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Final Report Task 2
December 2010 M. Leis, TNO G. Gijsbers,TNO F. van der Zee, TNO
Consortium Europe Innovation Watch
This publication has been produced as part of the Europe INNOVA initiative. The views expressed in this report, as well as the information included in it, do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the European Commission and in no way commit the institution. This publication is financed under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) which aims to encourage the competitiveness of European enterprises.
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch
Detailed insights into sectoral innovation performance are essential for the development of effective innovation policy at regional, national and European levels. A fundamental question is to what extent and why innovation performance differs across sectors. The second SIW project phase (2008-2010) aims to provide policy-makers and innovation professionals with a better understanding of current sectoral innovation dynamics across Europe SIW Coordination: TNO Carlos Montalvo (firstname.lastname@example.org) Annelieke van der Giessen (email@example.com)
Central to the work of the Sectoral Innovation Watch is analysing trends in, and reporting on, innovation performance in nine sectors (Task 1). For each of the nine sectors, the focus will be on identifying the innovative agents, innovation performance, necessary skills for innovation, and the relationship between innovation, labour productivity and skills availability. Sector Innovation Performance: Carlos Montalvo (TNO) Automotive: Michael Ploder (Joanneum Research) Knowledge Intensive Business Services: Christiane Hipp (BTU-Cottbus) Biotechnology: Christien Enzing (Technopolis) Space and Aeronautics: Annelieke van der Giessen (TNO) Construction: Hannes Toivanen (VTT) Textiles: Bernhard Dachs (AIT) Electrical and Optical Equipment: Tijs van den Broek Wholesale and Retail Trade: Luis Rubalcaba (Alcala) / (TNO) Hans Schaffers (Dialogic) Food and Drinks: Govert Gijsbers (TNO) The foresight of sectoral innovation challenges and opportunities (Task 2) aims at identifying markets and technologies that may have a disruptive effect in the nine sectors in the future, as well as extracting challenges and implications for European companies and public policy. Sector Innovation Foresight: Matthias Weber (Austrian Institute of Technology) Automotive: Karl Heinz Leitner (AIT) Knowledge Intensive Business Services: Bernhard Dachs (AIT) Biotechnology: Govert Gijsbers (TNO) Space and Aeronautics: Felix Brandes (TNO) Construction: Doris Schartinger (AIT) Textiles: Georg Zahradnik (AIT) Electrical and Optical Equipment: Tijs van den Broek Wholesale and Retail Trade: Susanne Giesecke (AIT) (TNO) Food and Drinks: Govert Gijsbers (TNO) Task 3 will identify and analyse current and potential bottlenecks that influence sectoral innovation performance, paying special attention to the role of markets and regulations. Specifically, the analysis will cover the importance of the different factors in the propensity of firms to innovate. Role of markets and policy/regulation on sectoral patterns of innovation: Carlos Montalvo (TNO) Katrin Pihor (PRAXIS) Klemen Koman (IER) Task 4 concerns five horizontal, cross-cutting, themes related to innovation. The analyses of these horizontal themes will be fed by the insights from the sectoral innovation studies performed in the previous tasks. The horizontal reports will also be used for organising five thematic panels (Task 5). The purpose of these panels is to provide the Commission services with feedback on current and proposed policy initiatives. Horizontal reports National specialisation and innovation performance Organisational innovation in services Emerging lead markets Potential of eco-innovation High-growth companies Fabio Montobbio (KITes) and Kay Mitusch (KIT-IWW) Luis Rubalcaba (Alcala) and Christiane Hipp (BTUCottbus) Bernhard Dachs (AIT) and Hannes Toivanen (VTT) Carlos Montalvo and Fernando Diaz Lopez (TNO) Kay Mitusch (KIT-IWW)
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector
Executive Summary .............................................................................................................................. 3 1 2 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 7 Current situation ......................................................................................................................... 8 2.1 Historical evolution of the sector – past and recent trends .............................................. 8
2.2 Sectoral characteristics and current innovation themes ......................................................... 10 2.2.1 Market organisation and market structure ...................................................... 10 2.2.2 Sub-segments................................................................................................. 11 2.3 Evolution, structure and current state of play - implications for future innovations ................. 12 3 Drivers of innovation and change ........................................................................................... 14 3.1 S&T drivers .................................................................................................................... 14 3.1.1 Epigenetics, nutrigenomics and neurosciences ............................................. 14 3.1.2 Miniaturisation, biotechnology and nanotechnology....................................... 15 3.1.3 Material sciences and intelligent packaging ................................................... 16 3.1.4 Automation, robotics and ICT ......................................................................... 16 Demand-side drivers and emerging product markets .................................................... 17 3.2.1 Aliments against ailments - health consciousness, disease and ageing........ 17 3.2.2 Food safety and consumer confidence .......................................................... 19 3.2.3 Ethical concerns and sustainability................................................................. 20 3.2.4 Convenience food and take away food/home delivery ................................... 20 3.2.5 Price consciousness, affordability and value for money................................. 21 3.2.6 Taste ............................................................................................................... 22 Intersection of S&T and demand-side drivers ................................................................ 23 3.3.1 Knowledge-Bio-Based-Economy (KBBE) ....................................................... 23 3.3.2 Consumer sensitivity as crucial factor ............................................................ 24 3.3.3 Innovation and technology as chance ............................................................ 25
Scenarios ................................................................................................................................... 26 4.1 4.2 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 26 Scenarios ....................................................................................................................... 28 4.2.1 Scenario 1: Business as usual (base-line scenario) ....................................... 28 4.2.2 Scenario 2: Going natural ............................................................................... 30 4.2.3 Scenario 3: Cheap & convenient .................................................................... 34 4.2.4 Scenario 4: High tech nutrition ....................................................................... 36 4.2.5 Scenario 5: Emergency .................................................................................. 39 Concluding remarks ....................................................................................................... 41
Emerging innovation themes and their requirements .......................................................... 43 5.1 New products, processes and technological trajectories ............................................... 43 5.1.1 Inputs from biotechnology and life sciences ................................................... 44 5.1.2 Improved functional foods ............................................................................. 47 5.1.3 Personalised diets .......................................................................................... 48 5.1.4 Medicinal food................................................................................................. 49 5.1.5 Cultured meat ................................................................................................. 51 5.1.6 Insect innovation ............................................................................................. 52 5.1.7 Innovations for fast- and convenience food .................................................... 53 5.1.8 Functional natural ingredients ........................................................................ 53 5.1.9 Nano-based food and beverage ingredients .................................................. 54 5.1.10 Smart food packaging with nanotechnology ................................................... 54 5.1.11 New food preservation methods ..................................................................... 55
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch
................................................................ 64 5...............................3...........................1...................1.......................3.............................................................3 Balance between precaution and innovation ... 63 5.........7 More scientific research and development .........................................................................5.................................... 60 5.......................................... 62 Establishing trust ..............................4 Establishing more trust in science and perform symmetric assessments ...............................................2 Evidence-based assessment of functional food possibilities ................ 68 5.......1................................13 5...6 Promoting collaboration and a ‘culture of innovation’ .......................1 Flexibility and diversification .2 Ethics ...1 Healthy Nutrition......................................................................................................14 5..1 Reducing energy and water consumption ......2 Global sourcing and standardised safety requirements – legislation and enforcement ...................... 66 5............................2.........2............................................... 62 5....2 High pressure conservation (pascalisation) ...... 67 5.....................................................4 5..............5...... 69 5...................... 57 Miscellaneous: food pills............. 72 6....... 69 5.............................................................................. 80 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 2 .............................................18 5..................................................... 72 Ecological Sustainability and Ethics......3 References ...... 56 Antimicrobial systems for food preservation .........................4........... 72 6.. 60 5...................3......5 Convergence between food and medicine? ............2 Innovation for SMEs ......................................................1 Affordability and quality ........................................................... 74 6....................................3.............1............ 71 6...4...............................................................1.......5............ 68 5.......... greenhouse gases and water consumption ..........2 Demographics – an ageing society ................................ 71 6.......... 73 6... 71 6......... 71 6................................4 E-marketing and advertisement (for SMEs) .............1 Making foods and drinks generally more healthier ..........4..... 73 6........3 User-driven and user-oriented innovation .....................2..................................................................................................................... 60 New markets due to societal developments ............................ 65 5...4..............1...................................................1.......................................3 5.........5 6 Policy Issues ...................................................................................5........... 57 Reduction in energy..........17 5............16 5.....1........1 Knowledge transfer and open innovation ........................................ 73 6..............................................................................................Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5....................... 56 Converging technologies for food safety testing .........................1......... 65 5..............................4.........................................1 Lifestyle and market diversification........3 Improvement of food safety ................... 68 5............................... 56 Pulsed electric fields .........2.......5............................2 6.....................5................. 59 Food automation .................... 66 5... 67 5.............................................15 5............. 73 Economy and business ....................4 Promoting healthy eating and healthy cooking ...........5 SMEs and the future structure of the food and beverage industry .................................................................... 75 Annex Workshop participants ............ 72 6................................3 Clusters and interdisciplinary cooperation ........1.......... 67 5......6 Education and training ... innovations from space research ..............................5......................................... 62 Organisational change and firm strategies .......................1 Food labelling – increasing trust ...........................12 5.1....4.......................................2 Open innovation.................................................................................................................... 66 Institutional and legal changes .............................
there exist many innovation possibilities within the food and beverage manufacturing industry that also include new products and new processing methods. emergency rations. acceptance of new technology and economic prosperity can have an influence on the direction of consumer and industry choices.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Executive Summary Although food and drinks are essential for human life. The scenarios will derive from the following assumptions considered as generally fixed within a shortto mid-term timeframe: Increase in global population Decline of population in many EU countries due to lower birth rates Increasing life expectancy in EU countries (aging society) Increases in scientific and technological knowledge and possibilities 1 2 as well as the following parameters that vary between the different scenarios and make out the core of their differences: Economic prosperity (on world. This scientific. special diets. In principal. technological and societal basis is described in more detail within the report under the chapter “Emerging Innovation Themes and their Requirements”. Many different factors such as economic prosperity. Reality will likely not represent such a pure and extreme case as depicted. food safety concerns. Currently the picture of the food and beverage industry as well as consumer choices seem to be mixed and interests range from preferences for natural and minimally processed foods and drinks over specialised and fortified and high-tech nutrition to a diversity of convenience and fast foods. Built upon different parameters of the factors. The pleasure and traditions associated to food can also be a field of innovation. minerals and other nutrients) but also special nutritional formulas and compositions e. All scenarios are based on elements of current and emerging societal and technological developments that could become pronounced in the future if certain directions may be followed. however. different scenarios have been developed in this study that depict contrasting development lines. military rations or food substitutes. The scenarios also serve as input for the discussion of policy issues and recommendations. ecological consciousness. technological progress. country and individual basis) 1 2 Food enriched with additional vitamins. minerals and other nutrients Which can include “fortified food” (i.g. the food and beverage industry is generally perceived as low-to-mid-technology sector as measured on common indicators for innovativeness and supported by CIS4 data. safety and sustainability. food enriched with additional vitamins. importance of health. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 3 . environmental problems. The following five scenarios have been drafted and assessed in regard to plausibility and feasibility with experts within the frame of a dedicated workshop. for sports.e. but these scenarios can represent tendencies of developments and help with the identification of general chances and challenges. tackling some major challenges like improving health.
But it can also become more likely if the perception of ‘’industrial food’’ and industrial food producers becomes more negative. rather low interest. lower concerns) Importance of health (high interest in healthy living vs. Within society larger gaps may develop between healthy and unhealthy eaters which will also be reflected in individual health. fair trade etc.jrc.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Ecological consciousness Environmental problems (occurrences like draughts. This scenario does not score high on overall innovativeness. leading to problems like obesity) Technological progress as function of socio-economic factors that lead to the real application of knowledge and possibilities Business as usual This is the reference scenario that depicts the current diversity and huge differences in the food and beverage industry ranging from highly fortified and functional food over the trend of natural and organic products to fast food and food with no considerable nutritional value or even harmful ingredients.” http://ipts.europa. Cheap and convenient This scenario reflects a setting where the general prosperity as well as interest in health. All other scenarios depict situations where one of the describe elements may become more prominent. functional food) will have great potential while others more or less continue their way of only small and incremental improvements in the future.). extreme weather that could negatively affect food production) Food safety concerns (high concerns within society vs. Here. A growing consumer concern over the environment and ethics (e. innovations mainly lie in finding ways to process food with healthier ingredients (e.g. floods. But also conventional “fast food” that is considered unhealthy will be more and more replaced by other fast alternatives such as salads or fruit. This scenario is more likely under the condition higher economic prosperity and greater concern over health issues.eu/publications/pub. Many innovation potentials like the utilisation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) or nanoparticles in food production as well as other high-tech experiments are generally not popular with the consumer. animal rights. natural food additives) or improved testing and process automation. Going natural This scenario depicts the growing tendency towards foods products perceived as natural by consumers and less food processing. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 4 .cfm?id=1719 4 Meaning rather slight improvements over time than sudden and large “revolutionary” or “disruptive” changes . although some sectors (e.) are driving factors. cancer. This can for example be due to food scandals or the uncovering of relations between certain ingredients commonly used in processed food and health risks (e.g. obesity etc. Contradicting information about nutritional health benefits as well as scientific 3 3 4 Functional food is defined by the European Commission/JRC as follows: “Functional food (FuFo) is defined as food that is taken as part of the usual diet and has beneficial effects that go beyond nutritional effects.g.ec.g. future and innovation is declining.
and downstream industries) holds great responsibility for human health and wellbeing as well sustainability. Resources for innovation are rather scarce and companies are mostly interested in cost reduction. this could become a realistic outcome. lies in bringing these possibilities in line with customer interests as well as solving current challenges and fostering the developments towards desirable Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 5 . chemists. economic and technological innovations. Solutions for current challenges such as obesity and other food-related illnesses. health specialists and medical experts as well as psychologists. In the principal technological possibilities in the area of food and beverage production are high and even growing. convenience and indulgence are major drivers. fastness. “Cheap and convenient” may become a growing trend for low income groups and people who lack sufficient knowledge about nutrition or time for adequate food preparation. contradicting findings in nutritional research. sociologists and cultural scientists. It also bears the potential danger of being too optimistic and thus overlooking potential negative side effects and may face challenges if problems may occur. Therefore the food and beverage manufacturing industry (as well as the up. physicists. The major challenge. which is considered to be achievable only through advanced technological modifications of food and beverage products that even result in medicinal food.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 fraud combined with higher budget consciousness leads to a growing disinterest of consumers in healthy nutrition. High-tech nutrition In this scenario technological progress is fast and developments from different disciplines from biotechnology to material science are influencing innovations in food and beverage manufacturing. This scenario requires economic prosperity as well as high interest in novel technologies. Implications Food and drinks are essential for human life and more and more research emphasises the importance of nutrition for personal and public health. interdisciplinary research and development is necessary. Emergency This scenario depicts a situation where some of the basic requirements of food security (availability and accessibility) are in jeopardy where the main goal for solutions and innovations lies in getting enough food. The consumers tend to increasingly accept novel technologies in the area of food and drinks. biologists. The “emergency” scenario is certainly a kind of worst case scenario. Major problems associated with this scenario are obesity and environmental problems. age-related conditions. Budget (for some involuntarily).g. Current trends in desertification and reliance on monocultures in large scale agriculture already seem to point towards this direction and in many countries around the world the situation for food security and safe drinking water is already bad and still worsening. by involving food technologists. cost pressure and loopholes in food safety should be addressed in the coming years with the help of social. however. e. but if sustainability will be neglected. In extreme cases this could lead to very problematic implications for health and the environment. Health improvement beyond just healthy nutrition stands in the centre of interest. To achieve these goals.
Although “desirable” could mean different things for different people. Affordable food with good quality and nutritional value. fostering culinary diversity and protecting culinary traditions.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 futures. Further improvements in food safety. Making food consumption more enjoyable. An evidence-based assessment of functional foods on health and wellbeing. A reduction of environmental impacts associated with all steps within the food chain (from farm to fork). Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 6 . A general promotion of and education about healthy eating and healthy cooking. it can be said that improvements towards the following directions can generally be considered as positive and desirable: A general trend towards more healthier nutrition and related research and development.
It thus aims at looking beyond time horizons that can be addressed by simply extrapolating current trends. In the case of the food and drinks sector.to long-term strategic issues for the future development of European industries. and to develop scenario sketches as frames for exploring variations in innovation themes and emerging markets. However. it addresses medium.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 1 Introduction This report presents the findings of the Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Foresight on the food and drinks sector. and we have extensively drawn on these contributions when compiling this report. key innovation themes are then discussed which are seen as the results of the interplay of S&T developments and changing needs under a specific context (chapter 5). The final report builds on the findings of a critical review of secondary sources as well insights generated at two Sectoral Innovation Foresight Workshops. in order to ensure the overall coherence of the report not all the suggestions raised at the workshops could be taken into account. We would like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the workshop participants (see Annex). In this context. to identify innovation themes and associated markets that may jointly have a significant impact on these sectors. scenarios for the development of the sectors are presented (chapter 4). emerging markets associated to such key innovation themes are described. These drivers encompass emerging trends and trend-breaks in terms of S&T developments and changing needs/demands. The objectives of the Sectoral Innovation Foresight are to identify the main drivers of change in the nine sectors under study. Based on the identified main drivers. both internal and external to the sectors under study. Based on an analysis of the current situation (chapter 2) drivers of innovation and change are presented (chapter 3) in this report. Finally. In addition. for others a much longer time horizon may be a more appropriate orientation. organised in June and December 2009 in Brussels. organizational and structural changes are discussed. the enabling and hampering factors in the respective sectoral innovation systems have been investigated in order to extract challenges and implications for European companies and public policy. a time horizon of about ten years has been used as orientation. As a Foresight activity. For each scenario. in chapter 6 issues for policy are discussed against the background of scenarios and innovation themes. In addition. requirements and/or impacts in terms of skills requirements. Their inputs made it possible to gain new insights into different dimensions of future sectoral developments. While for fast-changing sectors this may imply a time horizon of five to ten years. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 7 .
eufic. the modern.germanbeerinstitute.. biotechnology and physics (especially thermal procedures) has been very important for food and drinks manufacturing and preservation.1 Historical evolution of the sector – past and recent trends5 Early examples for food and drinks manufacturing (in the sense of specialised production of agricultural products outside the context of private homes) can be traced back to over 4000 years ago. Mass production techniques enabled strong changes in retail with the first supermarkets being introduced in the mid-1910s. an invention that led to the development of tinning and canning by Peter Durand in 1810. fermenting). The so-called “TV-dinners” and ready meals were 5 6 7 th th 8 http://www. The real boom in large-scale manufacturing of foods and drinks appeared during the 1950s and 1960s. Although early forms of food processing date back to ancient times where raw agricultural materials were modified simple by technical means (e. coinciding with considerable innovations in transport and logistics.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 2 Current situation Although food and drinks are essential for human life.g. OECD. especially when it comes to products. Nicolas Appert. innovations in food and drinks are expected to happen in incremental steps without sudden innovation leaps and major changes. patenting and new product development (cf. Food and drinks processing has also always stood in close relation to advances in agriculture and the development of cities and division of labour. e.uk/view/Food_and_drink_industry/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 8 .org.org/food1. salting. for example invented the vacuum bottling technique in 1806 for the food supply of French troops. ranging from ancient breweries to the invention of pasteurisation in 1862. This time experienced much experimentation and innovation in food and drinks. the food and beverage industry is generally perceived as low-to-mid-technology sector as measured on common indicators for innovativeness such as R&D expenditure. A very important factor for large-scale food and drinks manufacturing has been the Industrial Revolution. 2. Similar accounts have been found for wine.g. 2006) and supported by CIS4 data.com/doc/1G1-16035893. industrialised food and drinks manufacturing of the 19 and 20 century has mainly developed within the military context .foodinnovation. These records also represent instances of ancient biotechnology by using yeast (a microorganism) for the fermenting process.foodtimeline. Indications for early “industrialised” beer brewery can be found in up to 5000 year old Mesopotamian . STAN R&D database.html 6 http://www. In general. but also in many other fields of science and technology.encyclopedia.org/article/en/food-technology/gmos/rid/modern-biotechnology-food-development/ and http://www. The use of modern biotechnology (genetic engineering) in food processing started in the early 1980s.html 7 http://www. Egyptian and Chinese records. Therefore it is useful to keep the whole food chain – from farm to fork – in mind. Also progressing insights in relation between chemistry.html 8 http://www. Hirsch-Kreinsen. drying.com/history. This in turn engendered changes in the food and drinks industry.
ten year later in the 1970s the US FDA already considered banning it again because laboratory tests have shown that high doses of saccharin increased the incidence of urinary bladder cancer in rats. It also signifies the beginning of the current trend towards organic. At the same time. 9 10 Thus. and the first microwave ovens for home use were introduced in 1967. one of the artificial ingredients. But these developments also brought about societal criticism on new food and beverage production methods and techniques as well as newly invented ingredients. 2002). fresh and unprocessed foods and drinks. The soft-drink industry was born in the 1960. in a way which is relevant to either an improved state of health or well-being. Whereas at some time the optical appearance of food – symmetric form. other diet-related illnesses. Presentation Janez Potocnik. and an increasing focus on local and fair trade products and ethical concerns by consumers. but have also led to societal concerns. Health concerns. today too much ‘perfection’ makes many consumers suspicious by indicating non naturalness. serves as an example. Brussels. This was also due to the fact that the doses used in the tests were high and it remained controversial if the results of mice were transferable to human physiology. beautiful colour and flawlessness – has been highly regarded and thus has been enhanced by food colouring. 9 Criticism about the ‘industrial’ image of food and drinks (industrialisation) has grown since the 1980s and has coincided with increasing attention towards the environment (‘green’ mo vement) and sustainability issues. the artificial sweetener aspartame was discovered in 1965. The ban did not go through. but a warning label was required. better primary production. natural. biotechnology – and perhaps even GMO . beyond adequate nutritional effects. and more particularly current challenges such as obesity. health and quality over quantity (slow food as a reaction to fast food). new inspection methods and healthier. additives and even GMO. 17 April 2007 10 A food can be regarded as functional if it is satisfactorily demonstrated to beneficially affect one or more target functions in the body. consumer preferences in no way point towards the same A taste of the future: research’s role in tomorrow’s food development.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 introduced in 1953. allergies. chronic diseases and aging have also stimulated the emergence of new generations of functional foods and drinks. such as the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and more generally the rise of biotechnology are proof of new and innovative developments. or reduction of risk of disease (ILSI.can provide us with more predictable processes. The case of saccharin. restaurants) as well as new technologies such as TV-sets and microwave ovens. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 9 . Genetic modification in crops which started in the early 1980s (the first recorded GMO plant was an experimental tobacco plant in 1983) as well as animal cloning have led to controversies and even bans. Later developments. and welfare driven life-style changes like the rise of fast food and ready meals. slowly replacing the traditional soda stores and vendors. safer and sometimes even tastier food. After being introduced in the 1960s. The latest developments in nanotechnology for food packaging give rise to similar reactions. This shows how developments in the food and drinks industry already then closely related to developments in other sectors (retail.
koreatimes. providing calorie tables and “going green” ). Mainstream trends such as an increasing consumption of convenience foods like prepackaged and processed foods and drinks.kr/www/news/nation/2008/11/123_33884. whereas also here health consciousness may get bigger. Other choices. It also is a sector that is critically watched by consumers and consumer advocacy groups. The Community Innovation Survey (CIS). fast food. over 61% of the workforce is employed by SMEs and the food and beverage manufacturing sector is characterised by a comparatively small share of higher educated and qualified scientific personnel as compared to other sectors. are increasingly advertising with a more health and “natural” image (e. agriculture and the food processing (‘manufacturing’) industry – has traditionally been characterised by a high degree of governmental intervention. which implies that information on the innovative behaviour of almost 80% of all firms in food and drinks manufacturing at EU level is not available. In regard to the employment situation. The largest food and beverage companies are also global players and some of them like Unilever produce food as well as non-food products. wellness as well as environmental and social concerns have – as a result of steadily rising incomes – also become important consumer trends that importantly affect food and beverage sales and consumption.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 10 . Recent organisational innovations such as the introduction of integrated supply chains (‘from farm to fork’). together with increased risk monitoring and assessment by independent food authorities (EFSA. snacking.g. especially in the context of active lifestyles. quality assurance schemes (labelling) and tracking and tracing. however. although some criticism remains. national food authorities) have led to increased accountability and have added to consumer confidence.1 Market organisation and market structure The agro-food sector – i. The food and beverage manufacturing industry is dominated by micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees that make up 78.e. no additives in their beef products. Fast food chains like McDonalds.9% of large companies (250 employees and above) account for more than 50% of the total turnover generated in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. 11 2. This “old fashioned” image. is still present in the minds of many people and one of the major reasons for the low attractiveness of the 11 Cf.6% of all firms.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 direction.and small firms affects innovation and innovation performance is less clear. does not collect information at the micro-enterprise level. Yet 0. easy to consume products (e. early warning systems.: Korea Times 2008: http://www.co. one of the most important sources on innovation trends and performance in industry. The sector is considered a mature industry which is generally perceived conservative and rather inert towards more radical changes. at least not in a manner that allows consistent comparisons across countries and between sub-sectors. salads on their menu. “TV dinners”). which is however partly outdated in many respects. for example.g. ranging from market regulation and financial support for farmers to strong safety and health provisions. Whether and how this fragmented structure with a large share of micro.2. enjoyment.2 Sectoral characteristics and current innovation themes 2. take-away food and out-of-home consumption are likely bound to continue.
In more recent history preservation and conservation. Many innovations in the food and drinks industry incorporate a combination of different innovations that can include the way a product is produced or processed (biotech. food and drinks manufacturing has been dependent on (innovative) developments in agriculture.1 Production. 2. clubs and discotheques.2.4 Manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats 15. sports events. some new and innovative.9 Manufacture of beverages Although in each sub-sector both traditional and non-traditional products can be found.8 Manufacture of other food products 15. biotechnology and nanotechnology. certain NACE categories appear more suitable for certain kinds of innovation than others. Marketing and advertisement play a very important role in getting the consumer’s attention to buy foods and drinks and stay with certain manufacturers. packaging. Innovation in the food and drinks domain is and has always been closely linked to developments in other sectors of the economy. Therefore the food and drinks sector includes a wide array of products. the food and drinks sector can be divided into the following categories or sub-sectors: Table 1. some traditional. Innovations in relation to traditional products are much less oriented towards changing the product itself (since it may then no longer be the traditional recipe or product anymore) but can involve new processing methods and marketing strategies. Especially drinks are often advertised in the context of pop-concerts. nanotech).5 Manufacture of dairy products 15.1 Categories of the food and drinks sector 15 Manufacture of food products and beverages 15. small stepwise improvements over time) nature.2 Sub-segments According to the NACE-code classification (Rev 1. packaged. followed more recently by information and communication technologies (ICT) innovations like radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking. Many consumers on the other hand display scepticism towards innovations that include extensive artificial modification of food products and thus causing the producers to stick with well-established product lines while performing rather minor improvements and develop items with less ‘artificial’ ingredients. Most innovation in food and drinks is of incremental (i.e. Product innovations on the other hand bring about new products or considerable Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 11 . Throughout history.6 Manufacture of grain mill products. Other can result in entirely new products such as functional foods. distributed and sold.3 Processing and preserving of fruit and vegetables 15.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 sector to a higher educated workforce. youth culture activities.1). starches and starch products 15.2 Processing and preserving of fish and fish products 15. processing and preserving of meat and meat products 15. logistics and transport and wholesale and retail trade have become important factors in the development of the foods and drinks industry.7 Manufacture of prepared animal feeds 15. products and labels.
have an unappealing texture and flavours could not unfold properly.g. 13 This is also reflected within the Eurostat CIS4 indicators for innovation activities. structure and current state of play . This also holds for alcoholic drinks as it is seen in the popularity of the recently introduced (and controversially discussed) light alcoholic drinks and mixes (e. the product would not taste good.or has already been transformed . Technological developments that are rather unproblematic in other industrial sectors. it can be expected that innovation in the food and drinks industry will continue in a gradual.implications for future innovations Due to the nature of the industry and the products. In this sense. complex fluids. Often these two requirements can conflict with each other: what is considered to make foods and drinks tasteful may pose some health concerns. In regard to food and beverage products the main hampering factors towards innovation and experimentation with novel concepts are not expected due to lacking scientific and technological developments as such. functional yoghurts. sports. research and experimentation.and energy bars).from a low-to-medium tech industry to a medium-to-high tech industry. At least part of the food and beverage industry is on the brink transformation . If one would simply take out the fat of sausages (certainly a healthier choice). instant drinks and drinks. breezers) and natural and organic alcoholic drinks with both segments being regarded as highly innovative and suitable for experimentation . sweet and savoury spreads. 13 2. Novel foods and 12 “Superfruit” refers to a marketing term used to describe fruits that possess special nutritional value tha t is considered to be beneficial for health and wellbeing like high amounts of antioxidants or vitamins. In contrast to most other products. where a wide palette of functional waters. gels and glasses that are made of polymers. and by looking at past innovation performance. with sudden radical innovations or “quantum leaps” not likely to be expected over the next 15 20 years. leaving out a substance or finding a suitable natural substitute could be very innovative. Product innovations tend to be found more within the categories of dairy products (e. proteins. food and drinks are digested by humans and therefore have to comply with highest safety standards and fulfil a wide range of sensual satisfaction to please the consumer. Therefore the creation of new and healthier foods and drinks requires considerable know-how. ‘superfruit’ juices 12 or energy drinks is already available. crystals and other molecular structures. because every component has a certain function and may not be left out without consequences. The complexity of foods and drinks often exceeds other materials and end-products can include a diversity of structures such as foams. Food science can actually be regarded as a form of material science. step-by-step manner. grain and mill products (cereals. like the use of (advanced) nanotechnology for materials (see the aerospace or textile industry). but rather due to consumer concerns. because it would be very dry. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 12 . are likely to cause more problems and concerns from consumers and regulators when it comes to food and beverage products.3 Evolution. for example.g. ice creams).Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 changes to existing products.
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 functional foods are cases in point. driven by different lifestyles. In contrast to other industries like electronics or automobiles. nano-encapsulation for improved bioavailability) or what may be generally considered as “artificiality” for achieving this goal may not be desirable. It is not unlikely that the apparent divide between hightech innovative and low-tech tradition within the sector is likely to get bigger. the absence of innovative products from food and beverage manufacturers does not necessarily mean unsuccessful sales and products. In a similar vein. legal and successful. breezers and ‘lifestyle’ products to ecologically-oriented foods and drinks and ethnic and traditional products.g. we might expect that the segmentation of markets will continue further. At the same time. important parts of the food and beverage manufacturing industry are still very much based on and rooted in tradition and conventional food products. internationalisation and diverging income developments and leading to a broad variety in consumer demand – ranging from convenience food and functional foods and drinks over alcopops. using certain biotechnologies (such as GMOs). In general it could be said that the technological possibilities in food and beverage manufacturing are much larger than what may be acceptable and not everything that can be scientifically or technologically done in food and beverage manufacturing will also be wanted. Although there is demand for functional food with additional health benefits. Some manufacturing processes and recipes are handed over from generation to generation and are still practiced in such a traditional way. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 13 . nanotechnologies (e. Also certain technological solutions for specific demands and consumer wishes may not be accepted.
even though some are related to the industry. Afterwards some major demand-side drivers will be outlined that will be brought together in the section about innovation themes and requirements. Such insights could lead to new forms of nutrition engineering or even change the way we are thinking about the role of food and drinks in our lives. A real science-based analysis of food and drinks on a fundamental and molecular basis has only been made possible rather recently through improving insights in biotechnology. molecular bio(techno)logy. which studies the effects of nutrition on genes and metabolic functions. in regard to separation techniques). metabolomics (science about metabolism). influence if certain gene may become active or not. As our understanding about genetics is growing. genetic research and the availability of the necessary computer power and laboratory equipment. proteomics (science about the function and structure of proteins) and similar areas have already created the research field of nutrigenomics. ICT.1. in regard to protein-protein interactions). material sciences.g. but it is likely that science will gradually find solutions to them.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 3 Drivers of innovation and change In regard to the possible differences between technological possibilities and consumer acceptance. Many technological and scientific challenges for the improvement of food and beverage products still remain. nanotechnology. 3. some major developments in R&D and science and technology will make the start. A very important contribution is the growing interest in and growing understanding of the workings of the human body and biological systems in general (e. Research going on in genetics. Future advances in science and technology coming from areas outside the food and drinks sector. 3.g. robotics (for processing and automation) and even neurosciences.g.e. new scientific research is showing that environmental factors like the intake of certain foods and drinks can in fact have influences on gene expression.1 S&T drivers The food and beverage manufacturing industry profits a lot from research and development that is being conducted in (emerging) science and technology (S&T) fields like chemistry and physics (e. i. where also possible conflicts between technological means and consumer goals are reflected upon. epigenetics. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 14 . A very important contribution that makes such research possible comes from advances in computer sciences that bioinformatics which enable the necessary complex calculations and simulations (e. in regard to food spoilage and preservation).1 Epigenetics. nutrigenomics and neurosciences Improved understanding about biological systems and the human body matters for the future development of the food and drinks industry. will most likely have a continuing strong impact on the development of the sector. medicine.
Genetic engineering principally allows for the creation of plants (and animals) with some optimised characteristics like increased vitamin level or higher yields. although not impossible. Such insights could also lead to new forms of marketing innovations. It has also been suggested in research that different combinations of foods and drinks can influence how nutrients are being utilised in the human body. scientists are currently only at the beginning of understanding the real implications and meanings of sequenced genome data. bacteria and contamination. This could lead. calmness or improved concentration achieved with the help of specific ingredients.2 Miniaturisation.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 New and cheaper possibilities for gene mapping and molecular biology are already emerging as the most computing-intensive tasks in human history (Forbes. the nutrients of this fish are best digested when eaten together with these vegetables and spices) or composing ready meals based on science. 3.g. Researchers are. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 15 . nanotechnology also opens up new possibilities for the food and beverage industry.1. which combine technologies from ICT.e.html "Nano-scale" refers to objects of a size close to 1 nanometre. by providing consumers with science-based recommendations for side dishes. = one-billionth of a meter. They are now leaving the micro-level and are entering the even smaller nano-scale . They range from improvements of texture over targeted nutrition and flavour enhancement through “nano-encapsulation” to smart packaging for more safety. biotechnology and nanotechnology Humans are able to observe and manipulate matter on an increasingly small scale. Dropping prices and speed increases in genome sequencing – which might come for 1000 US$ around 2014 14 – will also be an important basis for possible personalised foods and drinks that are matched to an individual’s genetic makeup. is likely to take some time until reality and economic feasibility. Even totally new or modified organisms could be created that may be used to fight off harmful bacteria or produce functional ingredients. As it is the case in other fields of material sciences. i. However. for example. or enable possibilities to get rid of allergens. to science-based combinations of items in ready meals. for example. 14 15 15 http://harvardmagazine. So-called lab-on-a-chip modules. The "micro-level" refers to micrometre. leading to healthier overall compounds. Personalised functional food. e. Our increasingly better understanding of molecular biology and modern biotechnology also leads to better knowledge about the mechanisms behind food contamination and spoilage and also enable new ways to improve preservation and food safety.g. vegetables or spices based on their choices being made while shopping (e. 2009). allow for fast and mobile food testing for a variety of pathogens. nanotechnology and biotechnology.com/2007/03/a-personal-genome-machin. which equals one-millionth of a meter or 1000 nanometres. Also research in neuroscience could provide the basis for the development of new foods aimed at inducing specific neuronal states like happiness. unravelling the neurochemical effects of chocolate and try to give a scientific basis to so-called “mood foods”.
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Nanotechnology can be used in food processing (e. Computer simulations could be used to analyse and predict the behaviour of ingredients. Also in line with food sciences being understood as a kind of material science.3 Material sciences and intelligent packaging Especially the area of food packaging benefits from general advances in material sciences. heat/cold resistant materials.g. eco-friendly packaging and even edible packaging have already been developed or are under development. Although operating on the nanometre-scale is nothing new in food production.asp?id=3598&sub=sub2 http://www. but at least such products will put no harm to the environment since they are digestible and biodegradable. technologies used in modern material development and testing like simulations might also be of use for food and drinks manufacturing. nanoemulsions). 3.4 Automation.org/downloads/2008_executive_summary. the raw materials coming from farming are always different in composition.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 16 . robotics and ICT As robots are becoming increasingly flexible. 16 3. food packaging (e. which necessitates changes in processing and ingredients to yield constant and satisfactory results. antibiotic packaging.g. 17 Beside the indirect contribution of ICT in regard to calculations in the bio.1. nano-encapsulation of nutrients. Anti-biotic materials. RFID-technology allows for consistent traceability and fast product identification and is also part of smart packaging concepts. smart packaging) and sensor systems for food safety testing . For example. many consumers and consumer advocacy/protection groups are concerned about “nano” in food. According to statistics from the World Robotics Report 2008.and nutritional sciences. physical and chemical properties and even the spread of micro-organisms.foodsafetymagazine.worldrobotics. 2008). barrier materials. versatile and “intelligent” as well as cheaper.g. Since some elements really show different reaction characteristics on the nano-scale in contrast to larger particle and compound sizes and nano may enter the blood stream and cross the brain-blood barrier more easily. Edible packaging may pose some problems in regard to hygiene if really intended to be eaten. ICT technology is becoming an important part of logistics (e. they are also getting much more attention from the food and beverage manufacturing industry. the issue requires careful scientific evaluation. 16 17 http://www.com/article. in transports and fast-food-management) and food chain management.1. the food and beverage industry is currently responsible for major increases in demands for industrial robots (World Robotics.
The future is likely to consist of consumers that will increasingly demand everything at the same time. In some cultures.1 Aliments against ailments . Coca-Cola. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 17 . drinks and medicine has not been very distinct. prominent European and US examples can also be named.1 Functional foods Functional foods (i.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 3. the Japanese government has approved so-called “Food for Specified Health Use” (FOSHU) and contributed to the following popularity of such products in Europe. narrowly defined target groups each with their own agenda. In the coming years the familiar. products and tools in order to improve competitiveness.g. disease and ageing People are expecting more from their food and drinks than just satisfying their hunger and thirst. In 1904 the “fitness drink” Ovomaltine was invented and marketed as having positive effects on fatigue. Over time. especially China and India. food that has added beneficial effects that go beyond nutritional effects) have a rather long history. for example was invented in 1886 by the pharmacist John Pemberton and was advertised as containing cola nuts which were thought to have nerve stimulant properties. 2007).2 Demand-side drivers and emerging product markets 18 The Strategic Research Agenda 2007-2020 of the European Technology Platform on Food for Life addresses three major action points (‘key thrusts’) (ETP. In this sense he can be seen as the forefather of today’s functional and probiotic dairy products manufactured with the help of modern biotechnology or classical methods. but also more tailoring to individual needs (e. but they still exist as “functional drinks”. Consumers seem to get increasingly health conscious – and at least more concerned . interests and preferences.health consciousness. the distinction between foods. wellbeing and longevity Build consumer trust in the food chain Support sustainable and ethical production. The key action points reflect the major issues that are being addressed by the European food industry and underline the need for developing new processes. Although Japan is generally regarded as the birthplace of functional food. but even more in the current trend towards natural and organic foods and scepticism about synthetic ingredients. In 2007. starting in the 1990.about their intake of foods and drinks. more or less predictable body of mass consumers of the present will more and more turn into smaller. The figure below represents a number of demand ‘attributes’ (dimensions) each of which pose and will continue to pose challenges for the food and drinks industry. Martin. Box 3. In 1935 the Japanese physician Shirota invented the lactobacillus casei with the help of (conventional) biotechnology for use in the first probiotic yogurt drink “Yakult”. 2008: 5) : Improve health. 3. these drinks have further developed.2. 18 See also the ETP’s “Implementation Action Plan”. They are defined in anticipation of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer and societal preferences.e. the European Health Claim regulation has been initiated which regulates and restricts health-related claims on foods and drinks. Food and drinks are seen as an integral part for improving health and wellbeing. This can be observed not only in the growing interest in functional foods. During the 1980s.
Still. especially McDonald’s. so does the probability of age-related diseases and ailments. Since the bodily constitution and metabolism of elderly people change. which however have not yet been achieved reliably. Ways to reduce the negative effects of alcohol or accelerate the decomposition of alcohol in the body are welcome and innovative ideas. This has already led to the introduction of a new profession: gerontological nutritionist. As an example serves VGZ. because of its anti-oxidant ingredient resveratrol that may help to prevent cancer. even to such an extent that according to some the steady rise in life expectancy may come to an end (e.19 This is also an example for the uncertainties that still exist in nutritional research. especially in the segment of alcoholic drinks are often first introduced over bars. Besides this. At the same time. Organic alcoholic drinks gain increasing popularity. Financial and other incentives that stimulate healthy lifestyles and ditto consumption patterns get increasing attention. Another reason for obesity may also lie in the fact that most people in today’s post industrialised countries need fewer calories due to their work that requires less physical activity and burning of calories. Red wine also got a healthy image. a better understanding about the relationships between nutrition and health effects is necessary. restaurants and discotheques before entering supermarkets or specialty stores. imbalanced nutrition and so-called “civilisation illnesses” like type-II diabetes. The current striving for improving “healthy aging” is a big driver for food innovations. the huge problems of obesity and other diet-related illnesses tend to increase. with considerable potential health impacts.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 18 .g. who since 19 http://www.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 As the life expectancy of people increases. Fast food chains.2 Health aspects of alcoholic drinks Health issues are getting increasing importance. Food companies are also already reacting towards this new and growing set of consumers. clubs. the popularity of the recently introduced light alcoholic drinks and mixes (e. breezers) have arisen considerable attention. In January 2010. Currently. Science-based approaches towards more healthy foods and drinks could represent a big contribution.g. Martin. Much scientific research is being conducted in the area of identifying foods and ingredients that can slow down aging-effects like cellular damage or physical and mental degeneration. By using genetic engineering. especially fast-food chains and fast-food products like pizza as well as snacks are heavily criticised as a reason for obesity. However some claims being made are not based on sufficient and/or accepted scientific evaluation. other kinds of nutrition and nutritional balances are required for this age group.newscientist. also with alcoholic drinks. To meet this goal. offering salads and presenting themselves as caring for the environment. The interest is also growing on the “preventative”. have started to react and are now advertising with being more health conscious. one of the largest Dutch health insurers. Box 3. New products. new scientific findings strongly suggest that resveratrol does not prevent or slow down age-related cell damage as assumed before. especially for the young.com/article/dn18396-stay-young-on-red-wine-drugs-think-again. however. Progress in modern bio(techno)logy is of great importance. 2007). This has brought governments to respond and start awareness campaigns to emphasise the negative side of alcohol consumption. students from Rice University (US) have developed a beer that contains resveratrol. however. The interest in healthy eating and drinking is huge and currently there exists a wide variety of partly contradicting advices concerning this topic. the industry is not responsib le for the consumer’s eating and cooking habits. Increasingly these drinks are being consumed by young adults (below 18 years of age) and even children.
Food scandals. Retailers have taken much of a lead here and have been very active in setting up integral chain management (e. due to food scares and scandals of the past. Müller. the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and national agencies) play an increasingly important role in securing the safety of food and drinks. Important milestones have already been set. but even more can be done. the scientific trust in functional foods and new alliances between food and beverage manufacturers and other sectors (e.g. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 19 . recently transformed into ‘Global GAP’ – Global Good Agricultural Practice). Scientific research and evidence play an important role in such bonus/reward schemes. 20 Food allergies are on the rise and can have grave limiting effects on quality of life. the selling of spoiled food and contaminations are affecting consumers and the food industry alike and lead to consumers loosing trust in the industry and retailers. the food and beverage industry has to react by adjusting the choice of ingredients. Improvements in fast and real-time testing and monitoring “from farm to fork” can be realised with a combination of ICT (e. agriculture (especially in regard to raw fruits and vegetables).2 Food safety and consumer confidence One of the most important factors for consumers is food safety. nanotechnology (smart sensors on packages). 2005). better packaging.unilever.g. As more and more customers are experiencing food allergies or food intolerance. while noncompliance. Safety is very much a matter of organisation within the value chain. labelling or finding ways to engineer foods and drinks that do not contain allergens (if no medical treatment for allergies can be provided). health insurers). especially at a global scale. the German health system reform envisages health insurance bonus systems for adopting a healthy lifestyle. because of the products’ beneficial health effects (Unilever. 20 http://www.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 2005 reimburses clients who use Unilever’s cholesterol-lowering Becel pro-active products. This requires the drawing of clear and transparent roles and responsibilities. 3. alongside with a system of appropriate checks and balances. for example by diabetics refusing doctor’s advice. The call for safe food is loud.g. Similarly. RFID tagging).asp 21 EurepGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. they are very dependent on the input and quality of the food industry. This example reveals some underlying and interesting developments that might become even more common in the future: the blurring border between functional foods and medicine. 2007). will be punished by means of supplementary payments (e. safety analysis and logistics (e. Since retailers are the last actors in the food and beverage value chain. Globalisation and world-wide sourcing increasingly call for better tracking and tracing by the industry as well as improving health and safety monitoring and control.g. smart sensing and testing and global traceability (tracking and tracing) and food chain management.g.2.nl/onsbedrijf/nieuwsenmedia/persberichten/2005/BecelproactivwordtvergoeddoorZorgverzek eraarVGZ. the EurepGAP 21 label – European Retailer Produce Good Agricultural Practice. Independent governmental agencies (viz. biotechnology and material sciences through improved preservation. correct storage of products).
but technology can also help to improve food safety within complex constellations. The awareness about animal rights is growing..com/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 20 . e. “organic” and “fair-trade” products. time saving. Technologies for convenience foods focus on: easy to handle. The choice for convenience food is rooted in changing life-styles.2.). not only in Europe but worldwide. Sustainable food production looks like a large innovation area for the industry. A growing number of manufacturers are already advertising with labels that indicate the utilisation of renewable energy sources (e. especially in face of globalisation and complex food chains. The term convenience food applies to ready meals. which especially concerns production methods and resource management (renewable energy. due to the financial crisis. catering establishments and restaurants. The popularity of convenience food also relates to the diminishing size of the average household (two and one person household). leading to consumer criticism about industrial farming and the use of growth hormones and antibiotics in mass animal production. food waste management. surveillance and testing methods. following the general trend of displaying the manufacturer’s environme ntal and ethical considerations (e. through better tracking. 3.g. conveniently packaged and processed foods.dagobachocolate. Ethical concerns also apply to animal rights and to the consumption of animal products. the unrestricted use of scarce and non-renewable resources such as oil and gas and – hence – sustainability are rising societal and consumer concerns.g.g. readyto-eat and heat-to-eat (ETP. ‘Grazing’. energy efficiency. wind. when being met increase the convenience of food consumption. Ethics and sustainability – the future of mother earth – go hand in hand.2.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Food scandals or other kinds of consumer dissatisfaction with certain products are affecting retailers to a high degree. eating out is on the decline because of the higher costs. solar and biomass/food waste) being used for production . in regard to animal keeping or fair trade) in form of labels. 2005). Many consumers are choosing more “ethical” products like eggs and meat from free-range animals. Potential future demand may develop into the direction of high value-added convenience foods – in particular functional foods that are designed to meet the nutritional and health needs of every 22 E. Dagoba Chocolate http://www. eating on the move and ease of container opening for children and the elderly are all demands that. they are at the same time seemingly contradictions. snacking and snatched meals. 22 3.3 Ethical concerns and sustainability Environmental pollution.4 Convenience food and take away food/home delivery Convenience and health are probably the two biggest food and drinks trends. Therefore the future might make food safety more challenging. since many customers regard them as responsible.g. etc. However. busy lives and lack of time. water management. and eating out in canteens.
supply chain management. uncertainty and falling consumer confidence increases the price sensitivity of consumers.2. More generally. Studies also suggest people from lower-income strata and less education are more prone to obesity. Cost reductions can be achieved through more efficient warehousing. experienced 21% drops in sales and the first decline since 1999 in favour of cheaper chilled juices (Research and Markets. Retailers and large supermarket discounters have introduced private labels as an alternative to the more expensive and established. “Innocent Drinks”. 3.e. eco. with possible demand shifts towards hard discounters (e. Aldi. automation or through the introduction of private labels (i. especially in warehousing. A winner of the financial crisis seems to be McDonald's. which according to the Financial Times is planning to create 12000 new jobs and open 240 new restaurants throughout Europe in 2009 after a 7. this could contribute to a divide-like situation between the wealthier and poorer strata of society that effects life expectancy. Another future direction is convenience products made from fresh and healthy food. some consumers are tending to cheaper products and thus turning away from the more expensive ‘natural’. consumers are already shifting away from some premium market products. 2009 Discount retailers have already started to adapt towards the consumer wishes of inexpensive quality and health and even discounters offer “organic” and natural foods. retailers' own store-brands). The crisis does not only affect the food consumption patterns of the lower income strata of society. “healthy” and “ethical” food as well as high quality food towards cheaper conventional products and fast food. The profit margins of the food and drinks sector are generally low throughout the whole food chain and market power within the chain is a serious issue as the example of the recent milk-price drops and milk-farmer’s protests show. health and wellbeing. Even though the food industry is typically much less affected by ups and downs than other sectors (European Commission. especially those with lower income. The financial crisis has caused at least some customers to turn away from more expensive “natural”. however. As a UK Research and Markets study from 2009 suggests. imbalanced nutrition and resulting health problems. 2009). Automation. organic and wellness products. If the expensive ‘high-tech’ food or ‘organic foods’ show significantly positive health effects as compared to cheaper products. for example. 2009). would be willing to spend on functional foods and health innovations. shop designs and a good shopping atmosphere as well as reducing costs. affordability and value for money A considerable share of consumers .5 Price consciousness. A major reason for this is that people with less income tend to buy foods that are cheap and satiable. Source: Financial Times Online. but contain more fats. for Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 21 .8 % European sales increase in November 2008. it remains questionable how much additional money consumers. Most food and beverage products are being sold through stores and supermarkets that seek new ways to attract customers though appealing products. a fast growing and successful British manufacturer of smoothies. which include many ‘natural’ and wellness brands.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 individual.3 Consumer behaviour Through the current financial crisis. The 1 Euro-shops. bio.and customers in general – acts price conscious in regard to food and beverage products. Many of these brands relate to quality and ecology-oriented or natural products. international renowned brands. often presented as store brands. can lead to substantial cost savings. sugars and salt and less valuable nutrients. Sustainable and healthy fast food could become an innovation topic. Box 3. Lidl).g. “organic”.
biological. Looking at it from this perspective and also considering neuroscience. some parts of the human evolutionary heritage are not suitable for modern living anymore. Thus. Also recipes from around the world are entering supermarket shelves dominated by industrial products. fat and sugar was an advantage for survival. There may also be trade-offs between taste and other dimensions of foods and drinks like price and health. cultural and neurological factors play an important role in regard to taste preference. The problematic relation to health does not only stem from the human evolutionary/anthropological heritage but can also lead to disputed (but within the EU well regulated) ingredient choices in the context of industrialised and budgeted food production like certain artificial flavours and flavour enhancers.com/2009/05/dissing-evolution?page=0.unu. taste has mostly lost its function for distinguishing between edible and non-edible items and as already mentioned. in vegetables) is rooted in human evolution and premodern living conditions where a preference for energy rich foods. taste preferences are related to assessing the nutritional value and safety of food items found in the wild.pdf 24 http://www. However. meat specialities) are still valued and surviving with their traditional manufacturing methods and ingredients despite modernity.2.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80632e/80632E02. However. wine. can only sell for such cheap price because of large-scale rationalisation and automation in warehousing and logistics (besides cheap product manufacturing in China and Eastern Europe). 3. from an evolutionary/anthropological perspective. 3. this dimension is difficult to objectively quantify. Some innovative future ideas like nanotechnology-based “programmable food” (cf. conditions which however do not apply to the lifestyle in (post-)industrialised societies .g. beer. in confectionary.9) also deal with experimentation of 24 23 23 http://harvardmagazine.as well as experimenting with the tastes of other cultures – has become a major factor for gastronomy and the industry.6 Taste Taste can be considered as one of the most relevant properties of food when it comes to consumer choices.htm#Overview%20of%20factors%20in%20human%2 0food%20selection Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 22 .1. Researchers like Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman are suggesting that people’s preferences for what is nowadays considered unhealthy food like too much (saturated) fats. e. sugars and crispy foods (which can indicate freshness as contrasting to less fresh items. In modern (post-)industrialised cultures.com/samuels/upload/ourlatest/AdolescentObesityTowardsEvidenceBasedPolicy.1 and http://samuelsandassociates.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 example.g. Humans prefer sweet food because it promises fast energy intake and tend to dislike bitter food because many toxic items are bitter . except for indirect areas like preservation. since taste sensitiveness and preferences are highly individual but also dependent on culture and habit. If taste and preferences are tied to specific production methods and ingredients that are not to be altered due to tradition or intellectual property right/trademarks. whereas the cultural dimension of tradition . This can be seen through the observation that century old food traditions (e. taste preferences can conflict with health as well as innovation. taste is still a very important criterion for food choices. However. innovation is of course not really possible. packaging or marketing.
has been inspired by methods of industrial food processing but is also being taken up by the industry . This is in so far interesting as here innovation can be viewed from a different perspective. Currently the situation still seems far from optimal and many industries are talking about a lack of engineers and declining numbers of students in bioscience and engineering.ieee. 25 3. Other preservation methods are exploring the utilisation of spices (e. sugar). eco-efficient and competitive products” (“Cologne Paper”. mass-produced and uniform food and emphasise taste. health as well as traditional and regional specialities.1. fat. If regarded as a counter trend to the mainstream and thus as something new.g. especially non-thermal ones (c. of course.e. Taste. sus tainable. a trend that has gained interest over the last years. which is defined as “transforming life sciences knowledge into new. preserving and maintaining the taste of naturalness of food that is also related to the increasing health consciousness of some consumer groups.3. Humans tend to prefer tastes related to generally less healthy food in modern contexts (e.8). but also associate taste with health and healthy eating (savouring the taste) as in the slow food movement. Innovations in this sector can be seen well within the goals and objectives on the European-Bio-Based-Economy (KBBE). The realisation of the goals requires a strong support for promoting science and research and attracting young people to work in these areas. Wasabi. Molecular gastronomy.e. remains central to food but the relation of taste to health and innovation can be ambivalent.org/geek-life/hands-on/molecular-gastronomy-goes-industrial Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 23 .f. i. indulgence. focussing on the scientific biochemical and physical dimension of cooking. A major necessity that has been identified at the 2007 conference ‘En Route to the Knowledge -Based Bio-Economy’ hosted by the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union is the improvement of knowledge 25 http://spectrum. 2007).g.11) are concerned with keeping the taste of foods intact. “Artificial tastes” in budget food production cause controversies and exotic tastes can awake curiosity but also rejection.1 Knowledge-Bio-Based-Economy (KBBE) The food and drinks sector is a large and important part of the European bio-economy.g. Modern preservation methods. Other food “sub-cultures” like the “slow food” movement are intentionally opposing modern trends of fast.1. 3. “slow food” could be seen as an innovation. i. whereas such ideas are currently also considered with scepticism and would face problems with approval.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 taste. whereas not in a real technical sense but rather from the perspective of lifestyle. economic alternatives (strengthening regional and rural areas) and marketing. Innovations can contribute to better taste preservation (e.3 Intersection of S&T and demand-side drivers 3. advanced preservation methods) and even create totally new taste experiences as in molecular gastronomy and some envisioned future nanotechnology possibilities. 3. Rosemary. parsley) that add good taste and at the same time serve as natural preservatives (cf.
i. Social.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 transfer. but is at the same time regarded as a food-risk itself. camels etc. getting more similar to the biotech industry. kosher. do ethical and safety considerations play a great role in regard to products. 3.) and how to prepare food and drinks (e. Already today.e. 2007).org/index.php/GT/article/view/art83/149 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 24 .g.g. consumer sensitivity and awareness has increased much. The generally increasing knowledge about the workings of complex bio-systems and the role of nutrition will very likely contribute positively towards the general goal of producing safer. “Brain Drain”.g. in regard to butchering). halal. low technology) and “consumer sensitivity”.3. GMO may not be accepted as a solution. Eating and taste preferences are also related to culture.2 Consumer sensitivity as crucial factor The food and drinks sector is rather unique. Nanotechnology could provide methods for better food safety.g. cultural and religious aspects are also very important in the area of eating and drinking. 2008). vegan. crocodiles.jotmi. the emigration of European scientist to non-European countries is also a problem to be addressed (“Cologne Paper”. i.e. healthier and even tastier food based on scientific analysis. Many religious or social rules have strict prescriptions about what (and even when) and what not to eat and drink (e. If one categorises industrial sectors along the dimensions of technology (high technology vs. sweetness and the consumption of certain foods like insects (entomophagy) or specific kinds of meat (e. ban of alcohol and wine etc. although many of them do not seem to be evidence-based. Some of the S&T possibilities that could provide solutions for demand-side wishes may just not be acceptable to the consumer. 26 In regard to expected (future) scientific and technological possibilities. For instance. High consumer acceptance is however expected from personalised diets and methods for improved food testing and food-chain surveillance and management. the food and drinks industry could develop much further towards the characteristics of a high-tech industry. in regard to spices. one can find innumerable personalised-looking advises for healthy eating and nutrition. snails. whereas the food an beverage manufacturing industry is currently still defined as low-to-medium technology (HirschKreinsen. 2006. one could derive the following simplified structure: 26 http://www. e.). although many consumers want allergen-free foods. From past to present. frogs.
umn. whereas modern biotechnology. which applies to large industries as well as to smaller businesses and organic production.3.3 Innovation and technology as chance Although some technological developments may not become popular with consumers. Energy efficiency. however. remains very questionable. analysing the function of natural ingredients for preservation. 27 The important question is in how far consumer sensitivity about the safety of food and beverage products and new knowledge about nutrition and their health effects can be brought into line with each other.g. There can also be innovation without GMO and adding synthetic nanoparticles. Is the industry able to take up the consumer interests and the inputs from scientific research to develop successful new products? 3. texture and health benefits.edu/bitstream/6617/2/sp08ku01. e. 27 http://ageconsearch.g. genetic science and nano/molecular-sciences can nonetheless play an important role in agriculture. theoretical food science and food control.1 Scientific and technological possibilities of the food and drink industry In how far especially SMEs can perform this shift. 2007). For firms that produce traditional foods and drinks which by definition cannot make major alterations in regard to ingredients. improved labelling and packaging to indicate spoilage when it occurs (preventing good food from being thrown away and spoiled food from accidentally be consumed) and ways to establish more trust between consumers and producers can be named as some major issues. GMO and food pills.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 25 . sourcing and production methods. taste. organisational innovations and networking are and remain of major importance (e. there seems to be much room for innovativeness. although the trajectories may be different of what has been thought of in the past about the future.. a better understanding about how food works in the body. There seems to be much room for improvement in efficiency and sustainability within food manufacturing. Kühne et al.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Figure 3.
The scenarios will derive from the following assumptions considered as generally fixed within a shortto mid-term timeframe: Increase in global population Decline of population in many EU countries due to lower birth rates Increasing life expectancy in EU countries (aging society) Increases in scientific and technological knowledge and possibilities as well as the following parameters that vary between the different scenarios and make out the core of their differences: Economic prosperity (on world. computer science and related topics. country and individual basis) Ecological consciousness 28 UN Population Statistics http://esa. material science.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 4 Scenarios 4.9 billion in 2010 to 7. societal. economic etc. because through this one can get a clearer picture of the single elements of the potential future reality.org/unpp/p2k0data. insight and engineering capacities in biotechnology. Thus technological 28 development as such can be seen as a constant.un. political and legal interventions. If disregarding possible societal.) factors can vary. This requires higher levels of agricultural production. however with a greater leaning towards one of them. Demographic developments represent a rather stable framework condition since significant changes in population only occur slowly. the trajectories of technological possibilities is also quite foreseeable with an increasing gain of knowledge. Therefore the need for increases in productivity and yields is one general driver for innovation. nutrition-related health as well as environmental issues are generally considered important and represent topics for innovation. However. legal and economic aspects as well as public opinion play a significant role in determining whether new technologies and methods may be applied or not. the population is declining. however.6 billion by 2020 . Basic framework assumptions: The world population is growing and expected to increase from 6. highlighting different directions in products and production processes manufacturing. medicine. legal. whereas societal (political. Reality is likely to be a mix of all five scenarios.1 Introduction The following sections depict five different scenarios for the possible future development of the food and drinks manufacturing industry in Europe.asp Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 26 . This makes the depiction of ideal typical worlds valuable. and aging. In most EU countries. societal development and consumer preferences and choice.
29 29 The scenarios have been discussed with experts in the context of a workshop. environmental problems. The attendance rate of experts was very low (3). but in regard to implications or the assessment of more or less favourable scenarios the workshop only yielded very limited results from a methodological perspective. graphdiagrams) set to an intermediate position. technological progress and acceptance of technology have not been derived from an extended survey. importance of health. lower concerns) Importance of health (high interest in healthy living vs. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 27 . The diagrams of the other scenarios should be read relative to the baseline (‘business as usual’). A list of references for the scenarios is provided in a special section in the reference list. The other scenarios are measured relative to this reference scenario depicting relative growth or declines in some of the dimensions. All scenarios can also be related to some of the emerging innovation themes that will be described in more detail in chapter 5. The scoring of the major dimensions: economic prosperity. ecological consciousness. leading to problems like obesity) Innovation as a function of socio-economic factors that lead to the real application of knowledge and possibilities Acceptance of new technologies (from a legal as well as individual consumer perspective) The first scenario. extreme weather that could negatively affect food production) Food safety concerns (high concerns within society vs. The first scenario “business as usual” reflects the status quo of th e food and beverage production and market as a very heterogeneous construct. whereas in each scenario different dimensions are being highlighted. that actually only in regard to the technological aspects and factual information validation has been achieved. floods. however. but estimated by the researchers involved in this report and sector workshops during a workshop. Also the developments of the different scenarios are based on current trends in the sector. labelled ‘business as usual’ serves as a baseline and actually depicts the current situation of food and beverage production with the scores for the different dimensions (cf. food safety concerns. rather low interest.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Environmental problems (factual occurrences like draughts. They are not to be interpreted in a quantitative way but rather as an orientation to depict the differences of the scenarios. This report itself has also served as a basis for the scenario-drafting .
which are considered healthier but also more expensive. In this scenario the gap between population groups with higher incomes and higher education vs.2 Scenarios 4.1 Scenario 1: Business as usual (base-line scenario) Economic prosperity 4 3 Acceptance of new technology 2 1 0 Ecological consciousness Technological progress Environmental problems Importance of health Food safety concerns 0 = very low / 4 = very high Driving factors and framework conditions: In this scenario. development and innovation thus leading to only moderately-paced technological progress. while on the opposite end of the market more expensive organic and functional foods and drinks are being offered.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 4. Food and beverage products thought to be healthy and susta inable are still more expensive than average products. scepticism of some consumers about novelties in foods and drinks. i.e. Innovation strategies are varying where some are putting more emphasis on efficiency and cost reductions. lower income and lower education will remain and will also be reflected in food choices. In general. New developments in science and technology are bringing about new possibilities. whereas none of them will be really dominant. ecological factors or producing novelties. The overall economic situation is characterised by moderate growth thus leaving only limited resources for food and beverage innovations and only limited support for overall research. Characteristics of the industry and products: In this scenario the food and beverage manufacturing industry is characterised by a rather high degree of inertia and there will not be many significant Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 28 . Thus two directions are co-existing: cheap food produced en masse with the help of further efficiency strategies still represents a less healthy alternative. others focus on health.2. different drivers are relevant and competing with each other. legal and regulatory issues as well as high costs for innovation and budgetary constraints of consumers are countering some forms of “radical innovation”. whereas safety concerns. good practices in food safety are mostly due to legal obligations and controls. supporting high-end as well as budget products. this scenario is also rather characterised by control.
lack of time). while on the other hand. acquisitions by large multinationals can also become more common. lacking knowledge. partially driven by regulati ons. food safety gets increasingly important as many research and development efforts are put into this goal and legal requirements are getting stricter. Whereas some people are quite concerned over healthy nutrition. nanotechnology (smart labels) and ICT (e. LOCtechnology).Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 changes in the future. Even within the segment of people who care much about healthy eating. young adults (energy drinks) and elderly.g. testing and control). Possible innovations based on chapter 3. RFID-based food chain management) are very important and are being constantly improved. the ideal and reality look quite different. but nonetheless mostly aim at the non-food parts of the food chain (e. more expensive organic products and a segment of more innovative functional foods and drinks.1: New lifestyle products Functional foods (mood. This scenario opens the possibility for greater fragmentation of the industry and the birth of new SMEs. Modern technology and innovations in biotechnology (e.g. the industry and products are characterised by a wide diversity of choices. packaging. many producers are striving to make currently unhealthy food (e. unchanged products still generate high turnovers and many new introductions will not become popular. In general. Although healthy eating is promoted. Whereas the product palette and the production methods do not change much.g. anti-aging) New international and exotic products or “domesticated” foreign products Growing share of organic foods Growing share of “light” and calorie-conscious products Food for the elderly Food for allergic consumers Healthier fast and “junk food” New convenience food. approaches differ much and range from preferring organic and natural choices over vegetarian diets to opting for functional food or compensating unfavourable eating habits through supplements. Major scepticism about highly modified and “technologised” foods and drinks remain and there exists a tendency towards thinking that organic and natural foods and drinks are a generally healthier choice. fast and ‘junk food’) healthier and fight obesity and other “civilisation illnesses”. snacks etc. another large share of the population either can not afford healthier choices or does not care enough due to various reasons (e. Consumers.g.g. In general. The industry will remain a mix of inexpensive conventional production (“industrial food”). Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 29 . the food industry and retailers are the drivers for the development of better and more reliable testing and firms as well as retailers will experience high losses if food scandals occur. Also many traditional foods remain highly popular. Some products however remain quite short-lived while others become well established. cosmetic. There will be a co-existence with more traditional food and drinks manufacturers alongside some functional food innovators. especially aimed at sports people.
There is no clear direction towards a specific tendency which makes planning and innovation strategies for the industries difficult. no real winners Winners: Losers : No real losers Potential risks.2 Scenario 2: Going natural Economic prosperity 4 3 Acceptance of new technology 2 1 0 Ecological consciousness Technological progress Environmental problems Importance of health Food safety concerns 0 = very low / 4 = very high Driving factors and framework conditions: This scenario is especially shaped by drivers related to consumer interest which shape the trajectories of research and technology. One major driver for innovation can be regulations that prohibit certain practices and ingredients or set limitations and standards.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Opportunities for experiments ICT and testing. On the positive side. the different interests cause some kind of balance between different forces where opposing practices like highly rationalised factory-style food and beverage production co-exist alongside production methods that strongly focus on ecological sustainability and fair trade. Although technological and scientific knowledge about genetic technologies. barriers and challenges of this scenario This scenario leaves us with a highly fragmented market where some innovation takes place alongside consumer choices for traditional and unchanged products. 4. Consumers will likely rather stick to their habits which also causes industries to rather refrain from experiments. regulators. The food and drinks sector will only slowly change and significant improvements can not be expected fast. cheap food Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 30 .2. nanotechnology-related possibilities. The large diversity of products and approaches does not lead to “monocultures” and thus may contribute to a broad affordability of food products and high flexibility towards changes. innovative biotech and nanotech companies.
Traditional Chinese and Indian diets and health recipes are being revitalised. consumers are very sceptical about their benefits and prefer not to choose them. starches and alcohol are considered bad (tama) .html http://ayurveda. large companies are also adapting to this situation and begin to advertise their efforts to substitute (what is considered) synthetic ingredients through natural ones. although the realisation is much more based on a trust in nature and the rediscovery of traditional solutions.g. There is a wide spectrum of technological innovations in food processing that is compatible with this scenario like increasing efficiency in organic farming with the help of GPS and soil analysis-based precision farming and advanced indoor farming. meat.html 32 http://www. Also natural and non-chemical (e. Much knowledge from life-sciences and biotechnology is invested in analysis of better utilizing the products of nature than modifying them. SMEs and small companies are profiting much. There is a general belief that organic/natural products are also safer and healthier and a more ethical choice that is shared by many consumers ranging from environmentally active persons to people very much concerned over a healthy extension of their life span. which 30 31 32 http://tcmonline. items such as fresh fruits. “rajas” (energy) and “tamas” (negative elements that should be avoided). Functional food may be based on the Indian concept of “sattvas” (harmony). Such efforts are also getting much support from R&D projects (e.com/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 31 . The current trend of increasing customer interest in organic and natural food is continuing and more and more people prefer products that have been grown and processed with natural/organic ingredients (as legally defined) or that have been only minimally processed. In general it is also more quality than quantity that counts in regard to consumption. Organic and natural food has become the major standard in EU countries with comparatively low populations and even discounters have adapted to this trend and offer more inexpensive products. Personalised diets and healthy eating are a very important aspect in this scenario.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 production etc. The general economic situation is rather positive in this scenario and is also reflected at individual financial prosperity and a large number of people is able to afford more expensive foods and drinks. physical like high pressure) preservation methods are gaining interest and support. exists. in regard to natural preservatives).iloveindia.com/ahar-vihar/index. On the other hand. Characteristics of the industry and products: As smaller companies and local producers are being favoured by a considerable number of customers. scientifically assessed and even taken up by large manufacturers that are also beg inning to sell traditional Chinese “Qi Food ” and Indian Aryurveda-products 30 31 based on traditional knowledge. consumer trust in large industries and large-scale food processing and factory farming declines. vegetables and milk are considered positive (sattva).g. Even large companies are co-operating with smaller ones in order to get more insight into natural and traditional recipes and for product sourcing.gunafood. rajvaic foods like coffee and “energy food” are considered somewhat risky and heavy foods like fat. because many of them are able to gain the trust of customers and co-operate with local organic farmers.co. In Ayurvedic food theory.cc/qxjy/index.
Although some of it is principally allowed and has passed safety evaluation. On the other side. small local industries.g. Also the attitudes towards economic goals have changed towards some extent and earning even more money is not the major goal of large parts of the society. December 2010 Natural/organic food and fast food also do not have to contradict each other as examples of raw foods suggest. food advise) “Organic discounter” Winners: SMEs. eco. Major innovations will be in the area of improved and more efficient and sustainable processing and new forms of natural preservation and refinement methods. companies that want to use GMO. However customers are quite well informed to uncover frauds and false advertisement and such revealing can ruin a company. high-tech. conventional/”industrial” agriculture and production Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 32 . synthetic ingredients. speed. fair trade Losers : Large firms. machines and competition and the goals for innovation have generally become more focused on the environment. society and the improvement of living quality. Technological progress is viewed from different perspectives than rationality. organic producers. nanotechnology. GMO and food nanotechnology are nearly absent in Europe.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector somewhat reflects contemporary “Western” guidelines for healthy eating. Indian or other (ancient) traditions “Ethical” food Fair trade Food-mileage becomes important More balanced vegetarian and vegan products Labels depicting the ecological footprint of the product Insect proteins Many service and process innovations (e. making it less pressing to develop high-tech testing methods. Possible innovations based on chapter 3.1: Regional and small producers Innovations in the utilisation of organic preservatives and ingredients Natural functional food Functional food based on Chinese. humans. insects may be accepted as new food source for ethical and ecological reasons. The general trust in food and drinks is rather high. traditional firms. The problem of fraud and “greenwashing” remains a problem that puts a great challenge on trust. the majority of customers neither wants nor needs it.
Extreme cases of this scenario also create a very fragile “monoculture” situation where disturbances and changes could even lead to challenges for food security and prices. could even make GMO and currently disputed preservation methods into an acceptable option given the lack of viable alternatives (cf. In many parts of Asia. organic farming could not yield enough output to ensure food security. where the populations are large and even growing. importing food products from abroad. diminishing trust in the “organic” industry (“green washing”) and dec lining interest in ecological and sustainability issues (e. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 33 . scenario 5). a well organised agricultural infrastructure and sophisticated agricultural technologies. because no real improvements are being perceived or people may not see enough evidence of environmental problems) may also negatively effect the current popularity of eco-oriented lifestyle and consumption patterns. In general rather unlikely that thus scenario will be realised in it pure form. If organic food production reaches a certain growth rate. e. but a further shift towards this direction relative to the reference scenario could lead to improvements in health as well as ecological sustainability. food prices.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Potential risks. for example. this could also have adverse effects on land area. barriers and challenges of this scenario A decline in income. food security and obtaining a sufficient workforce in agriculture and thus be unfavourable for sustainability.g.g. Pressing problems. If Europe decides to opt for going further towards the direction of this scenario. The scenario is only possible and sustainable for societies with comparatively small populations. through climate change or other ecological occurrences which can also occur due to practices on the global scale. especially from Asia and the US could become problematic and food exports may become too expensive to be really profitable. Agricultural and food trade will thus mostly remain within countries that opt for similar trajectories.
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector
4.2.3 Scenario 3: Cheap & convenient
Acceptance of new technology
2 1 0
Importance of health
Food safety concerns
0 = very low / 4 = very high
Driving factors and framework conditions: Within this scenario which is characterised by a rather unfavourable financial situation for advanced research and development, many of the scientific and technological possibilities cannot be practically realised because industries and institutes cannot afford them. Due to decreasing capabilities in controls, quality standards are less good than they could be. Cheap production, rationalisation and automation are main drivers for innovation that is mostly focussed on process innovations and smart methods to further decrease production costs. The general trust in science and research is rather low. The income situation of a substantial part of the consumers is not that good causing them to make affordable prices of products a major factor for their choice. Many people who were forced during the financial crisis to opt for cheaper products remain with this habit even after their financial situation improves. Additionally to this, consumers are getting increasingly confused about contradicting health advises and have become increasingly sceptical about the stated benefits of more expensive foods, “organic” products and health benefits of functional foods. People generally have less time (e.g. needing to take more than one job) and money (low paying jobs) and hence choose products that are cheap and convenient or indulging (or both), e.g. to counter stress. The food and beverage manufacturing industry as well as agricultural producers are also forced to lower prices, which leaves not much room for higher quality or innovative products. In the first place food should be affordable and taste sufficiently well. Since low cost is the major competition factors for retailers, a downward spiral towards low cost is being initiated that effects the whole food chain. For most consumers, inexpensiveness, convenience and to a certain degree fun are most important. This also goes in
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector
parallel to a general social attitude of a present centred “living today”, which puts less emphasis on future developments, long-term considerations and future plans. Characteristics of the industry and products: Health foods and organic products are loosing ground with mass consumers and are rather considered as high-end products for the economic elites. Also the interest in science-based nutritional recommendations is fading due to contradictions (like the contradicting findings over Ginkgo, resveratrol, calorie restriction, vegan diets etc.) and lacking trust. The increase in labels on products had the opposite effect as intended: people lost interest in reading all the information and rather buy on basis of past experience, emotional reactions and especially price. The general wealth of elderly people is also lower than expected, so that many cannot afford the much more expensive science-based health foods and drinks, thus leading to less interest in their development and the issue of healthy aging in general. For large food and beverage companies and warehousing robotics gets increasingly important since it enables cheaper production. Also conventional and industrial farming will remain the norm and drives further innovations, also in regard to “feeding a growing world population”. Food is being imported from where it can be grown and manufactured in cheaper ways, which also becomes easier since the precaution-based concern over safety and ingredients is fading and controls can not be held up sufficiently. Possible innovations based on chapter 3.1: Advances in food processing automation, logistics and warehousing Variety of fast and convenience food (with some healthier and less healthier varieties) “Fashionable” foods and drinks – goods, often associated with “youth culture” and franchise Indulging foods where taste and experience and not necessarily health are in the main focus Snacks, microwavable products etc. Alcoholic drinks, energy drinks at reduced prices Value chain integration
Winners : Large companies, cheap manufacturers and retailers, private labels, fast food, convenience food, “industrial” agriculture and processing, automation Losers : Expensive producers, organic foods, luxury foods, expensive health food, scientific approaches Potential risks, barriers and challenges of this scenario Highly industrialised and rationalised farming and food (and beverage) production are especially criticised in regard to environmental and health problems (e.g. obesity related illnesses). Although highly industrialised food production could enable better food safety controls, the objective of price reduction could lead to declining quality and lacking resources for innovation, research and
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector
development. This scenario also goes together with other factors like a rather bad economic situation and a general declining interest in the future, innovations and long-term considerations, which also negatively affects the concern over sustainability. Generally this scenario leads to a downward spiral in sustainability as well as quality and a further shift of this scenario relative to the status quo would quite likely lead no negative implications for health, wellbeing and the environment. This scenario could become more likely if the driving forces behind the “Going Natural” scenario decline and if the economic situation and public attitude towards health, innovation and longer-term goals also fade away.
4.2.4 Scenario 4: High tech nutrition
Acceptance of new technology
2 1 0
Importance of health
Food safety concerns
0 = very low / 5 = very high
Driving factors and framework conditions: The advances in bio(techno)logy, ICT, nanotechnology and other related scientific areas as well as the interest of the public and policy makers is growing fast and there are many spill-over effects to the food and beverage industry. In this scenario, scientific research has shown that some forms of GMOs, certain types of nanotechnology-based ingredients and medicinal functional food are sufficiently safe and show no adverse side effects. A substantial part of the population has high trust in science and research and therefore also trusts these findings and derived products. What has started within circles of technological experimenters (and prominent figures, e.g. from sports and business) that have tried out food and beverage innovations in the areas of functional and medicinal foods to improve health, prevent diseases and improve fitness and wellbeing, is soon being followed by the masses. The general economic situation is rather good and people are willing to invest much into their health.
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector
Customers are becoming increasingly interested in quick and technology-based solutions for improving their health as well as physical and mental potentials. Governments as well as health insurers discover the cost-effective value of functional nutrition and even medicinal food for public health. These expectations have also been the driving force behind governmental support for functional food research and advertisement through medical professionals, nutritionists and health insurers. The market expands rapidly as scientific and technological insights grow. Although some technology applications are still rejected by some consumers, their perception gets more differentiated. Consumer decisions are generally very much based on what science and research are saying, a fact that is also being capitalised by advertisement. Characteristics of the industry and products: New discoveries in genetics, epigenetics and nutrigenomics as well as medicine and other areas of life science are constantly leading to new innovations in food and beverage products and improvements, whereas the dimension of science and technology plays the major role. Even products that may taste not that good are being bought if some research states that the benefits for health and fitness are high. Some examples are improved bioavailability of ingredients based on nutritional science analysing the interaction of different nutrients as well as methods borrowed from medicine like drug targeting, personalised diets, smart labels, science-based functional foods and the development of so-called “mood food”, “brain food” and “fitness food” that positively influences wellbeing, physical properties and cognition. Computer technology is also of great help, e.g. in regard to food development, nutritional calculation and simulation and the development of personal diets (e.g. genetic analysis). Researchers and customers have also discovered the important role that food can play in the prevention of diseases. Therefore according developments are supported by governments and health insurers in the context of public health improvement. Although GMO and nanotechnology etc. is still rejected in some areas where the scientific concerns over profound health risks exist, it is supported in others, e.g. for the creation of allergen-free products, the creation of more nutrition-enriched crops and plants, for increasing (not decreasing) the number of different crop varieties or reconstructing older crop species, as a method for faster “cross breeding” and for designing animals with improved immunity thus necessitating less antibiotics. Also cultured meat is gaining popularity and products are improving fast due to increasing demand and support, also from animal-rights groups and environmentalists. Especially large companies have an advantage in this scenario since they have the best financial and scientific means to achieve the goals. But also smaller companies play an important role because they often focus on specific issues and challenges and occupy profitable niches or are able to serve as specialists within consortia and collaborations.
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch
g.g.g.g. barriers and challenges of this scenario Many of the innovations being mentioned are costly in their development and need many human and financial resources. scientists.g. about safety) are wrong. So a lack of human resources or scientific means and backing could make the realisation of this scenario difficult.1: Science-based functional food (e. e. Potential risks. In general this scenario is the most technologically sophisticated and most expensive one and requires considerable investments in R&D and innovation activities as well as support from the public and policy-making (e. based on ancient Chinese traditions are also being assessed in regard to their scientific credibility. the products do not yield the expected results as assumed (e.g. beauty/cosmetic) Healthy convenience food Improved traditional foods Service innovations like science-based recommendations for optimal food combinations Combinations of traditional knowledge (e. they are also being improved in regard to health aspects and the traditional producers need to keep up with “upgrading” their products. the possibility to regulate spiciness or other taste characteristics according to microwave settings Winners: Large companies. Ayurveda) and high-tech (e. Some of them are also dependent on general scientific discoveries. Possible innovations based on chapter 3. some consumers may generally object to some of the mentioned methods and technologies. in genetic and molecular research. with functional and medicinal food) and food security could be endangered if financial and human Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 38 . Since the general importance of the food and beverage manufacturing sector has grown rapidly. cognition. interdisciplinary R&D. Many SMEs get governmental funds to help them improve traditional foods while still preserving the cultural heritage. on basis of nutrigenomics) Selected applications of GMO for innovative products like allergen-free nuts (“knock-out nuts”) Non-prescription nutraceuticals and medicinal food Cultured animal protein Functional food (mood.g. nano encapsulation of nutrients to improve bio-availability) Adjustable food.g. functional food companies Losers : Non-innovative SMEs. The products that are science-based are being accepted whereas others are soon disregarded as fraud and nonsense. This scenario also rests very highly on technological solutions and thus also represents a “monoculture” that bears dangers if either some assumptions (e. ICT). Traditional foods and drinks that are e. Above this. in regard to laws and regulations). unhealthy fast food. more and more students are getting interested in the subject and the industries are able to easily find appropriate personnel. innovative start-ups (especially in close relation to biotech. traditional firms.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Although traditional food and recipes still exist. e. nanotech.g.
extreme rainfalls). 4. New technologies are accepted quickly if they show promises to solve rather immediate problems. Many countries. due to lacking arable land and crop failures. significant amounts are being invested into nutrition-related research and development. find new protein sources and improve food preservation. e.5 Scenario 5: Emergency Economic prosperity 4 3 Acceptance of new technology 2 1 0 Ecological consciousness Technological progress Environmental problems Importance of health Food safety concerns 0 = very low / 4 = very high Driving factors and framework conditions: The “Emergency” scenario will depict a very grave situation. due to extreme weather conditions and the results of overfishing and animal diseases. The only way out of the crisis lies in innovations that drastically increases yields and arable areas or create crops that can grow under harsh conditions (extreme draught.g. but a further shift towards this scenario could also improve the overall quality of food and beverage products and certainly stimulate innovation. Humans may also become alienated from real food and real agriculture. Judging from current trends.g. a pure version of this scenario is also quite unlikely. where innovation is not merely a means for staying competitive. will face systemic food shortages. but due to the importance of the issue. even in Europe.2. This could make an overemphasis on technological solutions dangerous in times of crisis and decline. Climate change and environmental destruction will lead to drastic decreases in arable land while the global population is still rising with many environmental refugees coming to Europe. Especially small traditional manufacturers are threatened in this scenario and the dependency on R&D and other sectors and developments is very high. but for staying alive. The general economic situation is not good. If balanced by the “Going Natural” scenario both could improve each other through complements if they do not remain too opposing.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 resources may decline. e. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 39 .
leading to socio-political tensions and environmental refugees to Europe.g. Major examples include technologies for water filtering and recycling (e. a variety of alternatives are being tried out and all are welcome and get implemented quickly.g.g. rainwater and even urine). However this scenario certainly leads to general declines in health and wellbeing and is. it nonetheless shows that a general lack on innovative ideas (regardless of current acceptance) could pose grave problems under certain conditions. New food preservation methods are being thought of to maximise the reserves. insects) Development of new food sources Improving the efficiency of food usage. disputed food preservation techniques (e. indoor farming and lab-grown meat as well as the utilisation of (perhaps also genetically modified) insects as fast-reproducing food source. nano-encapsulation) Winners : All those that come with working ideas to produce and preserve food Losers : All those who do not come up with suitable ideas Potential risks. large scale algae production. Research and technologies that have initially been developed within the context of the space programs are now re-initiated and deployed on earth. Europe also assumes and obligation to find quick solutions for de-escalating the problem. farming in large ‘terrariums’ like Biosphere 2 and greenhouses designed for the Mars mission as well as food pills and ‘field rations’.e. in contrast to the “High Tech Nutrition Scenario”. This scenario also shows that some of today’s rejections about certain technologies and ideas are embedded within current socio-economic conditions that do not require drastic measures. improve yields or diversity (i. Characteristics of the industry and products: Under these conditions. If external conditions change. The roofs of buildings are being transformed into agricultural spaces and gardens are mostly serving food production than planting flowers. to have some ‘backup’ crops if external conditions change or some plague will hit). seen as a last resort rather than a Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 40 .1: GMO food to be grown under extreme environmental conditions GMO to enhance crop yields and the utilisation of animal proteins Indoor farming. barriers and challenges of this scenario Besides everybody hoping that this scenario will not become reality. reducing food waste Food pills Optimised nutritional intake (e.g. In this sense. entomophagy (insect eating) and food pills may become acceptable given the alternative of insufficient food and water.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 The situation in many non-European developing countries is even far worse. Such innovations may include genetically modified crops and fungi to resist harsh conditions. alternative farming methods Alternative protein sources (e. genetically modified animals optimised for food consumption. Possible innovations based on chapter 3. GMO. irradiation).
3 Concluding remarks If deriving from the assumption that affordable improvements in health. It depicts a situation where everything goes wrong and is getting out of balance. Also innovativeness may become quite selective. The “business as usual” scenario is not a very innovative one. sustainability and health. this scenario could lead to an even greater gap in regard to nutrition-related health in the future with expensive health and natural food on the one side and cheap and unhealthy “junk food” on the other. Nonetheless “cheap and convenient” may become a growing trend for low income groups and people who lack sufficient knowledge about nutrition or time for adequate food preparation. If new technologies for healthier ingredients. improvements could also reach the lower budget sector. The “emergency” scenario is certainly a kind of worst case scenario where even food security (enough food) is in jeopardy. The scenario also shows possible developments that can occur due to lacking concerns over the environment and sustainability and could even represent and extreme result coming out of the “Affordable & Convenient” scenario. improved preservation methods and faster and real-time safety assessments are getting cheaper. draughts and poverty. Current trends in desertification and reliance on monocultures in large scale agriculture already seem to point towards this direction and in many countries around the world the situation for food security and safe drinking water is already bad and still worsening. which not even have the sufficient means to apply undesired technologies as last resort. Also many food safety and quality problems are attributed to the drive for more cost reductions and thus cost efficiency and quality are currently in a way antagonistic. Especially obesity is a major health concern that is also associated to “junk food” and unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. but since it is very diverse and different factors like factory farming on the one side and ethical and sustainable food production on the other keep each other in balance in regard to cost reductions. this could become a realistic outcome. but if sustainability will be neglected. On first glance the “going natural” and “high-tech nutrition” scenarios look like contradictions which may even be the case if taking their extreme forms. Some of these cross-cutting innovation areas may be: Assessment of functional (natural) ingredients as replacements for less healthier ones Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 41 . dividing the industry into highly innovative sections and non-innovative less healthy low budget areas.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 choice. sustainability as well as affordability. Therefore innovations should also keep the cost factor in mind and look for solutions that improve quality in an affordable way. Nonetheless. but it also depicts the reality in some countries stricken by environmental catastrophes. But both can also be combined by leaving out developments that are considered risky or insufficiently assessed and focusing on the deployment of new technologies (as they are also being mentioned in the section about innovation themes) to improve health. safety and sustainability are the main goals of innovation activities. then the scenarios “cheap and convenient” as well as “emergency” are definitely not favourable. 4.
salt. waste and water reduction) Automation in processing (could improve hygiene) Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 42 .Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Personalised diets Evidence-based functional food Reduction in fat. sugar and other problematic ingredients Alternative proteins Improved preservation methods Advanced and continuous food testing Sustainable production (energy efficiency.
which is likely to become technologically possible by under current conditions would lead to legal problems. New scientific and technological potentials are not only affecting products but also regulations.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5 Emerging innovation themes and their requirements Generally it could be stated that many innovations in the food and drinks sector depend on further developments being achieved outside the sector like in biotechnology. Whereas the previous section has described more general drivers. which could generally lead to radical changes or disruptive effect in some areas. cost reductions. innovations in food chain management and warehousing and a generally better understanding about nutrition and the relation between food and beverage consumption and human health. fat reduction. Other innovations.g. nanotechnology. consistency or shelf-life). It is even expected by some that the progress in these areas might become more interdisciplinary and through “intellectual cross fertilisation” even accelerate. Another example is medicinal food that goes beyond functional food.is currently hard to assess. political. In this respect the main issue to be taken into account in respect to food and drinks rather relate to societal. The research areas mentioned above are constantly progressing and will continue to do so in the future. processes and technological trajectories The spectrum of technological possibilities for innovations in food and beverage products and production is large. automation. however. It has to be said. but expert and consumer concerns over potential health risks make such innovation ideas uncertain in regard to successful future market introduction. laws and societal issues. They are very likely to bring about new ideas and solutions for healthier foods. Here demands are assumed since the technologies are expected to solve certain problems or improve certain aspects of foods. the usage of less conservatives and additives that are considered harmful as well as environmental concerns are challenge and problem-driven. interest groups and policy-makers.2 will focus on Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 43 . section 3. Some innovations like the production of healthier foods and drinks.1 New products. however. are rather driven by technological possibilities as it is for example the case with the application of nanotechnology or genetically modified ingredients in food and beverage processing. improved food safety. Thus section 3. Additionally there are also innovation proposals that are suggested as solution to certain challenges and problems like utilising abundant insect proteins or developing cultured meat that currently do not seem to be too popular with European customers.1 will focus on future innovation possibilities based on currently emerging developments. ICT. drinks and their production (e. neurosciences and material sciences. improve taste. that the technological progress within the next 20 years could also easily get overestimated since many emerging science and technology fields are quite new and complex and their real impact – also in terms of consumer take-up and trustworthiness . 5. legal and economic factors that could hamper fast progress. the following will provide an overview of some specific technologies and driving factors as well as barriers. but not all suggestions are being perceived with the same acceptance by consumers.
However.e.3 on organisational issues. Related research has also shown that individual persons can possess a different enzymatic makeup (polymorphism) that makes their metabolism work differently.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 market factors and 3. In short. (NuGo. e. 5.1 will also include challenges and barriers that are based on current legal and societal situations and reactions as well as scientific and technological needs that still exist for their full realisation. These findings may also put new responsibilities onto the food and beverage industry and agriculture. some biotech firms are offering personalised nutritional consultation on the basis of genetic analysis. epigenome. In contrast – or as addition – to “classical” genetics.and life-sciences will substantially shape the future food and beverage industry and their products. it is very likely that the food and drinks of the future will take these findings into account. 2009).1 Inputs from biotechnology and life sciences Bio. for example is a Network of Excellence in the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technology.1. leading to differences in the utilisation of nutrients (and medication). trying to uncover the complex interlinkages. Section 3. Later. called nutrigenomics. metabolome (molecules involved in metabolism) and proteomics (expressed proteins). being active or inactive (through influencing DNA or protein methylation). It studies the relationship between nutrition and the genome. Funded for six years. Already today. i. Influences affecting the epigenome may even be inherited to offspring.1 to challenges. One currently still emerging area of science which could profoundly influence food and beverage products is epigenomics (sometimes also called epigenetics). but science is currently still not able to understand all the complex underlying mechanisms to provide meaningful and evidence-based advice. the primary aim of NuGO is integration. See http://www. The main goal of this organisation which has 23 partner organisations within 10 European countries is the improvement of the European nutrigenomics research.g. these new scientific findings strongly suggest that there exist a so-called epigenome that controls in how far specific genes are “switched on or off”. This could lead to new services offering personalised recommendations for food and beverage intake and combinations.org/everyone Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 44 .nugo. The European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGo) . making European nutrigenomics research easier. their health state. Progress in computer 33 33 NuGO is a Network of Excellence in the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technology. chapter 6 will connect the innovation themes from 3. epigenomics is concerned with the changes of gene expression and the regulation of gene activity that are influenced by external factors like food intake or exposure to substances found in the environment. problems and socioeconomic developments that have also served as building blocks for the scenarios described in chapter 5 as well as bringing them into connection to policy issues. scientists around the world are researching in this area. Since the intake of food and drinks is regarded as an important influencing factor for the epigenome and thus affecting genetic expression and determining certain characteristics in the organism. There already exists a specialised research field based on epigenomic theory.
the industry and research. the 34 34 http://www. 2009) . spoilage and the behaviour of harmful micro-organisms. the School of Food Biosciences at the University of Reading.fhi. The regulatory framework in this regard is uncertain at present. If there will be drafted a regulatory framework on so-called “Human Enhancement Technologies” as it is currently being discussed at STOA (FIH.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 technology is of great assistance for enabling the necessary complex calculations. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 45 . medicine and “drugs” will certainly become an issue. Food testing methods and food chain management will certainly improve very much due to new technological possibilities like instant testing. Medicinal food and GMOs for pharmaceutical purposes (although it might become technically feasible within this time frame. health foods and personalized diets. i. it will encounter much more regulatory hurdles and costs.) Cultured meat. in-silico analysis). in combination with possibilities of personalised diets (at least to a certain degree) will be a likely development within the next 1520 years.uk/archive/2009/human_enhancement_workshop_in_brussels.g. the trajectories will depend much on further safety evaluations and consumer acceptance. Molecular biotechnology and nanotechnology are also likely to be welcome in the area of food testing and surveillance. Out of these developments. more scientific research is needed to develop advanced and reliable products. smart sensors and smart labelling. perhaps in contrast to their usage in the food and drinks themselves. health sciences and medicine as well as in related areas like ICT and computer-based analysis (e. foods and drinks on the blurry line between foods. could also become feasible for industrial-scale use to a certain degree within the next 20 years. Although much progress is being made in modern bio(techno)logy. nutraceuticals. improved lab-on-a-chip systems. Norwich Research Park. the following trajectories are likely to evolve within the next 15 to 20 years: New and improved functional foods and drinks. With a growing number of dedicated research institutes and medical centres like the Institute of Food Research.is also a contributing factor that genetic and epigenetic findings might be integrated into tomorrow’s food and drinks. The principal possibilities for food nanotechnology are likely to grow within the next 20 years. meat produced from cell cultivation in the laboratory without the need of growing and slaughtering a whole animal. The progress is likely to be faster if sufficient financial support and research-co-operation are being provided. Especially natural functional ingredients will get increasing positive attention through consumers. Challenges and barriers More research needed: Especially in the areas of functional foods and drinks.ox. Also the enormous progress that has been made in DNA analysis – in regard to speed and cost reduction . innovation is likely to process rather gradually and necessitates profound testing and safety analysis. improved preservation methods and a better scientific understanding about the reasons for food contamination.ac. New categories like foods and drinks with mood and memory-enhancing effects could also be developed and may attract a large share of customers.e.
physics.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM). neuro sciences and psychology. Lacking skills and human resources: The food and beverage manufacturing of the future is likely to become increasingly multi-disciplinary. Only large companies currently have the financial means and human resources to tackle such issues. Because of this. This is in line with one of the recommendations of the High Level Group on Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry which is to “promote high quality and comprehensive impact assessments for the European policy and legislative measures.eu/enterprise/food/high_level_group_2008/contributions/cia_human_capital. and even they complain about a lack of sufficiently skilled personnel.jrc. Regulation: Regulation as such is not to be viewed as negative by definition. 2009). but also to 2) simplify access to funding research programmes. Therefore innovativeness could become a real problem for the sector and many potential improvements might just not be possible due to lacking human resources. perhaps as many as half of them (IFST.This problem is even observed globally. marketing.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 46 . 2008).g. e. health sciences. Ex ante impact assessments of regulatory (and other) policy initiatives could help ensure innovation. many European food and beverage manufacturing industries . however. bio-sciences and bio technology. IPTS.g. smell or shelf-life.pdf http://www. 2008) . texture.” Need for efficient authorisation procedures for novel and functional foods: firms have frequently addressed the need for more efficient and rapid authorisation procedures. the newly founded Top Institute Food & Nutrition Wageningen. Regulation can be a driver for innovation. experimentation. are experiencing a shortage in scientific and high skilled personnel (CIAA.innovations-report. chemistry.html 37 http://ec. the Unilever Health Institute in Vlaardingen and many others. sugar or salt and the substitution of synthetic through natural ones in foods and drinks can be very challenging and necessitate much scientific research. VTT Biotechnology. and 4) make better use of the instruments available in the context of the European research and innovation policy (HLG. nano sciences. 2006).es/pub/EURdoc/JRC43851. ICT. chemistry and biology. The substitution of unhealthy ingredients: Nearly every ingredient in foods and drinks serves a specific purpose necessary for providing the desired taste. even the reduction of “unhealthy” ingredients like fat. Currently. ICT.com/html/reports/medicine_health/report-55872. such as the US but also various other countries currently 37 36 35 36 ftp://ftp. Currently such procedures can be very lengthy. Europe’s competitors. ecology and others could contribute to improved foods and drinks. In some cases a substitution of ingredients could even be comparable to re-inventing a whole product. 35 The High Level Group on Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry put forward a number of recommendations on more research.europa. 3) enhance the research and innovation efforts. where insights from many different areas. know-how and high-level skills in areas like physics. including very specifically 1) to support the development of new food technologies. the scientific foundation is getting stronger (e.
Future food and drinks could be engineered to counter certain negative age-related effects and thus having preventative function and supporting quality of life and healthy aging. Research suggests that there is a connection between specific nutrients and mood. memory. overweight. Nutrition for the elderly also stands in the intersection of geriatrics (study of the diseases commonly found in elderly). The findings may lead to science/evidence-based nutrition that specifically affects mood. Neuroscientists and neurobiologists are currently analysing these complex mechanisms between brain chemistry and nutrition. affecting the probability of cancer. Customised diets for the elderly are getting increased interest in the context of rising life-expectancy. e. The design of future functional food may go beyond the supply of nutrients as such and will be based on a holistic molecular approach to nutrition. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 47 . Functional food for the brain and nervous system. life expectancy).g.1. i. binding of free radicals. future food might be engineered in a way to purposefully remove or insert certain substances. 5. Also the bioavailability of nutrients could be improved if our understanding about metabolic and proteomic mechanisms will grow. But nutrition for the elderly is not only a medical problem. biotechnology and medicine. e. leading to certain positive or negative effects (e.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 outcompete Europe on this aspect.2 Improved functional foods Whereas today’s functional food relies on (assumed) knowledge about specific ingredients that could yield specific effects in humans (e. Fillion/Kilcast. (Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. Ways to counter and prevent age-related diseases are currently very high on the research agenda in food research. Weight loss and malnutrition are quite common in elderly and can also be attributed to changes in biological and biochemical bodily processes due to ageing. future functional foods could be designed on the basis on findings from epigenetics and epigenomics as well as medical research. “Anti-ageing” food/drinks and products for the elderly. gerontology (the interdisciplinary study of aging) and the emerging field of bio(medical) gerontology (investigating the biological process and causes of aging) together with scientific disciplines dedicated to genetics and nutrition.g. better digestion. being evidence-based. The production level of serotonin can be influenced by foods. aggression and appetite and can be responsible for depressions. This efficient authorisation point has also been advanced at the recent HLG (HLG. cognition and the nervous system. cognition or other neural functions.g. raised by carbon hydrates). If it will be known how specific ingredients in foods and drinks influence DNA methylation (determining which genes become active and inactive). 2001). lowering cholesterol.e. thus negatively influencing their eating habits. improve wakefulness). perhaps necessitating other forms of innovations that can compensate for these circumstances (cf. by adjusting the serotonin-level in the brain as well as that of other neurotransmitters. Elderly people are often less sensitive to taste and smell and might have problems with moving or chewing.g. 2009).
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. metabolomics and related areas is well supported and advances in analysis methods and computer technology provide positive contributions. Innovations and the integration of according knowledge are likely to occur step-by-step as new insights and discoveries are being made and can be transformed into workable products. the regulatory process currently takes a lot of time compared to other countries (e.g. and far from usable industrial results yet. food producers and policy makers is currently high so that such research areas are getting quite good support. Epigenetics is still an emerging research field and normal genetics is sill far from full understanding.g. In regard to novel foods (foods and drinks generally new to the European market). Regulation: Regulation as such is not viewed as negative by definition by the food and drinks industry. the US) and hence can cause turnover and profit losses. proteomics. The tendency towards cheaper and faster genome analysis are also an important factor for the realisation of personalised geneticallybased nutrition(al advises). optimised for the individual person’s biological makeup. A general trend towards a nutrition approach based on these new research areas is very likely to be realised. independent from the issue of nutrition. which however still lack a solid scientific basis. but also concerning cancer or dementia). Currently. nutrigenomics. The customer interest may also be the result from the general current trend towards customisation and individuality. However the interest of customers. E.g. Regulation can also be a driver for innovation. Also the new strict calls for science-based evidence in relation to healthclaims necessitates much research and testing. it will be possible to compose individualised diet plans based on genetic information and epigenetic findings.1. it may take some time to yield usable results. although the topic is still a scientifically emerging issue. for some individuals it may be better to eat more meat. The customer interest in the concept of personalised nutrition is already quite high. offers and advises for personalised diets. humans have different metabolisms. researchers. companies have to think of methods to substitute for these ingredients and thus innovate. research in the fields of epigenetics. Researchers and public health specialists are also very interested in these new areas of research. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 48 . hence a certain nutrient can have different effects in different persons.3 Personalised diets As mentioned above. if specific substances are not allowed in food production. This could be performed in form of composing personalised functional foods or in just making recommendations in regard food choices (e. especially SMEs. With science progressing. because of the prospective of providing new and rather easy ways for disease prevention (especially in regard to so-called life-style diseases. Challenges and barriers: Complex research: Since the analysis of biological systems and the interaction of different proteins and other substances is a very complex field. which is likely to be too expensive for most companies. whereas for others a vegetarian diet might be preferable). Currently there already exist many claims.
i. measles or diphtheria. Claims about the prevention of illnesses. This ancient idea has been taken up by modern biotechnology and medicine.4 Medicinal food In ancient traditional China and India. Van Zoest. food and medicine have been closely related.1. e. Statements like “calcium is good for your bones” are only allowed if approved on a so-called “positive list”.g.e. “ this product prevents the risk for heart disease” or “this product improves your memory” are not allowed. it is allowed to be (explicitly) advertised as healthy. and hence improve the consumer choice process. One direction in which this research has developed is the creation of foods that can have the same effect as vaccinations. however is Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 49 . percentage of fats and vitamins). as well as in other cultures. except if scientifically proven.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Box 5. Health claims as well as products are being assessed and when the transition period is over. Costs: The development of new functional foods and drinks will be very costly. The health claim regulation is also seen as a reaction to customers’ wishes to get a clearer differentiation between objective information and advertising claims. related research is slowing down.g. It is unclear in how far consumers will be willing to pay more for such innovative but unknown products lacking long-term experience. banana) that contain the specific vaccines. Only if the product complies with certain guidelines and limits (e. called (molecular or gene) pharming. A similar method. the Regulation went into force by 1 January 2008. However. 2009). 5. genetic engineering technology can be used to create plants (e.g. especially in face of the current regulatory frameworks. This new obligatory EU-regulation includes a EU-wide harmonisation of standards and makes the assessment of every health claim by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and there are transition regulations for already existing products and health claims. the intention behind it can be regarded as positive since it encourages producers to compete in establishing real improvements and innovations and prevent fraud. Although health claim regulation has been criticised for setting restrictions to advertisement.g.1 Novel foods According to EU legislation novel foods are defined as foods and food ingredients that have not been used for human consumption to a significant degree within the Community before 15 May 1997. If the products will not meet the (scientific) standards of the health claim. For this reason. it will not be allowed on the market bearing this claim after the respective transition period is over (e. which necessitates medical testing procedures. only approved health claims will be allowed to be used. with specific foods used in therapeutic applications and functions. a new Regulation on the use of nutrition and health claims for foods was adopted by the Council and Parliament. They have to undergo to undergo rigorous safety assessment before being brought to market. In December 2006. In principal – although not yet in (approved) practice -. The positive side of it would be that one could actually use nature’s own methods to produce specific medicinal substances and that the “vaccination” could occur just through eating. against polio. these suggestions have come under some criticism concerning their effect and safety (and the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in general) as well as legal problems (different regulations apply for food and medicine) and the scientific and technological progress has been limited so far.
or as already mentioned.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 experiencing growing applications.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/index_en. 2005). it is currently unclear how long this may be.g. i. Even the so-called “golden rice”. Also the development of genetically modified non-allergenic foods – “knock-out nuts” – is a possibility. Since different countries have different attitudes towards GMO. which could build up the acceptance of GMOs in this country where large portions of the population suffer from pollen allergies.stm http://ec. calcium etc. Challenges and barriers Scepticism about GMO: However. Future GMOs for pharmaceutical use. However. Regulatory distinction between medicine and food: In policy and legislation as well as in the minds of people there is still a demarcation line between food and medicine. even in generally technology-friendly Japan. even inhibiting or reducing the production of proteins that cause allergies. Principally this currently still applies to all GMOs in food and agriculture. legal and ethical problems as well as unclear safety issues can be named as hindering factors. which are not allowed to be marketed as medicine (OJEU. current political. The new health claims regulation will make it very difficult for small companies to produce and sell functional foods or products with a health claim. especially in Europe (Mayer. although not uniquely so. global sourcing may pose a challenge. vitamins. GMO research is continuing with the goals of producing plants that contain (more of) specific ingredients attributed to positive health effects (e. 2006). the criticism and scepticism is especially a European problem. and/or underlie the novel food regulation. food and beverage products that ought to have a (proven) therapeutically effect fall into a kind of “legal hole”.bbc. “Nutraceuticals”. genetically modified plants and animals are used to produce specific medicinal active components for applications in the pharmaceutical industry or other biological components that are utilised for industrial purposes. At the same time. since they either have to be defined as medicine and have to undergo pharmaceutical testing or as food or beverage.e.europa.co.) . because of the 39 38 38 39 http://news. a genetically modified rice species developed by scientists from ETH Zurich and University Freiburg/Germany that produces and contains Beta-Carotene (pro-vitamin A) has led to heavy controversies. The prospects of future GMOs in agro-food products will mainly be dependent on consumer perception and regulatory issues.htm Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 50 . In pharming. Although it is assumed that GMOs might get more acceptance globally in the long run. Although it would be technically possible to create genetically engineered plants that produce pharmaceutically usable components.uk/2/hi/health/7188969. Japan is currently developing an anti-hay-fever rice. However. The Japanese “NO! GMO” activist group has joined forces with international like-minded organisations and the Japanese opposition to GMOs is very strong for an Asian country. including food ingredients. The GMO issue also provides a good example for the interlinkages and dependencies throughout the food chain and the importance of choosing suppliers and trusting them. the popularity of organic food is steadily increasing in Japan.
The environmental group PETA has offered a 1 million USD prize to the contestant who successfully produces and sells the first cultured (in-vitro or lab-grown) chicken meat until 2012 (mongabay. 1932] As scientific and advances are being made in stem-cell technology. cloning and tissue engineering. However. 41 40 41 ftp://ftp. the new regulation will make sure that products bearing health claims are really effective and could contribute to the further development of scientifically proven functional foods.mongabay. intended to be.1. […]. Box . This is to the benefit of consumers. 2008) .” [Winston Churchill. 40 5.5. ‘Food’ shall not include: […] medicinal products within the meaning of Council Directives 65/65/EEC and 92/73/EEC […] Official Journal of the European Communities. Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology.com/2008/0423-peta.2 Food definition For the purposes of this Regulation. 2008).es/pub/EURdoc/JRC43851. but only the meat (the meat cells) might be grown in the laboratory. it can be assumed that scientific and technological advances in tissue engineering will make the development of cultured meat easier in the coming time. 2002 Functional foods and drinks which rather provide a preventative than medicinal function get much greater acceptance with consumers and regulations if the effect can be scientifically substantiated (IPTS. or reasonably expected to be ingested by humans. Also the non-profit research organisation “New Harvest” is working on the development of me at substitutes. The Dutch researcher Henk Haagsman from University Utrecht is leading a research project about cultured meat in co-operation with scientists from University Amsterdam.pdf http://news. organ transplants in humans). ‘food’ (or ‘foodstuff’) means any substance or product.g. the factors of quantity and time (to produce large amounts of sufficiently textured cultured meat in a short time) as well as the provision of nutrients to the tissue still remain a challenge. for example.jrc.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 necessary amounts of scientific research and evaluation that have to be conducted. both in choosing and in consuming functional foods. partially processed or unprocessed. whether processed. On the other hand. researchers have asked the question why not growing meat in the laboratory using the same techniques. especially since it is much easier to create tissue for food than for medical purposes (e.5 Cultured meat ”Fifty years hence we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. in order to slaughter them to get their meat for food. partially funded by the Dutch government. Here biomedical science and food science can profit from each other in a rather unconventional way. The requirements for cultured meat are even below those of medical tissue engineering which has to be functional for therapeutic purposes. not the whole chicken. Instead of breeding and raising chicken. In general.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 51 .
the possibility of engineering the fat amount.asp Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 52 . they could become economically and ecologically relevant. Around 1400 insect species are already being consumed. Since insects are nutritious. Thailand in 2008.fao.html http://www. especially in countries on the Southern hemisphere and new processing methods could actually make their use more attractive. available in large amounts. The issue of making more use of insect sources for nutrition has also been evaluated at a FAO conference in Chiang Mai.edu/entomology/dept/bugfood2.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Challenges and barriers Costs and consumer perception: In technological terms. 2006 ). Entomophagy (insect eating) is already quite widespread in South Asia. But this may change as the technology will be conducted more routinely and in larger scales and when tissue and stem cell technologies will mature in general. necessitate little space for keeping and can be produced cheaply. currently known methods for cultured meat are still too inefficient for industrial usage.ca. many current customers however show negative (emotional) reactions towards the idea. Therefore the question remains how to convince consumers about the advantages of cultured meat and to pay higher prices for potential products. But it is likely that the reaction of customers changes when they are really beginning to rationally compare current meat production with the envisioned future method. 2008) . worms and insects represents a very uncommon situation for most Westerners and the highest barriers may be psychological in nature. Also new standards and testing have to be established if broader insect consumption would be established to avoid harms from insecticide residues (FAO. algae is already being eaten as Japanese culinary in sushi and processed worms and insects that do not look like 44 43 42 43 http://www. 2009) has voiced his scepticism about artificial (cultured) meat and his preference for the natural product.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index. Africa. Latin America and Japan .fao. even if the technology matures.html 44 http://www. Challenges and barriers Consumer perception: Eating algae. it is very likely to be far more expensive than conventional production at least in the beginning. Although cultured meat comes with many advantages that include the cultivation in controlled and clean laboratory conditions which eliminates the risk of disease and use of antibiotics and growth hormones.1. but not in Europe and North America.6 Insect innovation Insects (and a variety of worms) are actually a very efficient food source and display a better nutritional and ecological efficiency than other animals that are commonly consumed in European countries (especially pork and beef). no need to kill animals for food and a reduction of environmental pollution caused by animal farming (which according to the UN FAO is higher than that produced by the transport sector (FAO. 42 5. reproduce fast.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000791/index. even to Westerners. Even the moderator of a German ZDF science documentary (“Abenteuer Wissen” from July 8. However. However.uky.
for health but also for enhancing properties during processing). proteins or lipids. The other issue is increasing convenience. e. concepts for self-heating and cooling have already existed for quite a while. innovations in fast and convenience foods are also being thought of. However. wasabi. Fast food producers may also need to adapt to customer’s wishes and changes in trends in an early manner and thus could also serve as early indicator for other branches in food and beverage production. Challenges and barriers Cost pressure may be named as one of the major barriers for quality-related innovations in fast and convenience food. for drinks) packaging. rosemary) or other beneficial functional properties (e.8 Functional natural ingredients Research advances in biosciences not only lead to trajectories of greater modification but also provide better insights into the mechanisms of natural ingredients that can possess valuable properties for preservation (e. Healthy and higher quality (and higher priced) fast and convenience food are well conceivable and could especially address working professionals. but both aspects could be changed. However.aspx Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 53 . regulations and legal pressure could especially lead to innovations and changes in the fast and convenience food industry due their already fragile image.1. but as mentioned above. by using self-heating or self-chilling (e. 5.g. Fast food producers can also serve as trendsetters to respond quickly to legal requirements (e. by reducing trans-fats. making preparation even faster or even mobile.and convenience food As is seems that some people are having less and less time for cooking and lengthy food preparation. ecological sustainability or fair trade) . salt and preservatives that are considered unhealthy. e. sugar. but never became really popular so far. Although natural ingredients have already been utilised for quite a while in Western as well as Eastern diets.g. cow or pig when eating ham and sausages. 45 http://www.g. One major issue is the production of healthier fast food.foodproductdesign. fast and convenience food producers may get increasingly criticised over some of their practices and some measures like their advertisement with healthy choices or environmental consciousness may not be really believed by the customer. However as also mentioned above. fast food is currently often also associated with low budget and unhealthy choices.com/articles/2007/08/fast-food-innovation.1. fast food and low budget do not necessarily have to be related. As customer concerns over healthy nutrition.7 Innovations for fast. in regard to ingredients and trans. scientific analysis can help to assess their workings in an evidence-based way and enable more specific utilisation.g.g.fats) or customer wishes (e. environmental considerations as well as fair trade and animal rights rise. whereas it can not always assessed if some measures are only superficial or real innovations. Also advanced microencapsulation techniques that represent an emerging method for improving food processing and nutritional value of food can be based on natural materials such as starch.g.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 insects and worms anymore may even get accepted if one considers that most people also do not think about the chicken. e. 45 5.g.g.
com. e. 2008.g. nano-encapsulation. Table 5.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. 2009 47 5. WDR. Despite consumer concerns.1. vitamins or flavour and for enhancing their bio availability.e.and biotechnology may also open up new ways for improved food safety control and surveillance.de/swr1/rp/tipps/essen/-/id=446830/nid=446830/did=3268588/axyyx4/index. EC. Another thinkable. nanotechnology has already reached the supermarket shelves. better foodmatrix integration and avoiding undesired tastes. In general. The customer could therefore choose the flavour or colour through different heating times or microwaveoven settings. (cf.1. microwave setting or other triggering effects. but more far away innovation could be the creation of “customer taste adjustable foods” or “programmable foods”.html http://www.php Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 54 . 2009). Although such innovations are within technological possibilities.swr. 2006.9 Nano-based food and beverage ingredients46 Nanotechnology (in combination with methods from biotechnology) is not only considered for packaging. for improving the texture and viscosity of products like tomato ketchup and chocolate.10 Smart food packaging with nanotechnology The combination of nano. for methods to enable the release of medication only in the area where it is needed. Nanowerk. it is currently quite questionable if they will be accepted by the customer. Similar techniques could also be applied in the food and beverage industry for improving the release of nutrients.1 Examples of food/beverage nanotechnology: Source: nanowerk. e. Nanotechnology (i. Flavours or colours could be contained in nano -capsules that release their content only upon a certain temperature. nanoparticles and nano-capsules) are currently being evaluated for use in targeted drug delivery. but also as food ingredient.com/spotlight/spotid=8960.nanowerk. Nanotechnology enables the creation of ultra-small thermo-sensors that can 46 47 http://www.g. nano-emulsions and similar nano-based techniques seem to show advantages over “classical” non-nano methods in regard to controlled delivery.
although the major aspect of nanotechnology is that substances of a specific kind show different properties and reaction capabilities in form of nano-particles than they show if occurring in “large scale”.com/Details. Future sensor technology will be able to react towards a broader variety of substances and smaller amount in realtime with improved accuracy.11 New food preservation methods49 New preservation methods for foods and drinks are not only about preventing spoilage. Food regulations also have not integrated the importance of size (e. food and drinks. Challenges and barriers Consumer perception and risks: Consumer protection and advocacy groups are already raising concerns over possible negative side effects of nano-particles in food. but aim at maintaining as many vitamins and nutrients intact as well as achieving better results at keeping taste and texture. Since the technology is novel. Another important issue that is seen as an advantage in medicine for treating brain diseases is that nano-particles can cross the blood-brain-barrier. In the future it is expected that the technology will get cheaper and with this more wide-spread. In other situations. but on the other hand it acts quite cautions on this.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 55 . are under development .asp?ArticleID=1702 http://www. and some of them are likely to 48 49 http://www. oxygen and other gases and substances from reaching the food and beverage. Many new methods are currently being tried out or under development. there exist insufficient long-term data about potential problems. 48 5. Applied to food or food packaging. Since heating (and freezing) tends to destroy vitamins and nutrients or has negative effects on taste and texture. for example. nano-scale vs.1.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 cause colour changes depending on temperature. i. or to create packaging that is more heat or cold resistant. a similar technology could be used to release preservatives. This allows for visual indications of broken coolingchains. this property could increase the occurrence of dangerous and unintended effects.atp.at/Docs/agro1. non nano-scale) into their assessment of substances.or. AZo Nanotechnology. Targeted drug release technology. Nanotechnology in packaging is also used for the development of packaging films that absorb UV radiation for better protection of light sensitive food ingredients. which makes use of specifically engineered polymers that release medication over time at a controlled rate. because of uncertainties about perceptions and (future) regulations. On the one side the food and beverage industry is quite interested in the new possibilities of nanotechnology. Other research areas are protective films that have anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties (“active packaging”) or block moisture. flavours or other substance on an interval level (cf. But also inspirations from medicine might someday enter food packaging.e. Such labels are already being marketed but still rather expensive. non-thermal preservation methods are getting increasingly attractive.azonano. 2009).g.
html 52 http://www. Current research is also aiming at identifying natural antimicrobials like Wasabi or Rosemary 52 and figuring which types are most suitable for which kind of food and beverage. together with supercritical carbon dioxide is also applied for extraction (e. Currently the technology is mostly used for high-end products. 5.14 Antimicrobial systems for food preservation51 Protective bacterial culture can also provide anti-microbial functions. 2005).osu. Since the proteins being changed through such pascalisation have better properties than those being exposed to heat. high pressure conservation could also lead to improved meat. fish and milk products.) instead of using solvents like alcohol or hexane. It is especially suitable for liquid foods like juices. the same reaction effects can occur that would also happen under great heat. micro-organisms are killed by breaking their cell membranes when the food is placed within a high electric field induced by a high voltage.1.1.html http://www.edu/fse-fact/0002. The further progress in this area will depend on new insights and research in molecular biology / micro-biology and the interaction 50 51 http://ohioline. micro-organisms will be destroyed without negatively effecting important nutrients. Finding suitable bacterial cultures necessitates research in molecular biology and interdisciplinary co-operation (cf.bt.ch/research/amcprotc.ethz.agrl. soups and liquid eggs (cf. ETHZ. prevent spoilage and the production of toxins and thus serve as substitutes to chemical or heat preservation. of oils. 5.dweckdata.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 56 . Currently the pascalisation still necessitates new equipment and high investment costs. milk products. lipids etc.g. 5. aroma and colour.1. Ohio State University.com/Published_papers/Natural_Preservatives_update. yielding more gentle and environmentally friendly results. 2007).13 Pulsed electric fields50 The use of pulsed electric and magnetic fields (and ultra sound) is a novel form of food preservation which is already used on the industrial scale.12 High pressure conservation (pascalisation) If food products are exposed to high pressure (500 – 10000 bars) over a period of several minutes to hours. innovations in preservation are very important to the food industry by minimizing the necessity to throw away products which leads to losses for the industry and retailers.ilw. nutritional value and freshness. The method destroys harmful micro-organisms and promises long shelf-life preservation by maintaining a very good quality in flavour. This leads to a kind of “heatless cooking effect” in regard to texture and more importantly. Because most food and drinks are generally products prone to spoilage. High pressure.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 be cost efficient enough to be used commercially in the near future. With this method.
public health (e.or.87% share in energy consumption of the most important industries within the EU-25. This technology enables fast and on-the-spot analysis for the detection of various contaminations (cf. Challenges and barriers Consumer perception: Many customers are still reluctant to accept the use of genetic technology. disease control) and water testing. non-metallic minerals and paper and pulp production (IEA.at/Docs/agro1.or. Samples of the products have to be taken and sent to a lab for analysis. so-called fluid channels and microscopic pumps on a microchip-like device to run complex laboratory tests.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 57 . but prices are already being reduced and the systems are getting better and more robust. With a 10. Here effectiveness and toxicity of potential antimicrobial agents have to be evaluated.1. Genetic engineering could also be used to create specific antimicrobial systems.at/Docs/agro1. other technological forms of improved conservation and new kinds of additives for food conservation. Natural preservatives. They are generally getting more versatile (detecting an increasing variety of substances) and precise. These small devices have the advantage to be mobile and run analysis in much shorter time.and even nano-scaled sensor technology and the systemintegration of nano-bio-sensors (containing biological elements that serve as sensors and physicochemical components that transform the detected biosignal into a machine/human readable form) is making LOCs increasingly attractive for the food industry.atp. Sozer/Kokini. optical components. seem to be very popular and also attract growing attention by the industry. for detecting cancers.g. Challenges and barriers High costs: Current barriers still lie in the relatively high costs of LOC systems. Improvements in micro. ionised (radioactive) radiation. bacteria. however.16 Reduction in energy.atp. greenhouse gases and water consumption The energy consumption of the food and drinks manufacturing industry ranges in the mid field of the most important industries.pdf and http://www. However. it takes rather long until dangerous bacteria can be discovered in the food chain.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 between different components. MEMS-technology (micro-electromechanical systems) has made it possible to put sensors. chemicals and petrochemicals. Further technological progress is likely to make LOC technology more ubiquitous in the food industry.1. 2008). agriculture. food and drinks (and tobacco) manufacturing is ranked behind iron and steel. 2007.15 Converging technologies for food safety testing53 Currently. packaging. blood analysis). LOCs are already being used in medicine (e. Further price reductions may in the more far away future even lead to throwaway sensor systems that could be integrated into food packaging or do-ityourself food testing kits. data availability for 2004). 5. transport and retail also contribute to the 53 http://www. which could take days in the worst case.g. 5.
and may hence lead to a substantial increase in relative prices of food and feed. Staikos.com/articles/2008/07/23/business/food.g.iht. bioplastics etc. the amount of “virtual water” in food products can be very great and goes mostly unnoticed. because these materials which are derived from living organisms (that once had pores).) increasingly attractive. Researchers at University of Birmingham. Challenges and barriers Eco-packaging: The call for environmental sustainability has made the idea of bio-degradable packaging (e. if not to conflicts in the near future. Bio-energy and renewable raw materials currently are popular new forms of income to farmers. 2006) and the water usage for foods and drinks manufacturing is substantial. cattle farming produces more greenhouse emissions than transport (FAO. 56 Using leftovers as energy source. 2008) and Japan is promoting the use of food leftovers and residues from industrial processing for animal feeding and fertilisers.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 final energy and environmental balance of food and beverage products. This does make (non-synthetically enhanced) biopolymers unsuitable for liquids and products with a long shelf life.org/?page=files/productgallery&product=beef (beef) 55 http://www. biopolymers. The use of leftovers as animal feed also comes with downsides in regard to hygiene and safety (IHT. The following example the amount of “virtual water” – i. 55 Food and beverage manufacturers as well as retailers and fast food chains are already addressing this problem and seek put innovative ideas. water that is needed to grow and process the product : Box 5.gdrc. However.php?page=1 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 58 .com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VFR-4TY8W651&_user=603085&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000031079&_version=1&_urlVersion =0&_userid=603085&md5=d8a1269a4ab71014ec6e91ee5eca1fe3 56 http://www. they are not very heat resistant and decompose rather quickly. looks like a positive idea.e.waterfootprint. 2008). their use for the food industry is only limited. 2008).3 Virtual water 140 litres of water 900 litres of water 1000 litres of water 1350 litres of water 3000 litres of water 15500 litres of water 54 1 cup of coffee needs 1 kg maize needs 1 litre milk needs 1 kg of wheat needs 1 kg of rice needs 1 kg beef needs The food and drinks industry also accounts for considerable amounts of waste due to overproduction with the ready-meal and convenience sector as a main contributor (cf. However. cannot be sealed air-tight. especially in view of the growing popularity of regenerative energy sources. T. the planting of crops that are exclusively used for fuel production directly competes with arable land use for growing food meant for human and animal consumption. According to data from the Global Development Research Center. 54 Sources: http://www. however. Above this. for example are developing ways to use chocolate waste for energy production (University of Birmingham.sciencedirect.org/uem/footprints/water-footprint. According to the FAO.html http://www.
also from the consumer (selling) perspective in the future. however. Although they might not become popular with the mainstream.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 59 . their effectiveness is much disputed and none of them is intended as a complete long-term replacement for food. Since eating is to a great deal a social activity. for the military. Besides for food consumption. Although there are a lot of food supplements being sold today. especially in Africa and some parts of Asia.int/esaCP/SEMQTE1DU8E_index_0. textures suitable for zero/micro-gravity and hygiene. huge gaps between overproduction and insufficient food and clean water and food security in face of a growing world population. The ESA is already thinking about healthy food sources that could be grown on Mars or during extended space flights.1.g.esa. 57 http://www. Further scientific knowledge about metabolism. innovations from space research Food pills: The idea of food pills goes back to 1930s science fiction. a blue-green algae which is very rich in essential nutrients (ESA. Besides challenges for food preservation. food pills may not become popular with the great part of the population out of cultural reasons.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Conscious use of natural resources: this challenge holds for most industrial (manufacturing) activity. Innovations from space research: Feeding future astronauts on long space journeys is a challenge and could bring about food innovations from other perspectives. promoted in one of the recommendations of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry. also new food sources are taken into consideration. DARPA) does extended research on “food pills”. 2005) 57 and is already sold as nutritional supplement. Energy efficiency. 5. weight reduction. This is due to the fact that the nutrients work in different ways if they are consumed within real food or just taken separately in form of pills. make possible new forms of food pills and meal replacement drinks that take into account this complexity of different ingredients. yet might gain importance. Spirula can also be used for energy production. there seems to be a big difference between foods/drinks and pills in regard to their nutritional utilisation in the human body. One of their envisioned ingredients is Spirula. astronauts and emergencies the idea of innovative food pills could become a useful idea. Real foods contain many other substances that for example help vitamins to work in the body in the desired way.17 Miscellaneous: food pills. the workings of the human body and the interplay between different food ingredients could. Challenges and barriers Nutritional value and social factors: As research about food supplements suggests. Especially the military (e. Other problems deal with general issues like the still growing amount of malnourished and starving people. is only one of the challenges towards a more conscious use of natural resources.
Propose. If the trend is also going more towards the direction of personalised foods and drinks and the customised engineering on bioscientific bases.Astronaut. 2009) . As robots are becoming more “intelligent”.2 New markets due to societal developments 5. caviar. especially in food chain management and traceability. Challenges and barriers “Intelligence”: It is currently difficult to predict the future path and speed of developments in Artific ial Intelligence (AI) and robotics.and energy-efficient manner (Horizons. especially in regard to pattern recognition. on the other hand. 59 5. A fully automated food factory is generally thinkable.and can be raised in a space.18 Food automation The food industry is currently a major growth factor for the robotics industry (World Robotics. fully automated food and beverage factories may not be that difficult to implement within the next 20 years (there already existed (nearly) fully automated car factories in Japan). Consequences for the workforce: If robots and computer technology progresses. the food and beverage industry is increasingly becoming a major purchaser of wireless technology and robotics (cf.com/article.2. which will be essential for progresses in biosciences and neurosciences that could contribute to future food developments. unemployment).controlengeurope. At the same time this would imply a major change. According to a Frost and Sullivan report from 2009. Processing power alone does not necessarily say anything about the level of “machine intelligence”. but has its downsides (e. whereas an increase in processing power is regarded as a precondition for further AI developments. amino acids and nutrients – about twice the amounts found in pork . ICT solutions are also getting increasing attention in the food and beverage manufacturing industry and logistics. or luxury restaurant meals.aspx?ArticleID=22158 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 60 .com/media/storage/paper917/news/2009/03/11/SpaceNews/Researchers. A declining active workforce because of ageing. the growth is likely to continue.Silk. They are also rich in proteins.Food-3667018.1. since currently the food and drinks manufacturing industry is the largest employer in European manufacturing.Worms. Processing power is expected to increase throughout the next decade according to Moore’s assumptions (“Moore’s law”). could make further automation in the food and drinks industry a more acceptable solution. computer assistance will become necessary for food development. Using. all having rather elastic demand 58 http://media. 2008).shtml 59 http://www. 2009) .g.1 Lifestyle and market diversification Foods and drinks can be necessities (basic foodstuffs having very inelastic demand curves) but also luxury goods (think of champagne.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Another proposal being made to the space agencies is the use of silk worms as food source. 58 5.For.eraunews. Control Engineering Europe. more sensitive (being able to handle fragile objects and being fitted with improved sensors) and cheaper.www.
Food and beverage consumption in today’s modern society are very much linked to lifestyles. Trendstudie Food by ZMP/CMA. The large food and beverage manufacturers will very likely try to aim at the mainstream life-style segments and concentrate on general health and wellbeing and convenience with a greater attention paid towards natural ingredients and allergy concerns if the current trends continue.groupsite.com_mkpostman/task. up to 44% of Germans 61 60 62 and around 29% of Japanese identifying themselves as LOHAS. This observation can already be made with Chinese. estimations talk about 20% of the US population . clear. possibly strengthened by immigration. If the mainstream interest in such products will grow. the environment and spirituality. Labelling should also take into account 60 61 http://www.44/id. larger companies are also likely to offer according products. around 10 years old. human and animal rights. Although no official statistical material is available.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 curves and higher income elasticities). anti fat. legible and coherent information should be provided. anti-aging and best-aging foods and drinks (e. Vegetarian products. with an even greater variety in consumption patterns and different lifestyles ‘co-existing’: traditional food and drinks alongside with convenience-oriented and ‘alternative’ natural and organic products. comprehensive.g.de/component/option. Another driving force on the consumer-side is the so-called LOHAS-movement. it is currently difficult to predict if it will last. Japan and the US. 2007). With the current trend of lifestyle diversification continuing. 2007). see also Müller. the range of products is likely to broaden.html http://www. health and convenience foods are the big trends. Since it is a rather young phenomenon. shirt for Lifestyle of health and Sustainability that gains international popularity within Europe. Labelling provisions are one of the means to better organise the provision of information to consumers. Especially where safety and health are at stake. and niche markets such as ethnic and exotic. 2009). As is also recommended by the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry (HLG.view/Itemid. Challenges and barriers Diversification and market transparency (information) do not naturally go together. The movement is currently growing and spreading and encompasses many of today’s popular concerns and lifestyle choices about health.35/ 62 http://lohas. low carb. disappear (e.lohas. regional and “ethnic” foods are currently mostly provided by smaller companies and specialty producers. regional food.com/about. just being a hype) or merge with or transform into something different. for instance. the Netherlands. also for the future (ZMP/CMA.lohas.com/main/summary Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 61 . A very plausible future development would be the continuation or even further increase in existing market segmentation and diversification. 2007. Indonesian and Indian food in.g. halal food (suitable for Muslims) and products fitted towards different life-style groups – from ‘naturalists’ to ‘emerging-technology advocates’ – are likely to further evolve and grow as niche markets. cooled products with a short lifetime). Traditional. there is a role for the European Commission and the Member States to enable consumers to make (better) informed and healthy choices. Chilled food (high quality.
3% in 2010 to 20. health and ICT as well as research institutes.1 Knowledge transfer and open innovation Many developments that could support the food and beverage industry to innovate are being generated outside the sector.e. more customised solutions to elderly. it is likely that the industry will also adapt and offer tailored. At the same time.3 Organisational change and firm strategies 5. These constellations have been especially fruitful for the development of innovative functional and healthier foods and drinks. Therefore the open innovation concept.2 Demographics – an ageing society The share of Europeans being older than 65 will rise from 16. in ICT. food. If diversification grows. Challenges and barriers The relationship between ageing. niche segments may become smaller. Food producers need to adapt towards these trends that will become even more pronounced as time progresses. bio(techno)logy.3. nanotechnology and even psychology and cognitive science.1% within this time. These demographic developments will lead to changes in consumer structure with a greater proportion of elderly and a declining number of babies and toddlers.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 the needs of the elderly. where actors from the whole value chain and related complementary areas like biotechnology. 5. i. 5. health and longevity is something that stands only at the beginning of its potential. Positive experiences can be observed in clusters like Bretagne (France) or Øresund (Sweden). the strategic usage from knowledge outside the sector. Above this. university spin-offs) are located in close proximity to each other.4% during this period in Europe. large firms and innovative SMEs (e.g. there will be a slight population decline in Europe from 2010 to 2025 (UN population statistics). Greater concerns about aging could also lead to changes in habits like healthy eating. health sciences. Open innovation could help the rather “conservative” food and beverage ma nufacturing industry to better integrate new knowledge and developments and to cope with the often mentioned problem of shortages in highly qualified (scientific) personnel. thus making unprofitable. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 62 . e.2.8% in 2025 and the share of people being older than 80 will rise by 1. the share of children from 0 to 4 years of age will decrease by 0. dieting or caloric restriction. Since elderly need different nutrition than younger people due to changes in metabolism and physical characteristics. can be very relevant for the food and beverage manufacturing industry.g. Scientific achievement (food and medicine) and better communication should go hand in hand to deliver this potential.
because in view of the industry it often takes too long until a new product gets approved. The health claim regulations that went into force in January 2008. This comes with high costs for research. development and evaluation for the industry and only large firms are likely to be able to conduct such activities. Regulators often stand in a difficult position between consumer interests and the industry as the following examples are indicating. 63 Currently there seems to be a trust problem between the major actors involved in the food and beverage complex: the industry. 2008) . nanowerk. the Netherlands. 5. the High Tech (Philips) campus in Eindhoven. IBM. they are keeping a very low public profile about it (cf. are meant to protect consumers from false promises and misleading advertisement on food and beverage products.nanowerk. for example. Similar problems apply to novel foods. however. For the industry. use genetically modified micro-organisms to produce certain enzymes and components for food processing and are doing active research in food nanotechnology.com/spotlight/spotid=5305.g.php Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 63 . a chemical manufacturer and active in the novel and functional foods segment.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Challenges and barriers Best practices and learning from open innovation experiences in other sectors (e. regulators and consumers.4 Establishing trust Although large food companies are apparently already using nano-particles in food. The latest proposal from 2008 for amending the novel food 63 http://www. Challenges and barriers This is mainly due to uncertainty and fear about consumer reactions. but also DSM. which even looks justifiable if taking into account that actually very little scientific evaluation is being performed in regard to food nanotechnology. this means that only health claims are allowed which are scientifically proven and assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
but also often distrust regulators. may provide advantages and cost reductions. See also the recommendations of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry (HLG. 5. Trust in scientific analysis and public food-testing institutions should be improved as well. including final consumers.europa.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 64 . e. within the innovation process are important strategies to improve credibility and trust. Even though the introduction of new ingredients and food and beverage processing agents. consumers represent a very wide spectrum of interest in regard to choices for food and drinks.1 Flexibility and diversification As has been shown in the previous sections. providing them with adequate financial support (private equity. It is also difficult to predict which information customers will believe and which trend they will follow. The trust-relation between the consumer and the industry (especially large companies) on the one hand and the consumer and the regulators on the other do not seem to be very good either. Therefore it is necessary for the food and drinks manufacturing industry (especially large companies) but also agro-food in general. Also advances in science. If taken together. Improved transparency and involvement of the customers. which in their view allow products to enter the market prematurely. insufficient customer communication about it could easily lead to distrust and a general negative perception about the industry and innovation.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector 64 December 2010 regulation aims at simplifying the bureaucratic process (EC. the looser may be innovativeness. however. Current mistrust.eu/food/food/biotechnology/novelfood/COM872_novel_food_proposal_en. could lead to fast revisions and updates of findings and information. but it will not affect the criteria for assessment. including micro-enterprises.4. 64 http://ec. Some even voice criticism about the scientific testing performed by the EFSA (e. This especially holds for those producers that focus on novel and innovative products. The role of government as an independent neutral supplier of information could help to improve trust and credibility. The winners of the current apparent deadlock may be SMEs and small companies that can establish a rather personal trust relation with the customer. might rather be rooted in societal attitude and perception than in objective insufficient scientific analysis.g. based on GMO or nanotechnology. where existing. this situation necessitates an agile and flexible industry and ditto diversification strategies in order to be able to react fast towards consumer interests and new scientific discoveries. Challenges and barriers: enhancing the entrepreneurial capabilities of especially SMEs. not yet unexplored. to build up a better trust relation with the customer.g. in regard to GMO safety). An increased and better involvement of consumers in developing innovation concepts and activities could have positive effects by sharing responsibility over the results with consumers. especially within new and emerging areas. Consumers and consumer advocacy groups generally seem sceptical about large food and beverage manufacturers. 2008) . loans) and facilitating access of SMEs to global markets belong to the challenges that need to be taken up in the coming years. 2009).
. novel or non-obvious) but are nonetheless crucial for the distinction and economic success of foods and beverage products are not patentable in many cases and obtaining other forms of intellectual property rights protection (e.e. Because of this. being useful. for example? 65 http://store. research institutes and other areas like biotechnology. Grunert et al.4. Intellectual property right however seem to remain a challenge for the food and beverage industry because recipes that for example only effect taste but have no other functional property (i. copyrights) for food/beverage products proofs difficult. The reasons for this are still unclear since food-and beverage-related research on this topic has only been taken up rather recently (Grunert et al. 2008). firms try to avoid knowledge leakages to the outside and other firms.2 Open innovation The strategic co-operation with firms and institutions that can provide complementary skills and the integration of outside knowledge could help the food and beverage manufacturing industry to innovate and solve the prevailing problem of lacking highly qualified personnel.php?id=1049 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 65 . i. the food and beverage industry tends to be hesitant about exchanging ideas with potential competitors and other firms. which has brought up the still unsolved question about the interrelation between user needs and innovation (ibidem). Although the food and beverage industry has adapted the concept of “farm -to-fork” where every member of the food value chain gets integrated into the process.g.e. have also noted in this context that the “food and beverage area […] is characterised by both many new products coming onto the market and a relatively slow change in eating habits and consumer preferences”. 65 5. Further elaboration could deal with the question about what kind of innovations and new products the consumer wishes and if it is possible in the area of food and drinks to actually create new needs like it is done with ICT and entertainment products. health and ICT have gained positive results.inventorprise. While outside knowledge is often very welcome. the integration of suppliers and customers into the innovation process is also a new strategy that is being taken up by an increasing number of firms.4.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. Experiences with interdisciplinary clusters where food and beverage companies operate in close proximity to universities. Many food/beverage recipes do not fulfill the criteria of being useful.3 User-driven and user-oriented innovation User-driven and user-oriented innovation. the food and beverage industry nonetheless seems to lag behind in applying consumer-driven or consumer-oriented innovations. novel and non-obvious which are the necessary criteria for being patentable . as one food expert based in Japan and Germany acknowledged. (More information about clusters and networks can be found in the report on “Patterns and Performance of Sectoral Innovation”).com/content_articles.
4. As long as consumers value small producers and their produce . the food and beverage landscape is likely to remain diversified or perhaps become even more diversified in terms of number of firms. comparatively few medium-sized enterprises (3.4. 5. etc.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. 66 http://www. medicine. The ten largest European food and beverage companies are sourcing.5 SMEs and the future structure of the food and beverage industry The food and beverage industry is highly competitive with a few very large global players and only 0. small firms appear also to function as a pool of promising. producing and selling worldwide. the internet can be an important tool for advertising food and beverage products.g. However. videos and networking opportunities besides product information. blogs.4 E-marketing and advertisement (for SMEs) The selling of foods and drinks over the internet has it limits. but it also bears risks in regard to safety and standards in regulations. In this sense it looks like “reversed advertisement”. Some mergers and acquisitions especially between larger or large and mid-sized companies are thinkable as well as the emergence of highly innovative and perhaps specialised small companies with high growth potential. newsletters.co. Collaboration between food and beverage players and those outside the sector. On their website “Innocent Drinks” offers news.e. i.4. packaging. with strategic acquisitions (takeovers) being made by the latter comparable to what is observed in biotechnology. Global sourcing is an important strategy.innocentdrinks. as well as with science could further enhance a more pro-active culture of innovation in the sector. biotech.6%) and a very large amount of small and micro enterprises (95. in ICT. 66 5.6% have less than 10 employees). Small firms are often much more regional and even regard locality and traditional production and products as an advantage.which they apparently do – the fragmented structural of the food and beverage industry may not change substantially in the future.6 Promoting collaboration and a ‘culture of innovation’ Innovation by the food and drinks industry is to a large degree dependent on developments outside the sector itself.5% of which 78.uk/bored/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 66 . maybe out of university spin-offs or co-operations with biotechnology. which is partly due to the specific nature of the products that often require customer “inspection”. especially for large firms. to make them known to the public and get into contact with customers. One company that makes much use of modern web-technology is the UK-based hugely successful SME “Innocent Drinks” (from 3 employees in 1999 to 220 in 2009) that specialises in smoothies .9% with more than 250 employees. This is especially noticeable in the novel and functional foods segment. In general. the company has created the web-service. instead of having an advertisement banner on a “general information website”. e. At the same time. This strategy could especially be useful for SMEs. innovative ideas and products for large firms.
g.g. Some companies are using food labels as a form of advertisement (e.5. foods with proven medical therapeutic effects. practical problems (e.g.iso. The emergence of regional and global supply networks represents a major challenge for food safety and requires substantial effort to maintain and improve consumer trust. the coordination between EU and national food safety agencies is growing in importance. for example.org/iso/22000_implementation_ims_06_03. and http://www. The International Organization for Standards (ISO) has already drafted a proposal (ISO 22000) for global food safety management. For instance. Implementation and enforcement of existing rules and regulations (policing) is an increasingly important issue therefore. medical devices and novel foods is likely to be necessary. which is now under evaluation (ISO. in regard to limited size of packaging) and having a bias towards processed foods in contrast to unprocessed products (euractiv. active ingredients and co-formulants from the chemicals industry) as well as final products. CIAA) for causing additional costs.g.1 Food labelling – increasing trust Food labelling gets mixed reactions from the food and beverage manufacturing industry. Nestlé. 5.e. industrial ingredients (e.com/en/health/industry-bashes-commission-proposals-food-labelling/article-169973 http://www. if nutraceuticals.5. 2008). especially where implementation is concerned. This holds for animal and arable/vegetable ingredients.euractiv.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5.org/iso/iso-focus_2008-12 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 67 . International difference in regulations and approval could become difficult for companies that produce and operate globally. 2006.5 Institutional and legal changes 5. 67 Above this.2 Global sourcing and standardised safety requirements – legislation and enforcement68 The food chain and drinks is becoming more and more global with components used for food and beverage production coming from all over the world. especially because food laws and requirements are not internationally standardised. ISO Focus.iso. will be considered as a potential innovation trajectory.pdf. a minimum font size and mandatory guideline daily amounts (GDA) has been criticised by consumer organisations of not going far enough and by industry representatives (e. Within the European Union. an adjustment of the current legal situation in the EU concerning the definition of food. indicating “organic” food). Legislative initiatives also apply to novel emerging foods. has taken its “Butterfinger” bar from European markets 67 68 http://www. whereas others are signalling vital product information. i. 2008). food labels that indicate genetically modified (and in the future maybe nanotechnologybased) ingredients are perceived by customers rather as warning signs than as conveyors of objective information. The stricter new nutrition labelling rules proposed by the European Commission in 2008 which includes front labelling. and the more so given the global character of the food and drinks markets.
Here the general problem with long-term risk assessment shows.4 Establishing more trust in science and perform symmetric assessments Part of the problem and criticism may stem from a general distrust in science and technology that is currently still observable. instead of the basis of novelty as such. since innovations are new by default potential long-term effects just cannot be known.5. This critical view about science. the regulatory frameworks draw rather clear legal distinctions between food/drinks and medicine (Council Directives 65/65/EEC and 92/73/EEC) as well as between prevention. however. new technologies and novelties leads to a positive bias amongst consumers towards the well-known.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 because it contained GMO-maize and Coca-Cola (and others) would currently not be allowed to sell products that contain Stevia in EU-countries. Also a better quality control of consumer advocacy groups and their scientific basis could also be taken into consideration. On the other hand it does not make much sense to run tests for 10 or 15 years before introducing a novel product. 5.3 Balance between precaution and innovation Many regulatory frameworks like the novel-food regulation or the health-claim regulation are important for ensuring safety and preventing fraud. environmentalists and most consumer advocacy groups are still saying that it is too early for such products to be consumed because long-term risks have not been assessed. the natural and the traditional.5 Convergence between food and medicine? The further development of functional foods and drinks. New foods and drinks have to be assessed in view of the novel food regulation. But too precautionary approaches can also hinder innovative processes. Switzerland. whereas common foods like raspberries or peanuts would very likely not get approved as food if they were novel or synthetic products. 5. preventative or functional nutrition and medicine – at least in theory. 5. innovation activities may just not pay off in an industry with low profit margins as it is the case with foods and drinks. advances in biotechnology and health sciences as well as an increased emphasis on prevention in (public) health are likely to lead to an increasing blur between normal nutrition. This is a general societal problem in many countries and an analysis of the reasons for this should get more attention. whereas these products are often even less well tested than new products. If the assessment phase to new food and beverage products is too long or the uncertainty about the success of innovations in regard to legal issues and consumer acceptance are too high. Innovative products should be rather assessed relative to the characteristics of established ones. But these are exactly the points that make GMO or food nanotechnology so controversial and so difficult to assess.5. has already allowed Steviaproducts on the market in 2008 (idw. But although GMO foods are being consumed (by some) for 15 years (the Flavr Savr tomato was sold in 1994) without causing noticeable health problems. therapy Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 68 . 2008).5. Currently.
fzk. neuroscientists and food designers to ICT and robotics experts. environmental consultants.and even medical experts over marketing and public relations professionals. technological and societal developments.de/tatup/083/stoa -news. The current situation characterised by a shortage of high skilled labour and recruitment difficulties does not look favourable for achieving the (future) goal and innovations. e.g. side effects and safety. This situation could worsen even in those areas where competition between sectors for high skilled labour is likely to arise (e. Since nanotechnology has already entered the food industry. By focusing on the challenging character and the responsibility of the food and drinks sector. more scientific and objective research is necessary in regard to effects. the interest could be promoted. These legal distinction. however. in regard to the reasons for obesity and civilisation illnesses.htm) Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 69 . joint ventures or openinnovation strategies. are not in line with scientific and technological reality and might necessitate a revision in the foreseeable future.5. In general. The consumer trust into governmental and EU scientific testing institutions also has to be strengthened. in regard to the “Human Enhancemet Debate” (http://www. safety evaluations and regulations should also focus more on the aspect of particle size and not only on the kind of chemical elements or 69 e. spanning processed foods and drinks. A symmetric safety evaluation of “organic” f oods and drinks and “conventional” products could also be of advantage. chemists. The most important aspect. 5. thus helping to generate more interest in the subject. Education policy could contribute by communicating the great importance of the food and beverage/agro-food industry for society and even (public) health. The palette of necessary skills and educational backgrounds can range from nutrition specialist. One solution to counter these shortages could be the creation of co-operations. physicists.g.7 More scientific research and development In all areas. modern biotechnology. Also it might be helpful if research. ICT professionals). 5. might just be the realisation that new possibilities for innovations in the food and beverage sector are opening up. organic foods as well as natural and synthetic ingredients. This may also be in line with the better integration of the customer as actor of responsibility as proposed earlier in the text.itas. the food and drinks manufacturing sector has to be made more attractive for university students in order to counter the current shortages of qualified personnel: improving image is essential.6 Education and training The food and drinks manufacturing industry of the future will need a wide variety of different skills and competences as well as flexibility in order to flourish and keep up with latest scientific. however.g.5. is performed in a broader context that also takes into account societal factors like cooking habits instead of primarily focusing on the industry and ingredients. chemical engineers.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector 69 December 2010 and “enhancement” .
70 http://www. 2008). Europa NU.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 substances being used. 70 The following table provides an overview about major innovation themes featured within different scenarios. This would mean that even the use of an already approved substance has to be re-evaluated when used on the nano-scale (cf.nl/9353000/1/j9vvh6nf08temv0/vhwfke66kuyy?ctx=vhwbck0vhlt0 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 70 .europa-nu.
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks December 2010 Table 5. distribution and marketing RFID Advanced preservation technologies Improved possibilities in basic food and nutritional research Technologies like GPS and soil assessment that improve the efficiency of organic farming Indoor farming. processing.2 s c e n a r i o Overview of major innovation themes in different scenarios Innovation Themes Health/Safety Functional food Sustainability/Ethics Natural functional ingredients Convenience/Efficiency Smart testing Automation Main Drivers Technological Moderate application of new and emerging science and technology Socio-economic Mixed income situation Incoherent consumer preferences Consumer scepticism and strict regulation balances “radical innovations” Low economic prosperity People have less time Health and long-term social and environmental considerations are low Controls and regulations only cover minimum standards Business as usual (consumer diversity) Affordable and convenient (large share of budget and convenience consumers) Less relevancy in this scenario Less relevancy in this scenario Insect protein New fast food concepts Automation Food pills Automation and general technologies for efficiencies in food/ beverage production. water and greenhouse gas reduction Insect protein Natural fast food Natural functional ingredients Trust in “nature” and distrust in “big industries” Association of “natural” and “organic” with health benefits Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 61 . high-rise farming Natural and non-chemical preservation methods Smart labelling and smart packaging Going natural (large share of ecologically responsible consumers) Inputs from biotechnology and life sciences Natural functional ingredients and preservatives Medicinal food (traditional) Insect protein Energy.
innovative and functional foods and drinks Marketing innovations (incl. nanoscience Smart food packaging Regulations that are favourable towards medicinal and functional food High trust in science Great interest in health and fitness improvement The masses follow “early adaptors” in new. medicine. neuromarketing) Emergency (desperate consumers) Less relevancy in this scenario Less relevancy in this scenario Insect protein GMO Everything that can increase yields. production and nutritional value Concerns over food security (enough food) and related problems Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 62 .Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks December 2010 High-tech nutrition (large share of high-tech consumers) Inputs from biotechnology and life sciences Improved functional foods Medicinal foods (high tech) Nano-based ingredients Personalised nutrition Advanced preservation Smart packaging Use of renewable energy sources High tech fast food Food pills GMO Adjustable food Smart packaging Smart testing Automation Sufficient funding and support for new and emerging science and technologies Biotech. health. nutrigenomics.
ways should be found how to make healthy nutrition affordable for all and here also information programs. However. substitutions or reductions require the development of new production methods. however. benefits or even dangers for the human body. This already starts with rather small improvements in common products.1.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 6 Policy Issues As already mentioned before. The health claim regulations for functional foods and drinks and their advertisement already seem to point towards the right direction of evidence-based functional food and drinks. some claims about functionality are still more speculation than science and some benefits (e. too much salt and sugar as well as food ingredients that may heighten the proneness to cancer should stand in the centre of attention and support. There exist two factors that may counter these efforts which are costs and possibly consumer preferences. the principal technological possibilities in the area of food and beverage production are high and even growing. cholesterol. Thus efforts in research should also be dedicated to sound and evidence-based assessment of functional ingredients and their real workings. of Ginkgo in regard to mental health) are disputes. The reduction of ingredients considered as harmful to health and wellbeing like trans-fats.g. in case of salt and sugar) as well as other properties like taste and consistency (e. As in regard to prices.2 Evidence-based assessment of functional food possibilities More and more attention is paid to functional food and the technological possibilities for further developments exist and often come from other domains like biotechnology and medicine. lies in bringing these possibilities in line with solving current challenges and fostering the developments towards desirable futures. Although ‘desirable’ may mean different things to different people. As food and beverage processing is a very complex process and leaving out some ingredients may significantly affect the end product even in important properties such as shelf life (e.g.1. fat).1 Healthy Nutrition 6.g. recipes and thus innovation which requires investments. This is also in line with the overarching goal of achieving healthier nutrition. some major aspects have been identified as being rather undisputable: 6. Here governments and policy-makers could provide support since healthier nutrition has a preventative effect that also benefits public health and can reduce costs there. The major challenge. training and education in schools could be good starting points. healthy and of course safe nutrition are key desires for society as well as the industry. 6.1 Making foods and drinks generally more healthier As it has also been mentioned within the “Food for Life” reports (ETP 2007 and ETP 2005). Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 71 .
6. consultancies. by preventing food-related diseases such as obesity) as well as encouraging more people to get interested in nutrition-related work areas since many food and beverage companies currently are concerned about a lack of qualified personnel.g. 6.2.1. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 72 . It not only includes aspects like improved conservation methods (especially the development of conservation methods that do not compromise nutritional value and taste) and better and faster testing methods (e.4 Promoting healthy eating and healthy cooking Not only industrial food and beverage processing can be a cause for health issues but also consumer choices and improper food preparation and cooking at home.g.1. based on developments in biotechnology like lab-on-a-chip technologies) and innovations in packaging (smart packaging that constantly measures and displays the real food quality) but also training programs in hygiene (e. Some food and beverage companies are already developing strategies for utilising renewable energy resources in food/beverage production or feeding food waste into the energy cycle. but especially water consumption and water contamination is high within conventional agriculture and food/beverage processing. Such ideas should get more support from industries.2 Ecological Sustainability and Ethics 6.3 Improvement of food safety Improving food safety is another important aspect of healthy nutrition which can be achieved in different ways and needs to be considered throughout the whole food chain from farm to fork. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points .g.1 Reducing energy and water consumption The energy consumption in food and beverage processing is mid-range as compared to other major industries. Schools could be a place where nutritional education. Such assessments should also be conducted in regard to the usage of GMOs or nanotechnologies in food processing by improving risk-benefit analysis. It would also serve two positive purposes: a general improvement of personal and public health (e. Such curricula could be supported by policymakers and ministries. healthy eating as well as cooking could be taught. financial institutions and consumers. 6. governments.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Also research in natural functional ingredients – ranging from health benefits to preservation methods – seems to get increasing interest also from the consumer side and should get supported since especially many artificial preservatives are considered having negative health effects.HACCP) and stricter controls to uncover hygiene problems and frauds.
price policies as well as issues of overproduction and food waste may also be reflected upon.g. On the other side. meat consumption is also a matter of culture and habit. However the usage of organic packaging materials could come with trade-offs in regard to preservation (difficulty of air-tight packaging by using organic materials) and possibly hygiene. Although food security (getting enough food and drinking water) may not be a problem for the EU. but also here solutions can be found like the usage of bio-degradable packaging or the use of natural packaging materials (e.g.2 Innovation for SMEs The food and beverage manufacturing industry is dominated by micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees that make up 78.2 Ethics Ethical aspects in food consumption are also getting more important to a growing number of consumers and include issues like animal treatment and fair trade.2. Finding solutions for affordable quality and healthy choices seem to be an important issue.3. PETA). 6. there is also a global responsibility and activities in other parts of the world can be related to the European food chain and European activities can affect sustainability in other countries. But innovation support in material science and development could also yield more suitable solutions in the future. Industrial/factory is considered as cruel for animals and an increasing number of customers are becoming aware of this situation and choose products from alternative methods in cattle farming and animal production.1 Affordability and quality The seemingly growing needs for efficiency in food/beverage processing and price reduction of products seem to conflict with the calls for improvements in health. Therefore finding solutions for a more sustainable and ethical production should also be supported by policy from the perspective of health and food safety (diseases and the use of growth hormones) as well as environmental sustainability and animal protection (laws in regard to animal protection and slaughter).3 Economy and business 6. Thus. for example. a potential conflict could occur between convenience and reduction in packaging (fast food). In contrast SMEs and even micro-companies in niche areas of Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 73 . leafs). 6. Many current practices applying less healthy ingredients or factory farming. 6.6% of all firms.3. and some innovative ideas for producing meat without the need for whole animals from cultured cells are already under development and get support from animal rights and environmental groups (e. are said to be done due to price competition. Meat in general is getting under growing criticism from the perspective of health as well as ethics and animal wellbeing.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 As in regard to waste. sustainability and safety.
ICT and food and beverage production (through the whole food chain) is getting increasingly important for improving parameters like healthy nutrition. for example. But also societal. it may be more difficult for food and beverage SMEs to innovate due to limited financial and human resources and higher labour intensity.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 new technologies that may be able to generate innovative goods and services. through RFID tagging). Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 74 . the embedding of food and beverage companies into multidisciplinary clusters could provide fruitful inputs for the generation of innovations. functional food and healthy eating in general (e. Life sciences and biotechnology. shelf life and safety (e.3 Clusters and interdisciplinary cooperation As it has been outlined within this report.g.g.3. material sciences.g. through smart labels) as well as providing technologies for tracking. safety and sustainability. Thus ways may be considered to better support food and beverage SMEs to improve their products and obtain necessary know-how. Material sciences and ICT can improve packaging. tracing and assessing ecological footprints (e.g. between biotechnology. medicine. based on findings of nutrigenomics and metabolomics). e. the necessity of interdisciplinarity. life sciences. 6. Thus. behavioural and psychological studies are of value for analysing eating habits and consumer reactions towards products and marketing. can help with improved testing as well as evidence-based assessment of health claims.
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Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Annex Workshop participants Julio Carreras (AINIA. EE Network SEIMED Food&Drink) Henk Haagsman (Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology. Utrecht University) Govert Gijsbers (TNO) Miriam Leis (TNO) Tine Anderson (Danish Technological Institute) Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 80 .
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