Trends and disruptive business models of FoodTech: changing the game in the food industry and our lives

03/17/2017  |  CODE_n Alumni, Entrepreneurship, News | Trends

While smart factories and smart homes are slowly becoming everyday life, technology has also entered the food industry. But what’s awaiting us? How will the restaurant industry look like in the near future and how will technology affect our nutrition? Take a look at the food trends 2017 – and discover how this industry and restaurants will be transformed by digitization!

Over the past few years, digital transformation has entered the restaurant industry with payment systems, purchase orders and reservation lists. But now digitization is spreading out to the food industry as a whole! Following the motto “Everybody eats and everybody is online – why not combining both”, more and more FoodTech startups are stepping into this newly-found market, trying to get a piece of the digital cake. These four trends particularly are coming up to take over the food industry in 2017!

FoodTech Trend #1: ‘robot’ restaurants

In Asia’s major cities, they already exist: restaurants driven by robots! No matter whether they are used for food preparation or for table service, your restaurant will get more automated thanks to them. From ordering on a digital device, over automated service to getting your meal prepared by a robot, every process step can be digitized. So maybe in the future you can’t complain to the chef any more about too much salt in your soup 😉 Our alumnus orderbird contributes to ‘robot’ restaurants with its digital cash register system. Its CEO and Co-Founder, Jakob Schreyer, puts in a nutshell how digitization is changing the restaurant industry:: “Digitization is one main challenge of today’s restaurant industry. There are so many opportunities to create an unforgettable restaurant experience with great digital services – which can be visible or invisible for the guests.“ Read more about the successful story of orderbird and the founders here.

FoodTech Trend #2: smart packaging

Packaging is another aspect of the food industry that will be changed by digital transformation. Smart packages will be able to monitor the condition of wrapped foods during transport and storage and thereby determine their edibility. Sensors incorporated on smart labels, e.g. using nanotechnology will be able to detect microorganisms or gases present in the package. Another upcoming solution is a counting process for fresh food that starts right after opening the groceries package and shows how many days ago it was opened or how long it will be edible. This will avoid food been thrown away and will therefore help to accomplish trend number 3.

FoodTech Trend #3: sustainability

Food waste is a huge problem in our society with tons of edible food thrown away every day. This makes sustainability a major factor for the future of food industry! With the entry of technology in this industry a variety of applications and IoT gadgets to avoid food waste are on the rise. Apps to save leftover food from restaurants or groceries are also a new trend: managing the inventory or sharing offers for the remaining food is also a way of helping. IoT like smart refrigerators will be another way to make less waste at home by managing your grocery list and monitoring your food, so nothing will spoil without getting unnoticed.

FoodTech Trend #4:Augmented Transparency

The demand for information about nutrition, ingredients and origin of food has been growing in the past years and therefore has created the demand for Augmented Transparency. Through smart labels we will be able to dive even deeper into the catalogs of information about our food and additional service information will be integrated to overcome the limited space available on printed product labels. All data could be filtered based on personal preferences, offering usage instructions, educational events, customized recipes and much more!

Digital transformation has entered the food industry through the front door and brings many exciting trends. The rising number of startups in this segment will not only make our lives easier when ordering food, but also make us more conscious about our handling with food as well as offer great chances to avoid food waste, which is currently a problem. So who knows what new interesting developments await us in the next few years!