The pandemic has pushed more and more consumers to not only expect better-tasting and healthier food but also consider a brand’s sustainability efforts towards a greener planet
Our 2021 food and nutrition industry trend predictions have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel coronavirus has changed how we shop, where we shop, and what we consume. Consumers have adapted to a new normal, creating and shifting trends that will outlast the current pandemic.
Combining its research team’s deep domain know-how with in-house software and data analytics, FutureBridge identified five key technology trends for 2021:
- Waste valorization, from linear to circular. A third of all globally-produced food ends either as food loss or food waste. This food waste presents an excellent opportunity to feed the world sustainably. Companies such as Incr-edible and NapiFeryn BioTech are transforming waste into beneficial ingredients or products.
- Canola set to challenge soy. It will become even more important to diversify our plant-protein sources to avoid monoculture cropping and biodiversity loss. We predict canola protein could unhinge soy’s dominance in the plant-based space due to its high production capabilities and valuable amino acid profile.
- Plant-based immunity. We expect natural sources of vitamins and minerals to find increased demand in 2021. Botanicals such as acerola and citrus fruits, for example, are popular for their vitamin C content. Our analysts predict that ingredient suppliers will increasingly invest in developing unique plant-based vitamins & minerals to meet these demands.
- Supply chain digitalization. Consumers seek information about how their food is produced, proof of where it comes from, and assurance that it is safe. We are witnessing a shift of digital technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and near field communication from a “nice to have” to a “must-have” by food companies.
- Regenerative, the new sustainable in agriculture. The urgent need to regenerate our agricultural supply base is evident in the emerging business strategies of major actors in the food sector. General Mills has committed to advance regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030. We predict more announcements in this space in 2021.