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5 food trends for 2020

1. Meat-free
According to data seen by M&S (poised to launch a new range of vegan ready meals and on-the-go options), 3.5 million people now identify as vegan, 20% of under-35s have tried veganism, and 25% of our evening meals are now meat-free

2. Hidden vegetables
Gato & Co puddings (that use vegetables to reduce refined sugar content) and Dr Oetker’s new Yes, It’s Pizza vegetable-dough bases are indicative of how many people are keen to cut down on carbs and increase their intake of vegetables – but without forgoing life’s indulgences. You can expect to see more hidden vegetable products in 2020

3. Rum
Rum is coming up fast. Millenials are particularly partial to barrel-aged, small-batch craft rums, fine rums from traditional Caribbean makers and now, British rums from, for instance, Essex’s English Spirit

4. Recyclable or lower impact packaging
Waitrose & Partners are stocking two new organic Chateau Maris wines in recyclable cans, while Carlsberg is gluing its cans together to create an easily snap-able bond, which, it says, will remove 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste annually

5. Going cashless
Bars, coffee shops, casual restaurants and even food stalls are increasingly (and controversially) going card-only. In Manchester, Takk and Öl are cash-free, as are Bristol’s The Athenian and Aberfeldy’s Habitat Café


The Non-Alcoholic Happy Hour Goes Mainstream

Whether you call them mocktails, zero-proof or spirit-free drinks, non-alcoholic beverages are becoming a staple at happy hours around the country. Expect to see even more zero-proof drinks as hops-infused sparkling waters and alternatives to liquors meant to be used with a mixer such as botanical-infused faux gin continue to pop up everywhere from bar menus to specialty stores.

Not-So-Simple Sugars

Instead of reaching for honey to sweeten your baking project why not try a sweet syrupy reduction from a starch or fruit source? Syrups from monk fruit, pomegranate, coconut, sweet potato, sorghum, and dates will pop up as ways to add a touch of sweetness to dessert recipes and even meat glazes and marinades.

Meat-Plant Blends

And as consumers continue to seek out plant-based alternatives, meat companies are seeing if consumers will opt for burgers made of meat but less of it. The Blended Burger Project, a movement started by the James Beard Foundation takes classic burgers and blends them with at least 25 percent of a plant-based foods such as fresh mushrooms. Whole Foods Market staff believes they’ll be selling more burgers composed of a mix of beef and plant-based ingredients from brands like Applegate and Lika, in the year to come.


The Top Healthy Food Trends to Expect

1. Kombucha, Kefir, and Other Gut-Friendly Fare Are Still Hot

While getting your fill of gut-healthy prebiotics and probiotics was on the rise in 2019, you’ll continue to find this trend growing in 2020. According to the Mayo Clinic, prebiotics help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Meanwhile, probiotics contain bacteria that support the population of healthy gut microbes.

2. Oats Aren’t Showing Up Only in Milk
While getting your fill of gut-healthy prebiotics and probiotics was on the rise in 2019, you’ll continue to find this trend growing in 2020. According to the Mayo Clinic, prebiotics help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Meanwhile, probiotics contain bacteria that support the population of healthy gut microbes.

3. Veggies Are Getting More Convenient to Eat

If coffee shops brewing with oat milk is a big deal, here’s tremendous news: Oats are blowing up as a major trend in 2020. In addition to oat milks such as those offered by Oatly, Planet Oat, and Elmhurst 1925, you can find oats in everything from a La Colombe Oatmilk Draft Latte (pictured here) and Halsa Foods Oatgurt to Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilkgurt. Oats are also prevalent in more traditional products, such as a new Sprouted Honey Oat bread from Northern Bakehouse.

4. The Gluten-Free Diet Isn’t Going Anywhere in 2020

These days, gluten-free options abound. Products include everything from gluten-free oats (pictured here) and baking flour from Bob’s Red Mill to boxed gluten-free lentil and chickpea pasta from Tolerant Foods and gluten-free breads, English muffins, and brownies from Canyon Bakehouse. You’ll also find innovative gluten-free replacements for traditional foods, such as quinoa croutons from Carrington Farms, seed-based granola from 88 Acres, and almond-flour bars from Simple Mills.

5. New Plant-Based “Dairy” Will Come From Surprising Sources

Looking for a plant-based milk? Your options now include much more than almond and soy milk. From banana and walnut to hemp, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, oat, and flaxseed milk, products now exist to suit almost any dietary preference and need.

6. There Will Be Even More Innovative Lactose-Free Dairy Products

There’s no shortage of food for people with specific dietary needs. That includes lactose-free dairy and dairy alternatives — and we’re not talking just milk. You can now find lactose-free cottage cheese, kefir, and yogurt from Green Valley Creamery. And Cabot Cheese boasts a “lactose-free” label on several of its cheeses, including aged cheddar and Colby jack. Furthermore, Icelandic skyr from Icelandic Provisions is naturally 90 percent lactose-free, the company says.

7. Keto-, Paleo-, and Low-FODMAP-Friendly Foods Are Staying Trendy

Many people are becoming increasingly aware of their own dietary sensitivities, and low-FODMAP eating is one of the approaches that’s emerged as a result of this trend. Originally designed to help treat people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), this eating style has been adopted by many people, regardless of receiving this diagnosis, in hopes of soothing digestive issues.

8. Hemp and CBD Are Going Mainstream in the Food World

No doubt you’re seeing hemp everything pop up, from foods made with hempseeds to CBD beverages and more. Find hemp oil from Carrington Farms, hempseed-based granola and protein bars from Manitoba Harvest, and CBD-infused ginger beer from Reed’s (pictured here).

9. Vitamin D Fortification of Foods Is Growing

When the 2015–20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans named vitamin D a nutrient of concern — and subsequently, the FDA increased the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin D — food manufacturers began reformulating products. Today, cereal boxes have more vitamin D than ever before. “Cereal is one of few foods that is consumed across the life span — meaning children eat it, older adults eat it, and so does everyone in between,” says Minneapolis-based Amy Cohn, RD, manager of nutrition and external affairs at Big G Cereal. “Because of this, by optimizing fortification we can support good nutrition to a large portion of the population.”

10. Plant-Based Foods Are Becoming More Available in Packages

The plant-based packaged-food category is more expansive than ever, and plant-based eating is celebrated as a top 2020 trend by Whole Foods Market. “The plant-based movement ties into a number of trending consumer priorities, including health protection, environmental stewardship, and ethically driven eating,”


The future of food: what we’ll eat in 2028

We’ve all heard that the future menu may involve less meat and dairy. But don’t worry, we could have customised diets, outlandish vegetables, robot chefs and guilt-free gorging to look forward to instead. And we reckon that makes up for missing out on the odd sausage

In 2028 food will be tailored to your genome

In the next 10 years, the emerging field of ‘personalised nutrition’ will offer healthy eating guidance tailored to the individual

In 2028 food will be engineered to be more nutritious

Over the next ten years, the number of nutritionally enhanced crops will probably explode. Precise DNA-editing technology – namely a technique called CRISPR-Cas9 – now allows alteration of plant genetic code with unprecedented accuracy. Get ready for tasty apples with all the goodness of their bitter forebears, peanuts that don’t trigger allergies, and lentils that have a protein content equivalent to meat. It will be like creating the orange carrot all over again!

In 2028 food will be different from anything you have tasted before

Unusual processed foods will make a splash in the years to come, including novelties like edible spray paint, algae protein snack bars, beer made with wastewater, and even lollipops designed to cure hiccups. We don’t know exactly what will be on tomorrow’s supermarket shelves (if supermarkets still exist, that is) due to the secretive nature of the multinational food corporations. But we do know that ice cream and chocolate that don’t melt in warm weather are definitely under development. Nanotechnology is going to feature: researchers are currently devising nanoparticles that give delayed bursts of flavour in the mouth, and earlier this year, a team of chemists created tiny magnetic particles that bind to and remove off-tasting flavour compounds in red wine while preserving its full aroma.

CBD Became All-Consuming

From cookie dough and sparkling water to popcorn and chocolate, the seemingly infinite number of edible products that now contain CBD overwhelmed all of our senses in 2019. Quick recap: CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis (aka marijuana) that is said to come with countless health benefits, including soothing sore muscles, easing anxiety and inducing sleep. CBD originally gained traction in 2018, when the U.S. Farm Bill removed hemp (a strain of the cannabis plant from which CBD can be extracted) from the Controlled Substances Act. The move made the production of CBD-containing products not only legal but also a bit more affordable. Cue the countless CBD products that infiltrated the wellness space — fast. Chefs predicted CBD-infused beverages and foods would be the top two biggest trends in food in 2019, according to a January 2019 survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association. Not surprisingly, brands listened. Mondelez, the maker of household staples like Oreos and Triscuits, announced that it was considering entering the CBD snack space in May (it hasn't, yet). Smaller companies have acted faster. You can now find Recess, the millennial-friendly CBD sparkling water brand that calls its product "an antidote to modern times," both online and in some stores.

Emerging trends shaping the future of food

The challenges and opportunities facing the food and agricultural industry are spurring a wave of innovation. Here, we look at main trends and some startups trying to shake the future of food and agri.

1. Plant-based and personalised nutrition​

There is an exceptional increase of the population now on an exclusively plant-based diet and many consumers are looking for ways to simply improve their nutrition. With this in mind, companies are working harder than ever to truly diversify the way we eat and to create a personalised experience for the consumer, giving them competitive edge in an increasingly crowded market.

2. Sustainable packaging and waste reduction​

As the world becomes more aware than ever about the need to eliminate single-use plastics, the removal of unnecessary packaging whilst continuing to keep produce fresh has come under the spotlight of vital requirements to aid the environment. A significant number of innovators and entrepreneurs have responded with technologies they hope will revolutionise the way our food is packaged and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

3. Future farming technology​

Taking agricultural development to the next level, a selection of startups offer revolutionary sustainable solutions to the future of farming. Aiming to fundamentally improve global food production and innovate the current fertiliser supply chain, N2 Applied​ adds nutrient value to manure, enabling farmers to replace mineral fertiliser with one that is environmentally-friendly.

4. Sustainable supply chain solutions

Finding a way to control the world’s food waste issues and put used materials back into the supply chain is a crucial practice within the food and agriculture industry, to help sustain the environment. The industry must take drastic measures at every level of food production to become savvy on not only reducing waste but preventing it from happening in the first instance.

Top 5 food tech innovations

Today’s food and agriculture companies are striving to feed a growing population in a world under increasing under threat from climate change. Innovation in how we produce food could be the answer

1. Lab-grown meat

Previously the stuff of science fiction, lab-grown or ‘cultured’ meat is soon to arrive on our dinner tables. When the first lab-grown burger was unveiled in 2013, it cost $280,000 to produce. Now start-ups believe these burgers could soon hit supermarket shelves for $10 each.

2. Biodegradable packaging

Many companies are now developing innovative biodegradable alternatives that harness waste products in the food industry, such as the six to eight million metric tons of shellfish waste produced every year. Scientists have found a use for this waste by turning the chitin from the shells of shellfish into chitosan, which serves as a biodegradable plastic wrap that could be used in food packaging.

3. Ghost kitchens

In the US, the restaurant delivery service industry makes up $19bn of the economy. However, the rising popularity of services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats can be bad news for local restaurants. Delivery charges can take around 25 to 35 percent in commissions, which can eat into restaurants’ already slim profit margins. Coupled with the costs of operating a restaurant, many are choosing to cut out the middleman and embrace a fully virtual restaurant model.

4. Vertical farming

There are high hopes vertical farming could reinvent agriculture and meet rising demands for food. Vertical farming is the umbrella term for crops that are grown indoors in urban areas, usually inside huge warehouses. Urban farms present an attractive solution in countries where there’s very little arable land, or in countries that are very dependent on imported food. Vertical farms use much less land and water, and even produce 200 to 400 percent higher yields thanks to close monitoring of the plants’ nutrition intake. This also negates the need for pesticides.

4. Super crops

In an increasingly challenging climate, people will require crops that are more resilient to extreme weather while also being richer in nutrition. This can be achieved through selective breeding and biofortification, where micronutrients are added to foods at the agricultural stage by crossbreeding standard plant varieties with their wild relatives. Genetic engineering is another option; scientists have found they could genetically modify crops to make them more drought-resistant.


Top 20 Innovative Food Startups

Innovative Food is a category of agrifood tech startups encompassing novel food products and ingredients such as alternative meat – both plant-based and cell-culture-based — insect protein, alternative sugars, and flavor enhancers.

Here are the top 20 innovative food fundings from 2020:

1. Impossible Foods – Redwood City, Cal.-based Impossible Foods, one of the most mature plant-based meat startups, raised a $114m convertible note bridge round with Singapore state fund Temasek and Sailing Capital. It’s unclear if the round is a precursor to an IPO.

2. Ripple Foods – Cultured dairy products maker Ripple Foods closed a $65 million Series C round led by Euclidean Capital, S2G Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Fall Line Capital, GV, and others. Based in Emeryville, Cal., it’s Ripptein pea-based protein is used in a range of products including pea milk and half & half substitute.

3. Beyond Meat – Based in Manhattan Beach, Cal., the plant-protein meat substitute startup raised a $50 million Series H with DNS Capital and Cleveland Avenue. It also filed to go public under the symbol BYND a month later.

4. kite hill – The cultured dairy startup raised a $40 million uncategorized venture round from General Mills’ venture arm 301 INC and CAVU Venture Partners. Its products are already available in major supermarkets nationwide Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, and Publix.

5. Huel – Dubbed the European version of Soylent, the Los Angeles-based startup closed a £20 million ($26.43 million) venture round with Highland Europe. Its product is a dry, oat-colored powder that it claims provides a complete nutrient profile.

6. Dixie Elixirs – Raising $25 million in a Series C round led by Irving Investors, the Denver-based startup is infusing a range of different consumer products with cannabis. It also applied for listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

7. Puris Proteins – The Minneapolis non-GMO ingredients maker completed two fundings in 2018. In January, it completed a $25 million venture round with major ag company Cargill and signed a partnership with the corporation.

8. MycoTechnology – Operating out of Aurora, Colorado, the fungi-focused ingredients maker raised $23 million towards its Series C round for its sweetener and protein ingredient products. The first close on its Series C was co-led by existing investors S2G Ventures and Middleland Capital. It later raised an additional $5 million in January 2019 to top off the round.

9. Jennewein Biotechnologie – This German startup completed a €15 million ($16.96 million) with the European Investment Bank. The company manufactures a range of rare sugars used in the food and cosmetics industries.

10. Puris Proteins – Six months after completing its $25 million Series C (see above), the startup closed a $12.5 million Series D again with Cargill for its non-GMO plant-based products.

11. NextFoods – The Boulder, Colorado-based startup raised a $12 million venture round with General Mills’ venture arm 301 INC for its GoodBelly line of probiotic products.

12. Plus Products – The California cannabis products developer closed a $6 million Series B financing round led by Serruya Private Equity Partners and Navy Capital Green Fund. A few months later, it completed its CAD$20 million (%15.04 million) IPO.

13. Mosa Meat – Founded by Mark Post and based in the Netherlands, this startup was one of the first to replicate a burger in a lab. It raised a €7.5 million ($8.5 million) Series A funding led by M Ventures.

14. 3fbio – As a Glasgow-based cell-cultured meat company, 3fbio raised a £6.1 million ($8.12 million) Series A round led by The University of Stratchclyde, Scottish Investment Bank, EOS, Data Collective, and private investors.

15. Sunfed Meats – Based in Auckland, New Zealand, the pea protein company raised a NZ$10 million ($6.8 million) Series A round led by Blackbird Ventures.

16. Plus Products – Based in California, the cannabis products maker filed for its $20 million Canadian IPO in 2018.

17. Good Catch – The New York-based startup is creating plant-based seafood and closed an $8.7 million Series A led by Stray Dog Capital and New Crop Capital.

18. YCook – The India-based organic ready-to-cook processed food startup raised a $5 million Series B led by 021 Capital.

19. Liquid I.V – Located in California’s Marina Del Rey, the health science nutrition and wellness company raised a $5 million Series B round led by CircleUp.

20. Stem – Formerly Cambridge Glycosciences, the Y Combinator grad closed an undisclosed seed round involving AgFunder.

I love food, and the food industry is huge, and I just love dealing in it.

Chubby Checker

Top five new innovative food technologies

1. Shockingly tender meat

Based on pulses of mechanical pressure, shockwaves can be generated either by detonating explosives (as did the first system of this type developed during the 90s) or electrical discharges under water.

2. Forward osmosis for food

Many foods and beverages go through a concentration step during processing (like your favourite fruit juices, milk and other dairy products) that makes them last long enough to be shipped and stored or used as an ingredient in another product. However, heat, vacuum and pressure used in this step can reduce the quality of some food and beverage products and use a lot of energy.

3. Super dry tech

Drying to preserve seasonal foods or foods with a short shelf-life is an effective way of providing food and its nutrients all year round. Drying is a significant global industry – many of the foods we love come from this industry: dried fruit and vegetables, coffee, powdered foods and pasta. Drying is an energy intensive process because it uses high temperatures or long drying times, which can mean thermal degradation in the food and inferior product quality.

4. High pressure thermal processing

Pasteurising food using high temperatures, although making them safe to eat, can change the natural taste, colour, texture and nutritional value. Researchers have looked into high pressure processing with added heat, called high pressure thermal processing (HPTP), and we’ve invented a world-first innovation – a canister that adds mild heat to existing high pressure processing machines. This innovation is suitable for making some products microbiologically safe using far less heat compared to conventional food preservation technologies.

5. Antenna microwave

Food scientist have invented a microwave technology that heats food evenly, unlike conventional microwave systems. We all know from our microwave ovens at home that they heat food unevenly. That’s not much of a problem from a food safety perspective because we usually eat the food we’ve heated straightaway. The problem with uneven cooking for commercial food products that are transported and stored is that microorganisms may still lurk in the less cooked areas. Scientist invented a microwave technology that heats evenly, which could be used for food pasteurisation requirements, and other applications where even heating is required.