I saw the future of food. It is here and now. Like, really weird, wacky, and unimaginable stuff.
This all took place at a recent food innovation conference organized by FoodInno — organized by an unlikely club run by former and current UC Berkeley and Stanford students (who tend to be mortal enemies, at least where sports is concerned).
Future Food Innovators
Food tech accelerator Indie Bio, based in San Francisco, declares itself “the world’s largest seed biotech accelerator.” In a presentation of food innovations coming from its portfolio of food startups we learned about efforts designed to meet future demand for clean foods:
- Animal-free egg whites from Clara Foods
- Simulated shrimp by New Wave Foods that uses technology to “recreate the texture and nutrition of seafood with plants and algae.”
- On the spot food safety testing by AstRoNA Biotechnologies, which is working to make food safety tests “in about an hour” a reality. (Imagine the reduction in food waste if food could be tested rapidly for edibility.
- Wine made without fruit, by Ava Winery, using the flavor elements of wine. Can you see a home kit someday?
- Cafe X – a robotic cafe (like espresso machine-meets-Robocop) that serves third-wave coffees. The value proposition is anywhere, anytime. And that baristas can interact with customers rather than slinging coffee.I wonder if that’s like telling a painter a robot will take care of that so she can focus on selling the art.
Food Innovation Careers & Opportunities
But wait, no need to be a college student!
For Italy-loving, aspiring food innovators of all ages, there’s also the insanely interesting global Food Innovation Program. It kicks off in Reggio-Emilia and takes you through Inspiration, Aspiration, and Perspiration with journeys around the world. #dreamfoodexperience !!!
What does studying food innovation look like?
This example from the 2017 FoodInno conference provides a pretty good answer. We saw work from California College of the Arts student Yunwen Tu, who proposed combining science and technology to create future food concepts that could happen sooner than we think….like this:
More Food Innovation Talk at the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show
The only thing more exciting than talking about trends is talking about what’s to come and how that will solve Big Problems.
The New York Summer Fancy Food Show will feature a panel of food innovators and prognosticators in an education program called “Excite Talks.” Needless to say the future of food retail is a hot topic as well.