments services provide customers with the ability to make orders and pay through the app.
Winc studies customers’ wine preferences and sends them monthly wine packages based on their subscriptions.
Taste habits analysis
Similar to how AI algorithms analyze customers’ purchasing preferences, they can also study their food tastes. This information can then be used by customers themselves or by food service organizations. For example, if an AI algorithm sees that a user orders fast food daily, it may alert them about the overconsumption of unhealthy food. If it notices that the user prefers Margherita, it may suggest that the pizzeria owner make a personalized offer — two Margheritas plus a drink for free.
Examples of startups engaged in taste habits analysis:
Tastewise analyzes social media and digital food platforms to develop a unique food-selling strategy based on customers’ tastes.
Yuka evaluates the product’s nutritional value, additives, and organic ingredients. Next, it shows healthier alternatives for the user to develop healthier eating habits.
Foodvisor calculates calories based on the photo of the dish and suggests smarter food choices and suggests smarter food choices.
Instead of growing crops in fields or greenhouses, some companies are growing them in dark indoor areas under UV light. This approach is called vertical farming. It produces more yield per square meter than traditional farming, uses less water, and makes plants grow faster without season dependence.
Information technology plays a crucial role in vertical farming. In particular, Internet of Things and machine vision control and optimize crop growth, and mobile apps help adjust plant growing settings remotely.
Examples of vertical farming startups:
AeroFarms follows a mission to grow the best plants for the betterment of society.
Bowery Farming produces greens, herbs, and berries using vertical farming technologies.
Agrilution develops a B2C solution Plantcube which allows consumers to grow fresh greens at home.
Rational use of food
During the process of food production, many products are wasted or thrown away. This leads to unreasonably high costs for organizations and enormous environmental pollution. FoodTech optimizes the cooking process by offering practical solutions for the economical use of food resources. It also brings together representatives of the food industry to jointly make decisions for economical food preparations using advanced technologies and tools.
Examples of startups that optimize food usage:
Lumitics optimizes amounts of food production, preserves yield rates, corrects buying decisions, and crafts menus based on the customers’ preferences.
Food for All displays restaurants that are one hour before close. This allows customers to purchase dishes that would otherwise be thrown away at 80% discounts.
ImpactVision uses computer vision technology to assess the degree of product spoilage. For example, it is possible to evaluate the fruit’s ripeness and decide to sell it abroad or locally.
The time has come when robotic waiters, robotic chefs, and robotic cleaners have become a reality. Of course, it is still too early to talk about widespread robotization; however, companies are gradually adopting this technology, thereby reducing personnel costs, increasing profitability, and moving towards the side of innovations.
Examples of robotization startups:
Miso Robotics develops Lippy, a robot that cooks burgers
Pazzi is a pizzeria where all dishes are cooked by robots
Moley sells robotic kitchens to businesses and individual consumers
Why FoodTech is on the rise
The food industry is a massive market, and it’s only getting bigger. By 2026, the food and beverage industry is expected to be worth a whopping $8,9 trillion. But with the rise of FoodTech, that number is only going to grow.
What is FoodTech? It’s the intersection of technology and food, and it covers everything from food production and processing to delivery and consumption.
Why is FoodTech important? There are a few reasons. First, as the population grows, we need to find more efficient ways to produce, package, transport, and consume food. Second, with advancements in technology, we’re able to do all of those things in smarter, more sustainable ways. Finally, FoodTech startups are constantly coming up with new ideas and solutions to solve some of the biggest challenges in the food industry.
So, if you are looking for a promising niche for business development, consider FoodTech as a win-win solution. Get inspired by successful FoodTech startups and contact our managers to turn your idea into a profitable project.
This article was originally published at Softensy