Alternative ingredients & formulations
Over the next two years, game-changing technologies in plant proteins, mycoproteins, probiotics, and alternative functional ingredients will help the food and beverage industry make progress towards healthier high-protein, vegan, and dairy-free alternatives. New innovations in nanoencapsulation technologies have extended the shelf-life of products containing probiotics and encapsulated antioxidants, both of which are often difficult to integrate into functional foods. Customer demands for food and beverage producers to reduce food waste and help close the circular economy loop are increasing. Meeting such demands has created new business opportunities in using food surplus, upcycled, and rescued ingredients into sustainable alcoholic beverages, snacks, and bio-materials packaging. Lastly, increasing growth in demand for alternative sources of proteins, such as pea protein and soy protein, is creating new opportunities in the fortified dairy-free products industries, including new types of non-dairy milks, yoghurts, and cheeses.
Last-mile personalised food delivery
Over the past two years, the demand for personalised nutrition and home delivery of healthier and more sustainable food has grown significantly. Meeting this demand may be challenging, as the costs associated with the conventional production of fresh meals are higher, requiring fresh ingredients, more equipment, and fast last-mile delivery of meals to customers. However, the recent emergence of portable “ghost kitchen” businesses in combination with smaller autonomous last-mile delivery vehicles and drones for high-payload delivery have created opportunities to reduce both production and delivery costs and create branches with smaller kitchens across the catchment area. In addition, smarter portable chilling systems—such as pressure-injected cyclopentane foam—and heating systems—such as tray-sized inductive heating plates—allow fresh meals to be maintained at appropriate temperatures on their journey from the kitchen’s tray stack to the customer’s plate.