The latest in FoodTech and companies that contribute to feeding the world

Agriculture is perhaps the oldest human industry. Advances in AgTech and foodtech over the centuries have produced sufficient periods of food security to enable the survival of the human race. When new agricultural technologies and food tech trends such as fertilizers, pesticides and advanced irrigation solutions, as well as food storage solutions such as canning, created an abundance of affordable food, society was able to move forward and focus on broader development.

Despite our tremendous scientific progress, food security remains fragile – and even elusive. 10% of the world’s population will go to bed hungry tonight. Malnutrition robs children of their potential and famines still threaten hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Even price increases for basic foodstuffs can cause chaos and have serious consequences for social stability. Despite our planet’s amazing potential, we face the same life-and-death food challenges that our ancestors struggled with.

The good news is that we are already in a new technological revolution. Innovations such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 5G and 6G, big data, 3D printing and quantum computing are transforming the world at a pace and scale unprecedented in human history. Technological innovations are also driving food technology trends in 2024, driving a new agricultural revolution. For the first time in human history, we may be able to feed the world thanks to new technologies.

The sustainable thinking that will drive food tech trends in 2024

Not only do we have a host of exciting new technologies to transform global agriculture. There is a fundamental shift in the thinking behind the use of AI, big data and the Internet of Things in agritech.

The underlying philosophy driving the food tech trends of the 21st century is sustainability. Emphasis is placed on adapting to challenges such as climate change. Agritech and foodtech innovators are looking for ways to nurture and improve the environment. This starts with reducing soil erosion, combating desertification and deforestation, and reclaiming marginal lands.

There is also a strategic drive towards net zero carbon emissions in agriculture and food production, and a growing recognition that we need to reduce pressure on key infrastructure (while reducing dependence on staple food imports). New technologies and food products improve the viability of local agriculture and even urban agriculture. It makes economic, ecological and strategic sense to grow and produce food close to the consumer.

Growers and processors who can integrate circular economies into their operations, with effective recycling, reliance on green hybrid energy networks and the ability to use local resources and create local jobs, are well on their way to creating truly sustainable businesses. They can also reduce operating costs and return some of their profits to the communities where they are located.

3 companies that stimulate and create trends in the field of food tech

Foodtech and agritech encompasses a wide variety of products and technologies. A quick look at three top companies provides useful insight into key food tech trends in 2024 and the size of the market.

1. Unilever (LSE: ULVR, NYSE, UL)

Unilever is a British-based multinational company responsible for some of the most popular food brands in the world. The company has a huge presence and influence in the global food industry and is trying to bring about positive change with its Future Food Strategy. Unilever innovates to reduce waste in its own supply chain and packaging, and through consumer education.

Unilever is one of the largest food manufacturers to see the potential of plant-based ingredients. Unilever R&D devotes resources to systematically replacing animal ingredients in its food products with plant-based substitutes. The company also uses new technological processes to reduce salt and sugar content in its food products, without compromising on taste, texture and bite experience. Unilever is a great example of how a multi-billion dollar conglomerate can adapt in response to new trends in food technology and consumer expectations.

2. ICL Group (NYSE: ICL)

ICL Group is not only a leading global specialty minerals company and one of the largest fertilizer manufacturers in the world, but also excels in providing functional ingredient systems that improve the texture and stability of foods and beverages, demonstrating its deep commitment to the development of sustainable innovations in food technology. ICL is known for its wide range of fertilizers, agricultural solutions and its innovations as a material supplier for smart battery manufacturers. The company is also driving agri-food tech trends through its innovation accelerator Planet Startup Hub. One of its key objectives is to drive innovation across the agri-food technology sector and contribute to the collective effort to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger.

They also have a deep background in the extraction and production of phosphates – a key ingredient in the food industry – and play a crucial role not only in improving the nutritional value, quality, shelf life and safety of food products, but also in promoting sustainable development. agricultural practices.

3. Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND)

Beyond Meat is a US-based company founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. The company’s mission is to fight climate change by producing plant-based meat substitutes. Beyond Meat is one of the best-known alternative protein pioneers and initially thrived, with a successful IPO in 2019. The company grew quickly, but recently scaled back its operations.

Despite 2023 being a difficult year, BYND is showing resilience and continues to invest in new research and development, and is committed to the continued development of alternative proteins – and to bringing them to market as tasty meat substitute products. Beyond Meat’s technology and production have come a long way since the original line of Chicken Strips. Nevertheless, it faces some major marketing challenges to stimulate public enthusiasm in a society where real meat is relatively cheap and ubiquitous.

Food technology helps feed the world

The agriculture and food industries have an undeserved reputation for being slow to adopt new technologies from science and industry. In 2024, agriculture and food production will be an ultra-high-tech business that creates excellent opportunities to contribute to the challenges of ending world hunger.