Key Insights from Food Vision

Food Vision 2014: Bridge knowledge gaps, overcome change and work sustainably

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What is the future of food? Simple communication of complex advances will be crucial, as well as picking up the pace amid a global population boom to feed the world nutritiously and sustainably, according to FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients senior editors.

We spoke to the two senior editors of FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients at this year’s Food Vision event in Cannes about some of the key takeaways from this exclusive event that drew in some of the most innovative and knowledgeable visionaries in the field.

Bridging gaps

Stephen Daniells, senior editor of FoodNavigator-USA and NutraIngredients-USA, said it was important industry looked to bridge the gap between academia and communicate better with consumers.

“If you talk about food creativity, consumers kind of respond to that. If you talk about food technology and science, it kind of creates a level of mistrust… The message that has come through quite strongly is simplify,” he said.

Simplification of the supply chain and on-pack communication for consumers would be needed, he said.

However, Daniells questioned how industry could manage this when the technologies behind food development were becoming increasingly complex.

“How do you bridge that gap between industry, academia and the consumer and present a very simple message for very complicated technology that’s going to come through and present a lot of opportunities for the future?”

Dealing with fast change in a sustainable way

Shane Starling, senior editor of FoodNavigator and NutraIngredients Europe, said one hurdle for the food industry was overcoming change sustainably.

“The world is changing fast and so is the food industry, and people are struggling to know how to deal with that,” he said.

He said there were a range of problems facing industry, one major problem being the impact of food production on the environment.

“A lot of the concerns here are around sustainability. So, a lot of those innovation ideas can help amend or change the way the food production system works.”

Going local? City farms? Still challenges…

Daniells said there had been a significant emphasis on ‘going local’ but queried whether the model could be up-scaled for multinational companies.

Starling said the idea of city farms had been thrown up and could be a potential solution to feeding the growing and fast-changing population.

Both editors agreed, however, that there were a raft of challenges that remained for industry such as aligning company goals with wider global food issues and reconsidering formulations with health and nutrition in mind.

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