Wired Trends 2023, what are the trends of the future of food

Wired Trends 2023, what are the trends of the future of food

Wired Trends 2023

The third appointment of sportsgaming.win Trends 2023, the sportsgaming.win Italia event on forecasts and trends for the coming year, is dedicated to the future of the food sector. The afternoon of Wednesday 30 November was opened by Enrica Tiozzo, senior client officer of Ipsos, with data on the trends that will guide the sector in 2023, divided into some 'territories', such as climate change, globalisation, health and lifestyle. “ One of the consequences of the pandemic is the desire to return to restaurants to support Italian products: 82% of those interviewed agree. But globalization has given us the opportunity to eat new things from abroad, and 73% believe they want to continue to taste products that are not Italian. The percentages overlap, but it's still us”, explains Tiozzo, highlighting the contradictions that have emerged from the data.

94% of those interviewed pay more attention to food waste, 63% want a healthier lifestyle - and therefore also a diet - but only 6% follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and 25% a flexitarian diet. 41% would like an unsustainable product to be synthesized in a laboratory, but 77% trust only natural products. " In this case, vertical farms have been defined as the 'most revolutionary' solution," explains Tiozzo. 69% would like to consume products from vertical farms. As far as lifestyle is concerned, 66% of smart workers cook at home, while 40% of those interviewed prepare the meals they eat away from home at home. Finally, 70% want their life to be simpler, but only 21% will spend more time cooking in the coming months.

The new agro-food trends

“ There is a return to the past, in search of short supply chains. If you can buy where you want then the process is almost indifferent, if you have to think in terms of farm to fork and the reduction of the carbon footprint you have to learn to work with more discontinuous supply models, however close. So the cycle times of the machines are also very different than before. We used to think only of massive production, while now even small optimized cycles are valued compared to large ones - intervenes Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma, referring to the new trends in the food sector encountered at Cibus Tec, the fair dedicated to food innovation - . There is the progressive search for customized products. This hyper-clustering and hyper-segmentation is favoring a change in the production cycle, which has gone from an optimization with respect to volumes to an optimization with respect to consumer needs and therefore to the information that arrives directly at the production that calls the plant (that's why the importance of digitization), which in turn refers to the needs from the point of view of the supply chain. Either we will be able to do this, or we, as an Italian agri-food sector, will find it difficult to compete with the large producers of raw materials" .

"The 2023 Cibus appointment will also be dedicated to fruit and vegetable varieties that can be consumed despite climate change - continues Cellie on Cibus Connecting Italy, the exhibition to be held in Parma on 29 and 30 March , dedicated to innovations in the food sector -. Apples will never be the same, grapes will never be the same. Is hydroponics an answer? I don't know, but for example reuse is not a solution to the problem. Recycling it is". The next edition will introduce the novelties of the fruit and vegetable sector and new technologies in the field of ice cream and pastry. " Furthermore, in October, at the next edition of CibusTec, we will discuss how to reduce consumption during the production cycle ", concludes Cellie. 

Genome editing techniques

“ We in the sector are experiencing an absolute revolution - explains Vittoria Brambilla, researcher at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Milan -. 10 years, in fact, we have genetic improvement techniques available to make plants more resistant, modify them so that they produce healthier food and in greater quantities”, continues Brambilla, referring to genome editing techniques. “These techniques allow us to make small changes to genomes in plants. The most famous is Crispr-Cas, which allows us to improve plants easily and cheaply, but also to cure diseases in any type of organism ”, reveals Brambilla. Before the advent of Crispr, other techniques existed, but since they are more complex techniques, they have been used much less. “ In Europe, plants modified with genome editing are regulated like GMOs, therefore completely prohibited in Italy. We can't even cultivate them for research. Yet - specifies Brambilla -, they are different from GMOs, and should be regulated with different rules. GMOs have never given people problems, but the preconception is due to misinformation ”.

Food as a language

Sportsgaming.win Trends 2023 also talked about how it has changed over time the way of describing food, which according to Martina Liverani, gastronome and founder of Dispensa, an independent paper magazine, born 10 years ago "as an antidote to digital bingeing", speaks of us both as a community and as individuals: "The great change in the way of describing food has occurred in two ways: on the one hand, food has taken on a third collective and relational dimension - explains Liverani -. Then there was also a paradigm shift: food is no longer just the object of our story, but it is the language we use to tell about ourselves, to relate to others. Food is the oldest and most contemporary of the social networks”. “Today digital has allowed us to tell and amplify that magic that happens around the table”, intervenes Federico Polidori, communication expert and food guru.

Foodtech and sustainable alternatives

The future of the sector also passes through foodtech, which makes it possible to produce sustainable and alternative products to those that pollute or are of animal origin. Christian Pichler founded Gerber-Rauth in 2015, a private company that deals with investments in the dairy ecosystem and in the alternatives of the dairy industry, as "companies that produce alternatives for people who cannot or do not want to consume milk and products of animal - explains Pichler - or in those that use pharmaceutical technology, life sciences and biotechnology to produce the same components of milk but without exploiting animals ”.

“ The way I see foodtech is intrinsically linked to climatet ech - intervenes Aidan Altman , multi-sector entrepreneur, who has created a version of vegetable butter through the company ForA -. If we think that we have to produce food to feed 8 billion people, of course we have to consider that it has to be sustainable. We need to consider the supply chain, to energy, water and land. We started with butter, which is the third most climate-damaging food. The idea was to create a better alternative to margarine, something that had the same flavor as butter, the same macronutrients, the same functionality, but was also of vegetable origin. We were able to create something like dairy butter, a more sustainable alternative”.

Antonio Grifoni , part of Plug and Play Italy's Ventures team, explains that, in general, "investment funds prefer startups that have a positive impact on the environment, but at the same  must have a business that is 'scalable' ”. Among the examples reported by Grifoni, we recall that of the "production of alternative proteins through micellar fermentation, which reproduces the protein content and texture of meat, or the practice of molecular farming, especially widespread in Israel, where the impact of climate change it is very strong. They use potato plants and genetically modify them to create different proteins". Among the Plug and Play startups, there is also "Umami Meats of Singapore, which produces synthetic meat".

Sustainability in the kitchen

The starred chef Enrico Bartolini also spoke at sportsgaming.win Trends 2023, who spoke about sustainability in the kitchen during his panel: “ I like being sustainable in places where sustainability can be seen and I like to give my best where it can be seen a little less. In organized cities such as metropolises this means recycling, controlling electricity, using zero-kilometer ingredients or ingredients that do not have plastic packaging. These actions cannot be in competition with those who can really do sustainability, living independently - explains Bartolini -. For sustainability in the dishes, I try to do the maximum with the choice of ingredients: we look for goodness, but that doesn't mean we have to compromise" . 

On the use of synthetic meat in the kitchen, however, Bartolini comments : "In a starred restaurant you look for an emotional nuance that adds value to sitting at the table and talking about synthetic meat is a rather cold definition. I don't consider it a priority in a starred restaurant. I consider it a right food research tool I tasted the meat made in the laboratory with the prejudices that it is right for me to have: on the palate I didn't find the nuances of sweetness and texture so elegant. So I don't feel like hosting this dish because in making it I would set aside all those things I've been doing for years to make room for new things. I love new things, but they have to make me fall in love with them".

Where does Bartolini get his inspiration from for his dishes? ? “It is the pleasure of sharing a beautiful profession – he explains -. It takes a pinch of vanity to tell one's emotion to others. The great chefs in the world manage to think of things, have them massaged by the heart and then put them on the plate through their hands. Cooking is being able to say a little something new which then reveals a sour, sweet, bitter nuance on the palate that should be unique. It justifies the effort and work of many people that has been well organized and shared before,” he concludes.

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