Future of Food – A Report launched by Sainsbury’s as Part of Its 150th Anniversary Celebration

Space farms, food on prescription and jellyfish suppers are all predictions which feature in the Future of Food Report, released by Sainsbury’s today.

Commissioned by Sainsbury’s, futurologists Department 22, leading food historian Dr Polly Russell and plant scientist James Wong explore what, when and how we’ll be eating in 2025, 2050 and 150 years in the future, 2169.

Claire Hughes, Head of Quality and Innovation, Sainsbury’s, commented: “Sainsbury’s has been feeding the nation for 150 years, starting with butter, right through to the incredible array of products available today. We have a long history of innovation in food, and we look forward to continuing that over the next 150 years. We know that we have a role to play in expanding the nation’s diets – seen recently with our introduction of plant based ranges – as the current foods we eat aren’t sustainable for a growing global population that will increase to 9 billion in 30 years, and over 11 billion in the next 150 years.

“By 2169, working alongside our suppliers and producers, we predict to have introduced foods like jellyfish and patch dinners to the British diet that are not even fathomable today.”

2025 – In five years . . . . . .

1. Food as medicine

In five years time, we could see health professional prescribe dietary advice as preventative health. Bio-fortified foods such as Chestnut Super Mushrooms – which are boosted with Vitamin D and B12 – are already on the shelves of Sainsbury’s. Biofortification as a method is predicted to become widespread by 2025, at a time when nutrition could be a recognised tool used to proactively prevent chronic diseases.

2. Planet-friendly food

Due to our rising eco-anxiety, health concerns and awareness of animal welfare, it’s likely that a quarter of all British people will be vegetarian in 2025 (up from one in eight Britons today) and half of us will identify as flexitarians (up from fifth today). Innovation within the plant-based realm will continue with Banana Blossom regularly replacing the likes of cod.

3. Algae milk lattes

The alternative proteins market is set to soar by 25%, with algae milk predicted to become the next plant-milk to take over from the popular nut-based versions.

4. Insect carbonara

Insects will finally shake their ‘ick’ factor and we’ll start stocking up on cricket flour for our bakes and grasshopper pasta for carbonara. Moringa, kedondong and the bambara groundnut will also be found in more of our cupboards, to tackle the issue that nearly two-thirds of our food currently comes from just four crops – wheat, maize, rice and soybean.

2050 – In 30 years . . . . . . .

5. Jellyfish supper

Researchers have recently found that jellyfish makes for a nutritious snack. Full of vitamin B12, magnesium and iron, it’s also low in calories and can be turned into crunchy chips in just a few days. This may well become a popular staple in our diets given the abundance of the species due to warmer oceans and reduced predators.

6. Cultured meat

By 2050 we could start to see cultured meat shift from an expensive experiment to becoming more of an everyday item. Sainsbury’s could be selling home lab-grown meat kits which can be picked up from the ‘lab-grown’ aisle.

7. Customised crops

In 2050 we could pick up a carrot from the shelf and know exactly when it was planted, when was plucked from the ground (to the second) and even its individual taste profile. New technological systems, such as blockchain, and a rising need for more personalised information could soon allow for ‘ultra-customisation’ for consumers. Soon we may well be selecting mangoes at the exact desired stage of ripeness or even 3D printed snacks according to our exact spice tolerance.

2169 – In 150 years . . . . . . .

8. Space farms

Barren landscapes such as parts of the desert could be transformed into sustainable, fertile farmland, thanks to food growing experiments and technologies used on other planets, such as Mars.

9. Implant food deliveries

In 2169, we could start to see personal microchip implants become the norm. Developed to store and analyse all the genetic, health and situational data recorded from our bodies, we’ll know exactly what we should be eating and drinking at any point. Retailers, such as Sainsbury’s could play a critical role, arranging automatic drone deliveries of the required food item or vitamin patch as soon as energy or nutrient levels dip.

10. Patch dinners

Advances in artificial intelligence could mean we will have the option of consuming all the nutrients and vitamins we need through a patch or pill. With our bodies now taken care of, the role of food will once again play the vital role of bringing friends and families together.

James Wong, Plant Scientist, said: “For decades, diets have been simplified to include core ingredients that provided sustenance, and with that we witnessed a decline in the varieties of some ingredients. However, what we are seeing now – especially with the explosion of plant-based foods – is that diversity in food is returning to the British diet, including ancient crops like quinoa and South-East Asian staples such as Jackfruit.

“With that increasing variety in diets, comes more understanding of where our food comes from and a deeper appreciation of food production.”

Dr Polly Russell, Food Historian, added: “Throughout history food trends have been determined by a complex range of economic, political, social and technological factors. Although in many ways how we shop, eat and cook looks radically different from 150 years ago, there are some things which will never change – food has always been an important part in bringing people together. So, even if we end up relying on patch or pill dinners for our physical health by 2169, food will still play a key part in our emotional, social and psychological wellbeing.”

Source: Sainsbury’s


Read the whole report . . . . .

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Innova Market Insight’s Top 10 Food Trends for 2019


Enlarge image . . . . .

1. Discovery: the Adventurous Consumer
2. The Plant Kingdom
3. Alternatives to All
4. Green Appeal
5. Snacking: the Definitive Occasion
6. Eating for Me
7. A Fresh look at Fiber
8. I Feel Good
9. Small Player Mindset
10. Connected to the Plate

Read more . . . . .

U.S. Whole Foods Market Unveils Top 10 Food Trends for 2019

Phil Lempert wrote . . . . . . . . .

I cover issues and trends in the food, retail and agriculture sectors.

Twenty-six subject experts from Whole Foods have been convening for four years to predict what’s coming next to their own shelves and to the food world as a whole. These experts range from a master sommelier and global beverage buyer to a senior R&D culinologist to the president of the Whole Kids Foundation to a produce field inspector to a board-certified, internal medicine physician to a global meat buyer; some actually started out working at the store level.

Before I share their predictions with you, what is unsaid is that the chain, now owned by Amazon, has produced the biggest trend in grocery in decades: They have awaken a previously staid industry and revitalized it as chains both large and small are changing the way they look at grocery. Amazon/Whole Foods has also attracted new talent, some from Ivy League schools who might never have thought about a career in grocery, and led other grocers on the same path. For me one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be to watch where Amazon/Whole Foods leads us next.

Now on to Whole Foods’ top 10 food trends:

Pacific Rim flavors is the top trend, with Whole Foods announcing that its Market and 365 Everyday Value brands will launch a new line of products inspired by Pacific Rim fruits like a guava tropical vinaigrette, pineapple passionfruit sparkling mineral water, mango pudding mix and passionfruit coconut frozen fruit bars. It also expect to see ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste to appear on restaurant and home menus in dishes from breakfast to dinner.

Probiotics have been a trend for a few years now, but Whole Foods predicts they will expand beyond the refrigerated section. New strains of probiotics, such as Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856, are making more shelf-stable applications possible and are starting to appear in pantry staples like granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups and nutrition bars.

Trend No. 3 tries to be a bit cute as Whole Foods call it Phat Fats, based on the growing popularity of keto, paleo, grain-free and even “pegan” (paleo + vegan) diets. Pointing to a change in the consumers’ mindsets about fat, it predicts that higher-protein and lower-carb diets will continue and even expand to new categories in the store, including nutrition bars, snacks of all kinds, vegan coffee drinks, coconut-butter filled chocolates and even new flavors of ghee that range from sweet to savory. According to these experts, fat will be back in a big way. Another one of its trends are new ice creams and frozen desserts that have savory swirls of artisanal cheeses.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just the other day said that legalizing hemp to be grown here in the U.S. will be a part of the new farm bill, allowing hemp researchers to apply for grants and make hemp farmers eligible for crop insurance. (Full disclosure: I sit on the annual Hemp History Week committee and endorse their efforts to legalize the crop). Whole Foods predicts that the current offerings (hemp is grown in Canada and is allowed to be sold on store shelves here as hemp oils, seeds and as ingredients in other foods and beverages) will become much broader as researchers find more benefits from other parts of the plant as consumer interest in cannabis continues to accelerate.

Plant-based foods have been on the rise for the past couple of years but the experts at Whole Foods predict that even more people are exploring plant-based snacking. Their palates crave adventure and want a break from meat, seeking ways to add savory umami flavors into snacks and meals. It expects the meat-based snacking world of jerkies, bacons and pork rinds to be the next big trend in plant-based foods. The frozen food section, featuring new pints with innovative bases like avocado, hummus, tahini and coconut water, is also building on the plant-based trend.

Sea greens are another trends for 2019. Expect to see seaweed butters, kelp noodles, puffed snacks made from water lily seeds, plant-based tuna alternatives made from algae, crispy salmon skins and kelp jerkies.

Packaging continues to be one of sustainability efforts biggest issues – but Whole Foods sees brands making the switch to more compostable packaging. It also sees an emphasis on reusable packaging as produce departments try to push a “BYOVB” (bring your own vegetable bag) effort. In addition, traditional single-use packaging is going multi-use (and compostable), with food wraps made from beeswax and waxed canvas or silicone alternatives to the usual plastic storage bags used for sandwiches and snacks.

Innova Market Insights, which analyzes new food and beverage launches to determine industry trends, names snacking as “the definitive occasion” as people redefine what a snack is. Innova shows 10% in annual growth of global food and beverage launches with a snacking claim over the past 5 years. Whole Foods’ experts seems to agree as they see snacks getting an upgrade. They point to charcuterie or cheese boards as examples and see the trend gravitating towards higher-quality snacks that take us back to our childhoods; including artisanal versions of classics like cheese or peanut butter cracker sandwiches.

Whole Foods’ last trend is focused on the consumer who is aligning with brands that have similar values and supporting those brands with her shopping dollars. It expect to see more shopper support for brands committed to environmental stewardship, animal welfare, women-owned businesses and farms and support programs to relieve poverty throughout the world

Source: Forbes

UK Overtakes Germany to Become World’s Leader for Vegan Food Launches

The UK was the nation with the highest number of new vegan food products launched in 2018, toppling Germany from its number one spot, according to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

From the UK at the forefront global vegan new product development to a sharp rise in UK meat-free consumption – all helped by the rise in popularity of initiatives like Veganuary – UK vegan new product development (NPD) is flourishing.

As many as one in six (16 per cent) food products launched in the UK in 2018 had a ‘vegan’ or ‘no animal ingredients’ claim, doubling from just 8 per cent in 2015, Mintel reveals.

According to the research, Germany has seen numbers of vegan food NPD drop, with the total share of food launches classified as ‘vegan’ falling from 15 per cent in 2017 to 13 per cent in 2018.

Overall, one in 10 (9 per cent) food products launched in Europe in 2018 had a vegan/no animal ingredients claim, doubling from 5 per cent in 2015.

Edward Bergen, global food and drinks analyst at Mintel said, “For a number of years Germany led the world for launches of vegan products. However, 2018 saw the UK take the helm. Germany has certainly plateaued, likely driven by a flooded market with little room to grow further.

“The UK, by contrast, has seen a huge promotion of vegan choices in restaurants and supermarkets. The most poignant of these is the expansion of supermarket own-label options with dedicated vegan ranges in mainstream stores. Additional space is also being freed up by UK supermarkets in the on-the-go aisles and small format stores to help promote vegan food and drink, making it easier for meat-eating consumers to try these new concepts out.

“Meanwhile, initiatives like Veganuary and meat-less Monday allow consumers to flirt with veganism without the long-term commitment.”

Source: Speciality Food magazine

Our Genes Affect Where Fat Is Stored in Our Bodies

A recent study from Uppsala University has found that whether you store your fat around the trunk or in other parts of your body is highly influenced by genetic factors and that this effect is present predominantly in women and to a much lower extent in men. In the study, which is published in Nature Communications, the researchers measured how fat was distributed in nearly 360,000 voluntary participants.

“We know that women and men tend to store fat differently — women have the ability to more easily store fat on the hips and legs, while men tend to accumulate fat around the abdomen to a higher extent,” says lead author Mathias Rask-Andersen, Ph.D. and postdoctoral researcher at the department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University. “This has been attributed to the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen. But the molecular mechanisms that control this phenomenon are fairly unknown.”

The researchers used data from UK Biobank, which is a cohort study of half a million participants in the UK. The participants gave blood samples for genotyping and the distribution of fat tissue was estimated using impedance measurements, i.e. measurements of electrical resistance when an electrical current is fed through the body. In the current study, millions of genetic variants across the genome were tested for association with distribution of fat to the arms, legs or trunk, and the research team identified nearly a hundred genes that affect distribution of adipose tissue to the different compartments of the human body. The researchers also saw a high degree of heterogeneity between sexes.

“We were struck by the large number of genetic effects that were stronger, or only present, in females. Upon closer examination, several of the associated genes were found to encode proteins that actively shape the extracellular matrix, which makes up the supporting structure around cells,” says the group leader docent Åsa Johansson. The findings suggest that remodeling of the extracellular matrix is one of the mechanisms that generates differences in body fat distribution.

Fat stored in the trunk has previously been associated with increased disease risk. Men have a greater amount of abdominal fat than women and this may explain the increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease observed in males. Epidemiological studies have even shown that the ability to store fat around hips and legs gives women some protection against cardiovascular disease. The result of the current study may therefore lead to the development of new interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“The biological systems we highlight in our study have the potential to be used as points-of-intervention for new drugs that are aimed at improving the distribution of body fat and thereby reducing the risk of disease,” says Mathias Rask-Andersen.

Source: Science Daily