Updated: Dec 20, 2020
By Carmit Oron, CEO & co-founder at ACT Food-tech Hub.
Covid-19 has changed our daily habits, behaviors, and has shifted our focus onto our health and well-being. With such a dramatic behavioral changes, we have also changed what we eat.
“There is a renewed interest in health and nutrition that advances health and strengthens the immune system. I think this is here to stay, certainly throughout the later stages of this pandemic, and we believe also beyond that.” says Nestle CEO, Mark Schneider.
Back in August of this year, Nestle acquired Aimmune Therapeutics Inc., a peanut allergy treatment, for $2.6B in its biggest push yet into the health science field. This follows the 2018 $2.3B deal by Canadian supplements manufacturer Atrium Innovations, adding brands such as Garden of Life probiotics and CBD drops.
“Personalized vitamins, minerals, and supplements are going to be the next frontier,” Schneider claimed, adding "Nestle is working on some new offerings."
As we move into the new year, we’ll see more people looking to eat food that serve specific purposes. Here are the major trends to follow:
The future of food and drink will take cues from the supplement market, calling attention to the roles that specific ingredients play in improving overall health and well-being. For example, elderberry fruit is loaded with antioxidants that help combat inflammation. In some lab studies, an extract from the berries appears to block flu viruses. COVID-19 is creating a path for entrepreneurs to seek natural solutions to support a healthy immune system.
Mental health has also become a priority for many people. While food alone cannot treat or cure depression, anxiety, or stress, eating mostly unprocessed foods, rich in a variety of nutrients, may help support our mental health.
In 2021, we’ll see more food and beverage companies coming out with products that contain fewer ingredients with higher impact, like reducing stress and improving sleep. myAir is a food tech startup tackling stress management via a super-plant, personalized-based nutrition solution.
Food Brand Backstory
Many consumers are also interested in learning about a company’s backstory. All food items and dishes have a story and history attached to them. Food startups should focus on the meaning behind their products and give consumers a reason to believe the impact of purchasing it.
Meat is undergoing a rebranding campaign. In the burgeoning realm of meat alternatives, meat is no longer defined by its origin or composition. It is defined by its structure, taste and role on our plate. There will be a growing push to reduce the intake of animal products. According to Statista, up to 60% of millennials are interested in adopting a flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian, diet.
The Effect of Food Transparency
In the past, food and supplement companies have been very secretive about their ingredients and practices. With consumers more concerned with the nutritional quality, there will be a growing expectation that companies are transparent and honest about their products.
What’s more, many consumers will look to support companies with philanthropic practices, such as giving part of their proceeds to an honorable cause, supporting educational opportunities or protecting the environment.
These trends will create promising food-tech opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors - and Israel has become home to some of the most promising innovations in food.