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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 (email@example.com) Annelieke van der Giessen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
.............2 Innovation for SMEs ..........4.... greenhouse gases and water consumption ....4.........................1.................... 68 5....... 72 6..............................................4..............1..................................................................................... 60 5....2 6.......1.1 Knowledge transfer and open innovation ......................1..2.......................1 Food labelling – increasing trust ............................................................5 6 Policy Issues ..................5.... 56 Pulsed electric fields .......................1 Affordability and quality ..... 66 5...........1 Making foods and drinks generally more healthier ........... 62 Organisational change and firm strategies .......... 71 6...........................3 User-driven and user-oriented innovation ...................................... 80 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 2 ........... 64 5......2.........1 Healthy Nutrition.....................5.............................................3 Clusters and interdisciplinary cooperation .6 Promoting collaboration and a ‘culture of innovation’ ..........4....................................................1......................................................2 Demographics – an ageing society ....... 72 6.......................... 68 5......2 Ethics .........1..............5 SMEs and the future structure of the food and beverage industry . innovations from space research ..................................Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5....................................7 More scientific research and development .............. 66 Institutional and legal changes .............................17 5.......2 Evidence-based assessment of functional food possibilities ................1..............................................................................2 High pressure conservation (pascalisation) .....................3........................................................................1 Flexibility and diversification ...................... 69 5............................................2..5.................................................................2 Open innovation. 56 Antimicrobial systems for food preservation ................................ 68 5..................1........................ 57 Miscellaneous: food pills................... 67 5....................... 71 6........................1...........3 Improvement of food safety ....................................................... 67 5............... 56 Converging technologies for food safety testing ..........................18 5........... 73 6.................... 72 Ecological Sustainability and Ethics.........5................4................................................................... 65 5.1...................................... 73 6......5........................................... 62 Establishing trust .................................... 71 6................14 5.............................. 57 Reduction in energy...... 62 5....4 Establishing more trust in science and perform symmetric assessments ..................5..12 5................................................................................ 60 5.....................4...................................................................... 71 6..................... 63 5.............. 72 6...3 References ..................4 E-marketing and advertisement (for SMEs) ................................13 5.........................................................2...............3............................16 5..........................................5...............1 Lifestyle and market diversification...3 5.........................3................................................ 67 5.....................................................4 5....... 75 Annex Workshop participants ........................................ 66 5.......................................................................2 Global sourcing and standardised safety requirements – legislation and enforcement ... 60 New markets due to societal developments ..........................................1 Reducing energy and water consumption .............................................................5 Convergence between food and medicine? .........................4 Promoting healthy eating and healthy cooking ..........................................1...3 Balance between precaution and innovation ...........................................................15 5...............3....................................... 74 6........................................................... 73 Economy and business ................................ 69 5........... 73 6.. 65 5.......................6 Education and training .................................................................... 59 Food automation .....
Built upon different parameters of the factors. tackling some major challenges like improving health. importance of health. 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. environmental problems.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Executive Summary Although food and drinks are essential for human life.g. food safety concerns. country and individual basis) 1 2 Food enriched with additional vitamins. technological progress. military rations or food substitutes. for sports. food enriched with additional vitamins. In principal. 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. The following five scenarios have been drafted and assessed in regard to plausibility and feasibility with experts within the frame of a dedicated workshop. emergency rations. there exist many innovation possibilities within the food and beverage manufacturing industry that also include new products and new processing methods. different scenarios have been developed in this study that depict contrasting development lines. Reality will likely not represent such a pure and extreme case as depicted. The scenarios also serve as input for the discussion of policy issues and recommendations. special diets. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 3 . safety and sustainability. minerals and other nutrients Which can include “fortified food” (i. Many different factors such as economic prosperity. ecological consciousness. technological and societal basis is described in more detail within the report under the chapter “Emerging Innovation Themes and their Requirements”.e. however. This scientific. 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. minerals and other nutrients) but also special nutritional formulas and compositions e. The pleasure and traditions associated to food can also be a field of innovation. 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. but these scenarios can represent tendencies of developments and help with the identification of general chances and challenges. acceptance of new technology and economic prosperity can have an influence on the direction of consumer and industry choices.
Within society larger gaps may develop between healthy and unhealthy eaters which will also be reflected in individual health. functional food) will have great potential while others more or less continue their way of only small and incremental improvements in the future.g. rather low interest.) are driving factors. extreme weather that could negatively affect food production) Food safety concerns (high concerns within society vs. This scenario is more likely under the condition higher economic prosperity and greater concern over health issues. But it can also become more likely if the perception of ‘’industrial food’’ and industrial food producers becomes more negative. cancer. fair trade etc. future and innovation is declining.g. This scenario does not score high on overall innovativeness. floods.jrc. lower concerns) Importance of health (high interest in healthy living vs.eu/publications/pub.). natural food additives) or improved testing and process automation. 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. innovations mainly lie in finding ways to process food with healthier ingredients (e. 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. 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. 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 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.europa. although some sectors (e. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 4 .g.” http://ipts.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Ecological consciousness Environmental problems (occurrences like draughts. A growing consumer concern over the environment and ethics (e. Here. All other scenarios depict situations where one of the describe elements may become more prominent. animal rights.cfm?id=1719 4 Meaning rather slight improvements over time than sudden and large “revolutionary” or “disruptive” changes .ec.g. Cheap and convenient This scenario reflects a setting where the general prosperity as well as interest in health. Going natural This scenario depicts the growing tendency towards foods products perceived as natural by consumers and less food processing. obesity etc.
Therefore the food and beverage manufacturing industry (as well as the up. In the principal technological possibilities in the area of food and beverage production are high and even growing. To achieve these goals. This scenario requires economic prosperity as well as high interest in novel technologies.and downstream industries) holds great responsibility for human health and wellbeing as well sustainability. cost pressure and loopholes in food safety should be addressed in the coming years with the help of social. “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. this could become a realistic outcome. Budget (for some involuntarily). Resources for innovation are rather scarce and companies are mostly interested in cost reduction. 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.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. 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.g. fastness. Implications Food and drinks are essential for human life and more and more research emphasises the importance of nutrition for personal and public health. Major problems associated with this scenario are obesity and environmental problems. biologists. Health improvement beyond just healthy nutrition stands in the centre of interest. sociologists and cultural scientists. The consumers tend to increasingly accept novel technologies in the area of food and drinks. 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 major challenge. e. however. Solutions for current challenges such as obesity and other food-related illnesses. health specialists and medical experts as well as psychologists. 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. physicists. contradicting findings in nutritional research. age-related conditions. by involving food technologists. In extreme cases this could lead to very problematic implications for health and the environment. chemists. which is considered to be achievable only through advanced technological modifications of food and beverage products that even result in medicinal food. but if sustainability will be neglected. The “emergency” scenario is certainly a kind of worst case scenario. convenience and indulgence are major drivers. economic and technological innovations. 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 . interdisciplinary research and development is necessary.
Affordable food with good quality and nutritional value. Although “desirable” could mean different things for different people.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 futures. An evidence-based assessment of functional foods on health and wellbeing. Further improvements in food safety. Making food consumption more enjoyable. 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. A reduction of environmental impacts associated with all steps within the food chain (from farm to fork). Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 6 . fostering culinary diversity and protecting culinary traditions. A general promotion of and education about healthy eating and healthy cooking.
The objectives of the Sectoral Innovation Foresight are to identify the main drivers of change in the nine sectors under study. As a Foresight activity. for others a much longer time horizon may be a more appropriate orientation. requirements and/or impacts in terms of skills requirements. and we have extensively drawn on these contributions when compiling this report. organised in June and December 2009 in Brussels. Based on the identified main drivers. Their inputs made it possible to gain new insights into different dimensions of future sectoral developments. In addition. in order to ensure the overall coherence of the report not all the suggestions raised at the workshops could be taken into account. It thus aims at looking beyond time horizons that can be addressed by simply extrapolating current trends. In addition. In this context.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. 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. 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). However. in chapter 6 issues for policy are discussed against the background of scenarios and innovation themes. Finally. The final report builds on the findings of a critical review of secondary sources as well insights generated at two Sectoral Innovation Foresight Workshops. a time horizon of about ten years has been used as orientation. and to develop scenario sketches as frames for exploring variations in innovation themes and emerging markets. both internal and external to the sectors under study. 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. it addresses medium. While for fast-changing sectors this may imply a time horizon of five to ten years. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 7 . For each scenario. scenarios for the development of the sectors are presented (chapter 4). We would like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the workshop participants (see Annex).to long-term strategic issues for the future development of European industries. In the case of the food and drinks sector. Based on an analysis of the current situation (chapter 2) drivers of innovation and change are presented (chapter 3) in this report. organizational and structural changes are discussed. to identify innovation themes and associated markets that may jointly have a significant impact on these sectors.
ranging from ancient breweries to the invention of pasteurisation in 1862. The use of modern biotechnology (genetic engineering) in food processing started in the early 1980s. salting. Nicolas Appert. especially when it comes to products. for example invented the vacuum bottling technique in 1806 for the food supply of French troops.foodtimeline. industrialised food and drinks manufacturing of the 19 and 20 century has mainly developed within the military context . Indications for early “industrialised” beer brewery can be found in up to 5000 year old Mesopotamian .com/history.html 8 http://www.g. The so-called “TV-dinners” and ready meals were 5 6 7 th th 8 http://www. the modern. 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. Similar accounts have been found for wine. fermenting).org.eufic.org/article/en/food-technology/gmos/rid/modern-biotechnology-food-development/ and http://www. drying. Egyptian and Chinese records. biotechnology and physics (especially thermal procedures) has been very important for food and drinks manufacturing and preservation. These records also represent instances of ancient biotechnology by using yeast (a microorganism) for the fermenting process.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 2 Current situation Although food and drinks are essential for human life.germanbeerinstitute. innovations in food and drinks are expected to happen in incremental steps without sudden innovation leaps and major changes.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. A very important factor for large-scale food and drinks manufacturing has been the Industrial Revolution. 2006) and supported by CIS4 data. patenting and new product development (cf. Mass production techniques enabled strong changes in retail with the first supermarkets being introduced in the mid-1910s.g. but also in many other fields of science and technology. Although early forms of food processing date back to ancient times where raw agricultural materials were modified simple by technical means (e. Also progressing insights in relation between chemistry. Food and drinks processing has also always stood in close relation to advances in agriculture and the development of cities and division of labour..org/food1. OECD. Hirsch-Kreinsen. e. In general. Therefore it is useful to keep the whole food chain – from farm to fork – in mind. an invention that led to the development of tinning and canning by Peter Durand in 1810. 2.encyclopedia.html 6 http://www.com/doc/1G1-16035893. This time experienced much experimentation and innovation in food and drinks. coinciding with considerable innovations in transport and logistics.uk/view/Food_and_drink_industry/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 8 . This in turn engendered changes in the food and drinks industry. STAN R&D database.html 7 http://www. The real boom in large-scale manufacturing of foods and drinks appeared during the 1950s and 1960s.foodinnovation.
restaurants) as well as new technologies such as TV-sets and microwave ovens. But these developments also brought about societal criticism on new food and beverage production methods and techniques as well as newly invented ingredients. 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. This shows how developments in the food and drinks industry already then closely related to developments in other sectors (retail. today too much ‘perfection’ makes many consumers suspicious by indicating non naturalness. other diet-related illnesses. allergies. fresh and unprocessed foods and drinks. new inspection methods and healthier. and more particularly current challenges such as obesity.can provide us with more predictable processes. consumer preferences in no way point towards the same A taste of the future: research’s role in tomorrow’s food development. 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. The soft-drink industry was born in the 1960. chronic diseases and aging have also stimulated the emergence of new generations of functional foods and drinks. Whereas at some time the optical appearance of food – symmetric form. Later developments. the artificial sweetener aspartame was discovered in 1965. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 9 . The case of saccharin. biotechnology – and perhaps even GMO . 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. but have also led to societal concerns. or reduction of risk of disease (ILSI. safer and sometimes even tastier food. Health concerns. 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. Presentation Janez Potocnik. and an increasing focus on local and fair trade products and ethical concerns by consumers. The ban did not go through. and the first microwave ovens for home use were introduced in 1967. but a warning label was required. 9 10 Thus. one of the artificial ingredients. in a way which is relevant to either an improved state of health or well-being. 2002). beyond adequate nutritional effects. serves as an example. After being introduced in the 1960s. At the same time. It also signifies the beginning of the current trend towards organic. and welfare driven life-style changes like the rise of fast food and ready meals. The latest developments in nanotechnology for food packaging give rise to similar reactions. natural. beautiful colour and flawlessness – has been highly regarded and thus has been enhanced by food colouring. health and quality over quantity (slow food as a reaction to fast food). slowly replacing the traditional soda stores and vendors. better primary production. Brussels. such as the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and more generally the rise of biotechnology are proof of new and innovative developments. 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.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 introduced in 1953. additives and even GMO.
The sector is considered a mature industry which is generally perceived conservative and rather inert towards more radical changes.2 Sectoral characteristics and current innovation themes 2.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 10 .co.: Korea Times 2008: http://www. agriculture and the food processing (‘manufacturing’) industry – has traditionally been characterised by a high degree of governmental intervention. no additives in their beef products. In regard to the employment situation. Mainstream trends such as an increasing consumption of convenience foods like prepackaged and processed foods and drinks.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. fast food. Other choices. “TV dinners”). however. 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. Whether and how this fragmented structure with a large share of micro.1 Market organisation and market structure The agro-food sector – i. Fast food chains like McDonalds.and small firms affects innovation and innovation performance is less clear. quality assurance schemes (labelling) and tracking and tracing. Yet 0. easy to consume products (e.e. The largest food and beverage companies are also global players and some of them like Unilever produce food as well as non-food products. snacking. at least not in a manner that allows consistent comparisons across countries and between sub-sectors. for example. does not collect information at the micro-enterprise level. whereas also here health consciousness may get bigger.2.6% of all firms. 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.kr/www/news/nation/2008/11/123_33884. especially in the context of active lifestyles. 11 2. although some criticism remains. early warning systems.g. enjoyment.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 direction. is still present in the minds of many people and one of the major reasons for the low attractiveness of the 11 Cf. This “old fashioned” image. salads on their menu. ranging from market regulation and financial support for farmers to strong safety and health provisions. one of the most important sources on innovation trends and performance in industry. take-away food and out-of-home consumption are likely bound to continue.koreatimes. are increasingly advertising with a more health and “natural” image (e. 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. together with increased risk monitoring and assessment by independent food authorities (EFSA. It also is a sector that is critically watched by consumers and consumer advocacy groups. The food and beverage manufacturing industry is dominated by micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees that make up 78.g. Recent organisational innovations such as the introduction of integrated supply chains (‘from farm to fork’). providing calorie tables and “going green” ). national food authorities) have led to increased accountability and have added to consumer confidence. which is however partly outdated in many respects. The Community Innovation Survey (CIS).
biotechnology and nanotechnology.9 Manufacture of beverages Although in each sub-sector both traditional and non-traditional products can be found. 2. Especially drinks are often advertised in the context of pop-concerts.7 Manufacture of prepared animal feeds 15. Most innovation in food and drinks is of incremental (i. processing and preserving of meat and meat products 15. certain NACE categories appear more suitable for certain kinds of innovation than others. food and drinks manufacturing has been dependent on (innovative) developments in agriculture. logistics and transport and wholesale and retail trade have become important factors in the development of the foods and drinks industry.4 Manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats 15. sports events. some traditional. In more recent history preservation and conservation. small stepwise improvements over time) nature.8 Manufacture of other food products 15. 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. Product innovations on the other hand bring about new products or considerable Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 11 .5 Manufacture of dairy products 15. followed more recently by information and communication technologies (ICT) innovations like radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking. some new and innovative. packaged. distributed and sold. Marketing and advertisement play a very important role in getting the consumer’s attention to buy foods and drinks and stay with certain manufacturers. 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 1.3 Processing and preserving of fruit and vegetables 15. starches and starch products 15. 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. youth culture activities.2. products and labels. Throughout history.1 Production.2 Sub-segments According to the NACE-code classification (Rev 1.e.6 Manufacture of grain mill products. Innovation in the food and drinks domain is and has always been closely linked to developments in other sectors of the economy. 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. Other can result in entirely new products such as functional foods.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 sector to a higher educated workforce. packaging.1). clubs and discotheques.1 Categories of the food and drinks sector 15 Manufacture of food products and beverages 15.2 Processing and preserving of fish and fish products 15. nanotech).
13 2. ice creams).3 Evolution. gels and glasses that are made of polymers. have an unappealing texture and flavours could not unfold properly. sports. 13 This is also reflected within the Eurostat CIS4 indicators for innovation activities. are likely to cause more problems and concerns from consumers and regulators when it comes to food and beverage products. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 12 .from a low-to-medium tech industry to a medium-to-high tech industry. research and experimentation. The complexity of foods and drinks often exceeds other materials and end-products can include a diversity of structures such as foams. because every component has a certain function and may not be left out without consequences.g. the product would not taste good. with sudden radical innovations or “quantum leaps” not likely to be expected over the next 15 20 years. At least part of the food and beverage industry is on the brink transformation . leaving out a substance or finding a suitable natural substitute could be very innovative. like the use of (advanced) nanotechnology for materials (see the aerospace or textile industry). If one would simply take out the fat of sausages (certainly a healthier choice). instant drinks and drinks. Technological developments that are rather unproblematic in other industrial sectors. complex fluids. breezers) and natural and organic alcoholic drinks with both segments being regarded as highly innovative and suitable for experimentation . because it would be very dry. grain and mill products (cereals.g. 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. step-by-step manner. 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 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. structure and current state of play . Often these two requirements can conflict with each other: what is considered to make foods and drinks tasteful may pose some health concerns. proteins. functional yoghurts. crystals and other molecular structures. Product innovations tend to be found more within the categories of dairy products (e. 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.or has already been transformed . sweet and savoury spreads. 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. where a wide palette of functional waters. but rather due to consumer concerns. and by looking at past innovation performance. Therefore the creation of new and healthier foods and drinks requires considerable know-how.and energy bars). In this sense.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 changes to existing products. Food science can actually be regarded as a form of material science. ‘superfruit’ juices 12 or energy drinks is already available. for example. In contrast to most other products.
important parts of the food and beverage manufacturing industry are still very much based on and rooted in tradition and conventional food products. At the same time. legal and successful. we might expect that the segmentation of markets will continue further.g. Some manufacturing processes and recipes are handed over from generation to generation and are still practiced in such a traditional way. 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. breezers and ‘lifestyle’ products to ecologically-oriented foods and drinks and ethnic and traditional products. Also certain technological solutions for specific demands and consumer wishes may not be accepted. nano-encapsulation for improved bioavailability) or what may be generally considered as “artificiality” for achieving this goal may not be desirable. In contrast to other industries like electronics or automobiles. 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. driven by different lifestyles. It is not unlikely that the apparent divide between hightech innovative and low-tech tradition within the sector is likely to get bigger. In a similar vein. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 13 .Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 functional foods are cases in point. the absence of innovative products from food and beverage manufacturers does not necessarily mean unsuccessful sales and products. nanotechnologies (e. Although there is demand for functional food with additional health benefits.
Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 14 . in regard to protein-protein interactions). nutrigenomics and neurosciences Improved understanding about biological systems and the human body matters for the future development of the food and drinks industry. 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. Future advances in science and technology coming from areas outside the food and drinks sector. influence if certain gene may become active or not. As our understanding about genetics is growing. Research going on in genetics. robotics (for processing and automation) and even neurosciences. genetic research and the availability of the necessary computer power and laboratory equipment. 3. 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.1. in regard to separation techniques).e. material sciences. even though some are related to the industry. epigenetics. 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. proteomics (science about the function and structure of proteins) and similar areas have already created the research field of nutrigenomics. where also possible conflicts between technological means and consumer goals are reflected upon. Many technological and scientific challenges for the improvement of food and beverage products still remain. molecular bio(techno)logy.1 Epigenetics.g.g. new scientific research is showing that environmental factors like the intake of certain foods and drinks can in fact have influences on gene expression. will most likely have a continuing strong impact on the development of the sector. 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. medicine. some major developments in R&D and science and technology will make the start.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. nanotechnology. which studies the effects of nutrition on genes and metabolic functions. 3.g. i. in regard to food spoilage and preservation). but it is likely that science will gradually find solutions to them. Afterwards some major demand-side drivers will be outlined that will be brought together in the section about innovation themes and requirements.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. ICT. metabolomics (science about metabolism).
nanotechnology and biotechnology. to science-based combinations of items in ready meals.e. 2009). Even totally new or modified organisms could be created that may be used to fight off harmful bacteria or produce functional ingredients. Such insights could also lead to new forms of marketing innovations. Personalised functional food. Researchers are. biotechnology and nanotechnology Humans are able to observe and manipulate matter on an increasingly small scale. e.g. which equals one-millionth of a meter or 1000 nanometres. 3. vegetables or spices based on their choices being made while shopping (e. or enable possibilities to get rid of allergens. = one-billionth of a meter. allow for fast and mobile food testing for a variety of pathogens. the nutrients of this fish are best digested when eaten together with these vegetables and spices) or composing ready meals based on science. bacteria and contamination. Genetic engineering principally allows for the creation of plants (and animals) with some optimised characteristics like increased vitamin level or higher yields. Also research in neuroscience could provide the basis for the development of new foods aimed at inducing specific neuronal states like happiness.com/2007/03/a-personal-genome-machin.1. 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. scientists are currently only at the beginning of understanding the real implications and meanings of sequenced genome data. They are now leaving the micro-level and are entering the even smaller nano-scale . unravelling the neurochemical effects of chocolate and try to give a scientific basis to so-called “mood foods”. although not impossible. i. 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. However. by providing consumers with science-based recommendations for side dishes. They range from improvements of texture over targeted nutrition and flavour enhancement through “nano-encapsulation” to smart packaging for more safety.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.html "Nano-scale" refers to objects of a size close to 1 nanometre. for example.2 Miniaturisation. This could lead. for example. 14 15 15 http://harvardmagazine. calmness or improved concentration achieved with the help of specific ingredients. As it is the case in other fields of material sciences. nanotechnology also opens up new possibilities for the food and beverage industry. The "micro-level" refers to micrometre. is likely to take some time until reality and economic feasibility. leading to healthier overall compounds. So-called lab-on-a-chip modules. 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. which combine technologies from ICT.g. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 15 .
1. RFID-technology allows for consistent traceability and fast product identification and is also part of smart packaging concepts. antibiotic packaging. robotics and ICT As robots are becoming increasingly flexible.3 Material sciences and intelligent packaging Especially the area of food packaging benefits from general advances in material sciences. barrier materials. smart packaging) and sensor systems for food safety testing . technologies used in modern material development and testing like simulations might also be of use for food and drinks manufacturing. the issue requires careful scientific evaluation.g.4 Automation. 16 17 http://www. eco-friendly packaging and even edible packaging have already been developed or are under development.and nutritional sciences. Anti-biotic materials. which necessitates changes in processing and ingredients to yield constant and satisfactory results. According to statistics from the World Robotics Report 2008. For example. the food and beverage industry is currently responsible for major increases in demands for industrial robots (World Robotics. in transports and fast-food-management) and food chain management.worldrobotics.g. Also in line with food sciences being understood as a kind of material science. many consumers and consumer advocacy/protection groups are concerned about “nano” in food. 16 3.g. physical and chemical properties and even the spread of micro-organisms. Although operating on the nanometre-scale is nothing new in food production. nano-encapsulation of nutrients.asp?id=3598&sub=sub2 http://www.foodsafetymagazine. the raw materials coming from farming are always different in composition. versatile and “intelligent” as well as cheaper.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 16 . 2008). 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. food packaging (e. they are also getting much more attention from the food and beverage manufacturing industry. nanoemulsions).Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Nanotechnology can be used in food processing (e. Edible packaging may pose some problems in regard to hygiene if really intended to be eaten.org/downloads/2008_executive_summary. 17 Beside the indirect contribution of ICT in regard to calculations in the bio.1.com/article. but at least such products will put no harm to the environment since they are digestible and biodegradable. 3. Computer simulations could be used to analyse and predict the behaviour of ingredients. heat/cold resistant materials. ICT technology is becoming an important part of logistics (e.
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. 18 See also the ETP’s “Implementation Action Plan”. In 2007. especially China and India. 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. Food and drinks are seen as an integral part for improving health and wellbeing. wellbeing and longevity Build consumer trust in the food chain Support sustainable and ethical production. food that has added beneficial effects that go beyond nutritional effects) have a rather long history. products and tools in order to improve competitiveness.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. Coca-Cola. but also more tailoring to individual needs (e.health consciousness.2. Although Japan is generally regarded as the birthplace of functional food. 2008: 5) : Improve health.g. 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. During the 1980s. disease and ageing People are expecting more from their food and drinks than just satisfying their hunger and thirst. Over time. the distinction between foods. Consumers seem to get increasingly health conscious – and at least more concerned . In some cultures. 3. In the coming years the familiar. these drinks have further developed. narrowly defined target groups each with their own agenda. Martin.1 Aliments against ailments . prominent European and US examples can also be named. 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”. interests and preferences. The future is likely to consist of consumers that will increasingly demand everything at the same time. but they still exist as “functional drinks”. This can be observed not only in the growing interest in functional foods. They are defined in anticipation of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer and societal preferences. 2007).e. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 17 . Box 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.about their intake of foods and drinks. starting in the 1990.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 3. drinks and medicine has not been very distinct. the European Health Claim regulation has been initiated which regulates and restricts health-related claims on foods and drinks. more or less predictable body of mass consumers of the present will more and more turn into smaller. but even more in the current trend towards natural and organic foods and scepticism about synthetic ingredients. 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.1 Functional foods Functional foods (i. In 1904 the “fitness drink” Ovomaltine was invented and marketed as having positive effects on fatigue.
which however have not yet been achieved reliably. Progress in modern bio(techno)logy is of great importance. imbalanced nutrition and so-called “civilisation illnesses” like type-II diabetes. especially in the segment of alcoholic drinks are often first introduced over bars.2 Health aspects of alcoholic drinks Health issues are getting increasing importance. By using genetic engineering.19 This is also an example for the uncertainties that still exist in nutritional research. The interest is also growing on the “preventative”.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 As the life expectancy of people increases. At the same time. This has already led to the introduction of a new profession: gerontological nutritionist. Fast food chains. Science-based approaches towards more healthy foods and drinks could represent a big contribution.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 18 . Box 3. This has brought governments to respond and start awareness campaigns to emphasise the negative side of alcohol consumption. Red wine also got a healthy image. especially McDonald’s. have started to react and are now advertising with being more health conscious. so does the probability of age-related diseases and ailments. To meet this goal.com/article/dn18396-stay-young-on-red-wine-drugs-think-again. also with alcoholic drinks. 2007). with considerable potential health impacts. a better understanding about the relationships between nutrition and health effects is necessary. who since 19 http://www.g. 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. However some claims being made are not based on sufficient and/or accepted scientific evaluation. The current striving for improving “healthy aging” is a big driver for food innovations. Since the bodily constitution and metabolism of elderly people change. the industry is not responsib le for the consumer’s eating and cooking habits. new scientific findings strongly suggest that resveratrol does not prevent or slow down age-related cell damage as assumed before. Increasingly these drinks are being consumed by young adults (below 18 years of age) and even children. Still. clubs. the huge problems of obesity and other diet-related illnesses tend to increase. breezers) have arisen considerable attention. the popularity of the recently introduced light alcoholic drinks and mixes (e. especially fast-food chains and fast-food products like pizza as well as snacks are heavily criticised as a reason for obesity. offering salads and presenting themselves as caring for the environment. The interest in healthy eating and drinking is huge and currently there exists a wide variety of partly contradicting advices concerning this topic. Ways to reduce the negative effects of alcohol or accelerate the decomposition of alcohol in the body are welcome and innovative ideas. Besides this. In January 2010.newscientist. students from Rice University (US) have developed a beer that contains resveratrol. Organic alcoholic drinks gain increasing popularity. restaurants and discotheques before entering supermarkets or specialty stores. one of the largest Dutch health insurers. however. other kinds of nutrition and nutritional balances are required for this age group. because of its anti-oxidant ingredient resveratrol that may help to prevent cancer. Currently. even to such an extent that according to some the steady rise in life expectancy may come to an end (e. however.g. Martin. New products. Food companies are also already reacting towards this new and growing set of consumers. especially for the young. 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. Financial and other incentives that stimulate healthy lifestyles and ditto consumption patterns get increasing attention. As an example serves VGZ.
g. RFID tagging). the scientific trust in functional foods and new alliances between food and beverage manufacturers and other sectors (e. correct storage of products). 2005). alongside with a system of appropriate checks and balances. 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. the German health system reform envisages health insurance bonus systems for adopting a healthy lifestyle. 2007). agriculture (especially in regard to raw fruits and vegetables).g. Safety is very much a matter of organisation within the value chain.nl/onsbedrijf/nieuwsenmedia/persberichten/2005/BecelproactivwordtvergoeddoorZorgverzek eraarVGZ.g.asp 21 EurepGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. especially at a global scale. Important milestones have already been set. better packaging. Since retailers are the last actors in the food and beverage value chain. for example by diabetics refusing doctor’s advice. Improvements in fast and real-time testing and monitoring “from farm to fork” can be realised with a combination of ICT (e. smart sensing and testing and global traceability (tracking and tracing) and food chain management. the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and national agencies) play an increasingly important role in securing the safety of food and drinks. Similarly. health insurers). Independent governmental agencies (viz.2.g. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 19 . 20 Food allergies are on the rise and can have grave limiting effects on quality of life.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 2005 reimburses clients who use Unilever’s cholesterol-lowering Becel pro-active products. 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. Scientific research and evidence play an important role in such bonus/reward schemes. The call for safe food is loud. As more and more customers are experiencing food allergies or food intolerance. but even more can be done. the food and beverage industry has to react by adjusting the choice of ingredients. safety analysis and logistics (e. will be punished by means of supplementary payments (e.2 Food safety and consumer confidence One of the most important factors for consumers is food safety. they are very dependent on the input and quality of the food industry. Retailers have taken much of a lead here and have been very active in setting up integral chain management (e. because of the products’ beneficial health effects (Unilever. the EurepGAP 21 label – European Retailer Produce Good Agricultural Practice. This requires the drawing of clear and transparent roles and responsibilities. due to food scares and scandals of the past. 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. 3. labelling or finding ways to engineer foods and drinks that do not contain allergens (if no medical treatment for allergies can be provided).unilever. Müller. biotechnology and material sciences through improved preservation. nanotechnology (smart sensors on packages). 20 http://www. while noncompliance. recently transformed into ‘Global GAP’ – Global Good Agricultural Practice). Food scandals.
in regard to animal keeping or fair trade) in form of labels. eating out is on the decline because of the higher costs. readyto-eat and heat-to-eat (ETP. Therefore the future might make food safety more challenging. due to the financial crisis. the unrestricted use of scarce and non-renewable resources such as oil and gas and – hence – sustainability are rising societal and consumer concerns. especially in face of globalisation and complex food chains. 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.2. catering establishments and restaurants. The awareness about animal rights is growing. A growing number of manufacturers are already advertising with labels that indicate the utilisation of renewable energy sources (e. 2005). Sustainable food production looks like a large innovation area for the industry. food waste management. leading to consumer criticism about industrial farming and the use of growth hormones and antibiotics in mass animal production.2. through better tracking. The popularity of convenience food also relates to the diminishing size of the average household (two and one person household). Technologies for convenience foods focus on: easy to handle. The choice for convenience food is rooted in changing life-styles. which especially concerns production methods and resource management (renewable energy.g.g. when being met increase the convenience of food consumption.3 Ethical concerns and sustainability Environmental pollution. following the general trend of displaying the manufacturer’s environme ntal and ethical considerations (e.g.g. solar and biomass/food waste) being used for production .com/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 20 . but technology can also help to improve food safety within complex constellations. water management. snacking and snatched meals. etc. wind.. Dagoba Chocolate http://www.dagobachocolate.). Ethics and sustainability – the future of mother earth – go hand in hand. energy efficiency. time saving. 22 3. since many customers regard them as responsible.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. e. The term convenience food applies to ready meals. ‘Grazing’. not only in Europe but worldwide. “organic” and “fair-trade” products. conveniently packaged and processed foods. Ethical concerns also apply to animal rights and to the consumption of animal products.4 Convenience food and take away food/home delivery Convenience and health are probably the two biggest food and drinks trends. eating on the move and ease of container opening for children and the elderly are all demands that. busy lives and lack of time. and eating out in canteens. Many consumers are choosing more “ethical” products like eggs and meat from free-range animals. However. 3. surveillance and testing methods. they are at the same time seemingly contradictions.
international renowned brands. Sustainable and healthy fast food could become an innovation topic. especially in warehousing.8 % European sales increase in November 2008. uncertainty and falling consumer confidence increases the price sensitivity of consumers. bio. Box 3. affordability and value for money A considerable share of consumers . health and wellbeing. consumers are already shifting away from some premium market products. “Innocent Drinks”. Automation. experienced 21% drops in sales and the first decline since 1999 in favour of cheaper chilled juices (Research and Markets. 2009). but contain more fats. “organic”. eco. shop designs and a good shopping atmosphere as well as reducing costs. often presented as store brands.e. 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. Even though the food industry is typically much less affected by ups and downs than other sectors (European Commission. The financial crisis has caused at least some customers to turn away from more expensive “natural”. A winner of the financial crisis seems to be McDonald's. organic and wellness products. sugars and salt and less valuable nutrients.and customers in general – acts price conscious in regard to food and beverage products. retailers' own store-brands). especially those with lower income. As a UK Research and Markets study from 2009 suggests.2.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 individual. Cost reductions can be achieved through more efficient warehousing. which according to the Financial Times is planning to create 12000 new jobs and open 240 new restaurants throughout Europe in 2009 after a 7.3 Consumer behaviour Through the current financial crisis. 2009). 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. which include many ‘natural’ and wellness brands. with possible demand shifts towards hard discounters (e. Another future direction is convenience products made from fresh and healthy food. Retailers and large supermarket discounters have introduced private labels as an alternative to the more expensive and established. Studies also suggest people from lower-income strata and less education are more prone to obesity. 3. Aldi. a fast growing and successful British manufacturer of smoothies.5 Price consciousness. Lidl). for Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 21 . supply chain management. More generally. “healthy” and “ethical” food as well as high quality food towards cheaper conventional products and fast food. this could contribute to a divide-like situation between the wealthier and poorer strata of society that effects life expectancy. it remains questionable how much additional money consumers. however. The crisis does not only affect the food consumption patterns of the lower income strata of society. If the expensive ‘high-tech’ food or ‘organic foods’ show significantly positive health effects as compared to cheaper products. for example. would be willing to spend on functional foods and health innovations. Source: Financial Times Online.g. The 1 Euro-shops. Many of these brands relate to quality and ecology-oriented or natural products. automation or through the introduction of private labels (i. can lead to substantial cost savings. some consumers are tending to cheaper products and thus turning away from the more expensive ‘natural’. imbalanced nutrition and resulting health problems. A major reason for this is that people with less income tend to buy foods that are cheap and satiable. Most food and beverage products are being sold through stores and supermarkets that seek new ways to attract customers though appealing products.
this dimension is difficult to objectively quantify. However. whereas the cultural dimension of tradition . from an evolutionary/anthropological perspective. Some innovative future ideas like nanotechnology-based “programmable food” (cf. 3. However. innovation is of course not really possible. cultural and neurological factors play an important role in regard to taste preference. in vegetables) is rooted in human evolution and premodern living conditions where a preference for energy rich foods. 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. beer. e. taste is still a very important criterion for food choices. However.9) also deal with experimentation of 24 23 23 http://harvardmagazine. Researchers like Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman are suggesting that people’s preferences for what is nowadays considered unhealthy food like too much (saturated) fats. There may also be trade-offs between taste and other dimensions of foods and drinks like price and health. in confectionary. fat and sugar was an advantage for survival.1 and http://samuelsandassociates. Humans prefer sweet food because it promises fast energy intake and tend to dislike bitter food because many toxic items are bitter . some parts of the human evolutionary heritage are not suitable for modern living anymore. except for indirect areas like preservation. packaging or marketing.com/samuels/upload/ourlatest/AdolescentObesityTowardsEvidenceBasedPolicy. biological. 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).htm#Overview%20of%20factors%20in%20human%2 0food%20selection Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 22 .2.1. This can be seen through the observation that century old food traditions (e.unu.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. Looking at it from this perspective and also considering neuroscience. meat specialities) are still valued and surviving with their traditional manufacturing methods and ingredients despite modernity. taste preferences can conflict with health as well as innovation. 3. 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.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80632e/80632E02.g. conditions which however do not apply to the lifestyle in (post-)industrialised societies .Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 example. Thus. taste preferences are related to assessing the nutritional value and safety of food items found in the wild. In modern (post-)industrialised cultures. sugars and crispy foods (which can indicate freshness as contrasting to less fresh items.pdf 24 http://www. wine.g.com/2009/05/dissing-evolution?page=0. Also recipes from around the world are entering supermarket shelves dominated by industrial products. since taste sensitiveness and preferences are highly individual but also dependent on culture and habit. taste has mostly lost its function for distinguishing between edible and non-edible items and as already mentioned.
org/geek-life/hands-on/molecular-gastronomy-goes-industrial Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 23 .e. Rosemary. focussing on the scientific biochemical and physical dimension of cooking. If regarded as a counter trend to the mainstream and thus as something new. economic alternatives (strengthening regional and rural areas) and marketing.3. indulgence.g.8). Taste. i. advanced preservation methods) and even create totally new taste experiences as in molecular gastronomy and some envisioned future nanotechnology possibilities. remains central to food but the relation of taste to health and innovation can be ambivalent.f. of course.1. a trend that has gained interest over the last years. fat. especially non-thermal ones (c.e. i. Other food “sub-cultures” like the “slow food” movement are intentionally opposing modern trends of fast. parsley) that add good taste and at the same time serve as natural preservatives (cf. sugar). 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.3 Intersection of S&T and demand-side drivers 3. whereas not in a real technical sense but rather from the perspective of lifestyle. “Artificial tastes” in budget food production cause controversies and exotic tastes can awake curiosity but also rejection. Molecular gastronomy. health as well as traditional and regional specialities.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 taste. Wasabi. Innovations can contribute to better taste preservation (e.g.1. 2007). whereas such ideas are currently also considered with scepticism and would face problems with approval. Modern preservation methods. but also associate taste with health and healthy eating (savouring the taste) as in the slow food movement.11) are concerned with keeping the taste of foods intact. The realisation of the goals requires a strong support for promoting science and research and attracting young people to work in these areas. preserving and maintaining the taste of naturalness of food that is also related to the increasing health consciousness of some consumer groups. 25 3. 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. eco-efficient and competitive products” (“Cologne Paper”. mass-produced and uniform food and emphasise taste. has been inspired by methods of industrial food processing but is also being taken up by the industry .ieee. Innovations in this sector can be seen well within the goals and objectives on the European-Bio-Based-Economy (KBBE). sus tainable. Other preservation methods are exploring the utilisation of spices (e. 3. Humans tend to prefer tastes related to generally less healthy food in modern contexts (e. 3.1 Knowledge-Bio-Based-Economy (KBBE) The food and drinks sector is a large and important part of the European bio-economy. “slow food” could be seen as an innovation. This is in so far interesting as here innovation can be viewed from a different perspective.g. which is defined as “transforming life sciences knowledge into new.
2008).2 Consumer sensitivity as crucial factor The food and drinks sector is rather unique.php/GT/article/view/art83/149 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 24 .g. Eating and taste preferences are also related to culture. one can find innumerable personalised-looking advises for healthy eating and nutrition. halal. in regard to spices. i.g. snails.) and how to prepare food and drinks (e. Nanotechnology could provide methods for better food safety. but is at the same time regarded as a food-risk itself. consumer sensitivity and awareness has increased much. healthier and even tastier food based on scientific analysis. whereas the food an beverage manufacturing industry is currently still defined as low-to-medium technology (HirschKreinsen. in regard to butchering). If one categorises industrial sectors along the dimensions of technology (high technology vs. 2007). although many consumers want allergen-free foods. For instance.org/index. one could derive the following simplified structure: 26 http://www. frogs. low technology) and “consumer sensitivity”. 3. ban of alcohol and wine etc. although many of them do not seem to be evidence-based. Social. From past to present. sweetness and the consumption of certain foods like insects (entomophagy) or specific kinds of meat (e. the food and drinks industry could develop much further towards the characteristics of a high-tech industry. Already today. crocodiles. vegan. GMO may not be accepted as a solution. getting more similar to the biotech industry. cultural and religious aspects are also very important in the area of eating and drinking. Many religious or social rules have strict prescriptions about what (and even when) and what not to eat and drink (e. camels etc. e.g. High consumer acceptance is however expected from personalised diets and methods for improved food testing and food-chain surveillance and management.e. do ethical and safety considerations play a great role in regard to products. the emigration of European scientist to non-European countries is also a problem to be addressed (“Cologne Paper”.e. 2006. “Brain Drain”. kosher. i.g.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 transfer. 26 In regard to expected (future) scientific and technological possibilities.3.).jotmi. 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. Some of the S&T possibilities that could provide solutions for demand-side wishes may just not be acceptable to the consumer.
3.g. Kühne et al. genetic science and nano/molecular-sciences can nonetheless play an important role in agriculture. taste.edu/bitstream/6617/2/sp08ku01. although the trajectories may be different of what has been thought of in the past about the future. There seems to be much room for improvement in efficiency and sustainability within food manufacturing. which applies to large industries as well as to smaller businesses and organic production.3 Innovation and technology as chance Although some technological developments may not become popular with consumers. theoretical food science and food control. e. a better understanding about how food works in the body. 27 http://ageconsearch. organisational innovations and networking are and remain of major importance (e. Energy efficiency.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 25 .. texture and health benefits.1 Scientific and technological possibilities of the food and drink industry In how far especially SMEs can perform this shift.umn. There can also be innovation without GMO and adding synthetic nanoparticles. however. GMO and food pills. sourcing and production methods. 2007). Is the industry able to take up the consumer interests and the inputs from scientific research to develop successful new products? 3. there seems to be much room for innovativeness. remains very questionable. 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. analysing the function of natural ingredients for preservation. 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. whereas modern biotechnology.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Figure 3.
Reality is likely to be a mix of all five scenarios. economic etc.) factors can vary. country and individual basis) Ecological consciousness 28 UN Population Statistics http://esa. medicine. 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. Therefore the need for increases in productivity and yields is one general driver for innovation. This requires higher levels of agricultural production. however with a greater leaning towards one of them.6 billion by 2020 . Basic framework assumptions: The world population is growing and expected to increase from 6. material science. In most EU countries. Demographic developments represent a rather stable framework condition since significant changes in population only occur slowly. nutrition-related health as well as environmental issues are generally considered important and represent topics for innovation.org/unpp/p2k0data. societal development and consumer preferences and choice. the population is declining. computer science and related topics. societal. and aging. political and legal interventions.1 Introduction The following sections depict five different scenarios for the possible future development of the food and drinks manufacturing industry in Europe. Thus technological 28 development as such can be seen as a constant. This makes the depiction of ideal typical worlds valuable. whereas societal (political. However. because through this one can get a clearer picture of the single elements of the potential future reality. highlighting different directions in products and production processes manufacturing. insight and engineering capacities in biotechnology.asp Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 26 . 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.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 4 Scenarios 4. If disregarding possible societal.un.9 billion in 2010 to 7. legal. the trajectories of technological possibilities is also quite foreseeable with an increasing gain of knowledge. however.
however. ecological consciousness. A list of references for the scenarios is provided in a special section in the reference list. graphdiagrams) set to an intermediate position. whereas in each scenario different dimensions are being highlighted. Also the developments of the different scenarios are based on current trends in the sector. lower concerns) Importance of health (high interest in healthy living vs. They are not to be interpreted in a quantitative way but rather as an orientation to depict the differences of the scenarios. 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. The first scenario “business as usual” reflects the status quo of th e food and beverage production and market as a very heterogeneous construct. The diagrams of the other scenarios should be read relative to the baseline (‘business as usual’). The scoring of the major dimensions: economic prosperity. extreme weather that could negatively affect food production) Food safety concerns (high concerns within society vs. technological progress and acceptance of technology have not been derived from an extended survey. 29 29 The scenarios have been discussed with experts in the context of a workshop. environmental problems. that actually only in regard to the technological aspects and factual information validation has been achieved.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Environmental problems (factual occurrences like draughts. floods. rather low interest. All scenarios can also be related to some of the emerging innovation themes that will be described in more detail in chapter 5. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 27 . importance of health. 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. but estimated by the researchers involved in this report and sector workshops during a workshop. The other scenarios are measured relative to this reference scenario depicting relative growth or declines in some of the dimensions. food safety concerns. 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. This report itself has also served as a basis for the scenario-drafting .
others focus on health. different drivers are relevant and competing with each other. Food and beverage products thought to be healthy and susta inable are still more expensive than average products.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.e. while on the opposite end of the market more expensive organic and functional foods and drinks are being offered. In this scenario the gap between population groups with higher incomes and higher education vs. Innovation strategies are varying where some are putting more emphasis on efficiency and cost reductions. scepticism of some consumers about novelties in foods and drinks. legal and regulatory issues as well as high costs for innovation and budgetary constraints of consumers are countering some forms of “radical innovation”. ecological factors or producing novelties. i. whereas none of them will be really dominant. supporting high-end as well as budget products. this scenario is also rather characterised by control.2. 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 .Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 4.2 Scenarios 4. In general. whereas safety concerns. 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. New developments in science and technology are bringing about new possibilities. good practices in food safety are mostly due to legal obligations and controls. development and innovation thus leading to only moderately-paced technological progress. which are considered healthier but also more expensive. lower income and lower education will remain and will also be reflected in food choices. Thus two directions are co-existing: cheap food produced en masse with the help of further efficiency strategies still represents a less healthy alternative.
Consumers. acquisitions by large multinationals can also become more common. but nonetheless mostly aim at the non-food parts of the food chain (e. RFID-based food chain management) are very important and are being constantly improved. nanotechnology (smart labels) and ICT (e. Whereas some people are quite concerned over healthy nutrition. while on the other hand. Although healthy eating is promoted. the industry and products are characterised by a wide diversity of choices. many producers are striving to make currently unhealthy food (e. especially aimed at sports people. another large share of the population either can not afford healthier choices or does not care enough due to various reasons (e.g. fast and ‘junk food’) healthier and fight obesity and other “civilisation illnesses”. packaging. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 29 . Also many traditional foods remain highly popular.g. Whereas the product palette and the production methods do not change much. There will be a co-existence with more traditional food and drinks manufacturers alongside some functional food innovators. LOCtechnology). Even within the segment of people who care much about healthy eating.1: New lifestyle products Functional foods (mood.g.g. 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. the ideal and reality look quite different. 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. Possible innovations based on chapter 3. testing and control). In general. lacking knowledge. cosmetic. unchanged products still generate high turnovers and many new introductions will not become popular. young adults (energy drinks) and elderly. more expensive organic products and a segment of more innovative functional foods and drinks. The industry will remain a mix of inexpensive conventional production (“industrial food”). Some products however remain quite short-lived while others become well established. In general.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 changes in the future. food safety gets increasingly important as many research and development efforts are put into this goal and legal requirements are getting stricter. Modern technology and innovations in biotechnology (e. lack of time).g. partially driven by regulati ons. This scenario opens the possibility for greater fragmentation of the industry and the birth of new SMEs. snacks etc. 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. 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.
no real winners Winners: Losers : No real losers Potential risks. regulators.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Opportunities for experiments ICT and testing. 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. On the positive side. Although technological and scientific knowledge about genetic technologies.2. 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. cheap food Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 30 . 4. Consumers will likely rather stick to their habits which also causes industries to rather refrain from experiments. The food and drinks sector will only slowly change and significant improvements can not be expected fast. innovative biotech and nanotech companies. nanotechnology-related possibilities. There is no clear direction towards a specific tendency which makes planning and innovation strategies for the industries difficult. One major driver for innovation can be regulations that prohibit certain practices and ingredients or set limitations and standards.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. 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.
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 production etc. 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.com/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 31 .g. consumer trust in large industries and large-scale food processing and factory farming declines. Such efforts are also getting much support from R&D projects (e. 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.g. 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.iloveindia. 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. Also natural and non-chemical (e. physical like high pressure) preservation methods are gaining interest and support.gunafood. Functional food may be based on the Indian concept of “sattvas” (harmony). consumers are very sceptical about their benefits and prefer not to choose them. “rajas” (energy) and “tamas” (negative elements that should be avoided). items such as fresh fruits. although the realisation is much more based on a trust in nature and the rediscovery of traditional solutions. Even large companies are co-operating with smaller ones in order to get more insight into natural and traditional recipes and for product sourcing. large companies are also adapting to this situation and begin to advertise their efforts to substitute (what is considered) synthetic ingredients through natural ones. exists. because many of them are able to gain the trust of customers and co-operate with local organic farmers. 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.html 32 http://www.html http://ayurveda.co. In Ayurvedic food theory. Much knowledge from life-sciences and biotechnology is invested in analysis of better utilizing the products of nature than modifying them. which 30 31 32 http://tcmonline. vegetables and milk are considered positive (sattva). On the other hand. Traditional Chinese and Indian diets and health recipes are being revitalised.cc/qxjy/index. starches and alcohol are considered bad (tama) . In general it is also more quality than quantity that counts in regard to consumption. in regard to natural preservatives). Personalised diets and healthy eating are a very important aspect in this scenario. SMEs and small companies are profiting much. meat. rajvaic foods like coffee and “energy food” are considered somewhat risky and heavy foods like fat. 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. Characteristics of the industry and products: As smaller companies and local producers are being favoured by a considerable number of customers.com/ahar-vihar/index.
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.g. humans. society and the improvement of living quality. companies that want to use GMO. conventional/”industrial” agriculture and production Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 32 . traditional firms. organic producers. fair trade Losers : Large firms. 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. December 2010 Natural/organic food and fast food also do not have to contradict each other as examples of raw foods suggest.1: Regional and small producers Innovations in the utilisation of organic preservatives and ingredients Natural functional food Functional food based on Chinese. the majority of customers neither wants nor needs it. On the other side. Technological progress is viewed from different perspectives than rationality. making it less pressing to develop high-tech testing methods. speed. Possible innovations based on chapter 3. The general trust in food and drinks is rather high. nanotechnology. synthetic ingredients. small local industries. However customers are quite well informed to uncover frauds and false advertisement and such revealing can ruin a company. insects may be accepted as new food source for ethical and ecological reasons. eco. machines and competition and the goals for innovation have generally become more focused on the environment. GMO and food nanotechnology are nearly absent in Europe. high-tech.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector somewhat reflects contemporary “Western” guidelines for healthy eating. Major innovations will be in the area of improved and more efficient and sustainable processing and new forms of natural preservation and refinement methods. food advise) “Organic discounter” Winners: SMEs. The problem of fraud and “greenwashing” remains a problem that puts a great challenge on trust. Although some of it is principally allowed and has passed safety evaluation.
importing food products from abroad. food security and obtaining a sufficient workforce in agriculture and thus be unfavourable for sustainability. food prices.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Potential risks. Agricultural and food trade will thus mostly remain within countries that opt for similar trajectories. organic farming could not yield enough output to ensure food security. The scenario is only possible and sustainable for societies with comparatively small populations. If organic food production reaches a certain growth rate. where the populations are large and even growing. could even make GMO and currently disputed preservation methods into an acceptable option given the lack of viable alternatives (cf. but a further shift towards this direction relative to the reference scenario could lead to improvements in health as well as ecological sustainability. e. through climate change or other ecological occurrences which can also occur due to practices on the global scale. If Europe decides to opt for going further towards the direction of this scenario. diminishing trust in the “organic” industry (“green washing”) and dec lining interest in ecological and sustainability issues (e. this could also have adverse effects on land area. In many parts of Asia.g. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 33 . 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. barriers and challenges of this scenario A decline in income. a well organised agricultural infrastructure and sophisticated agricultural technologies. especially from Asia and the US could become problematic and food exports may become too expensive to be really profitable. scenario 5). Pressing problems.g. for example. In general rather unlikely that thus scenario will be realised in it pure form. 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.
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
The products that are science-based are being accepted whereas others are soon disregarded as fraud and nonsense. nano encapsulation of nutrients to improve bio-availability) Adjustable food. they are also being improved in regard to health aspects and the traditional producers need to keep up with “upgrading” their products. Many SMEs get governmental funds to help them improve traditional foods while still preserving the cultural heritage.g. innovative start-ups (especially in close relation to biotech. in regard to laws and regulations). Since the general importance of the food and beverage manufacturing sector has grown rapidly. cognition. Potential risks. with functional and medicinal food) and food security could be endangered if financial and human Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 38 . nanotech. e. the products do not yield the expected results as assumed (e.g. Traditional foods and drinks that are e. Above this. about safety) are wrong. in genetic and molecular research. scientists.g.g. based on ancient Chinese traditions are also being assessed in regard to their scientific credibility. 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. ICT).Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Although traditional food and recipes still exist. traditional firms. barriers and challenges of this scenario Many of the innovations being mentioned are costly in their development and need many human and financial resources.g. This scenario also rests very highly on technological solutions and thus also represents a “monoculture” that bears dangers if either some assumptions (e.g.1: Science-based functional food (e. e.g. interdisciplinary R&D.g. Possible innovations based on chapter 3. Ayurveda) and high-tech (e. Some of them are also dependent on general scientific discoveries. 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. more and more students are getting interested in the subject and the industries are able to easily find appropriate personnel. some consumers may generally object to some of the mentioned methods and technologies.g. beauty/cosmetic) Healthy convenience food Improved traditional foods Service innovations like science-based recommendations for optimal food combinations Combinations of traditional knowledge (e. the possibility to regulate spiciness or other taste characteristics according to microwave settings Winners: Large companies. functional food companies Losers : Non-innovative SMEs. So a lack of human resources or scientific means and backing could make the realisation of this scenario difficult. unhealthy fast food.
Judging from current trends.g. The general economic situation is not good. where innovation is not merely a means for staying competitive. New technologies are accepted quickly if they show promises to solve rather immediate problems. find new protein sources and improve food preservation. extreme rainfalls). significant amounts are being invested into nutrition-related research and development.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 resources may decline.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 lacking arable land and crop failures. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 39 . will face systemic food shortages. e. but for staying alive. 4. Especially small traditional manufacturers are threatened in this scenario and the dependency on R&D and other sectors and developments is very high. even in Europe.g. Humans may also become alienated from real food and real agriculture. Many countries.2. If balanced by the “Going Natural” scenario both could improve each other through complements if they do not remain too opposing. This could make an overemphasis on technological solutions dangerous in times of crisis and decline. but due to the importance of the issue. e. due to extreme weather conditions and the results of overfishing and animal diseases. but a further shift towards this scenario could also improve the overall quality of food and beverage products and certainly stimulate innovation. 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. 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. a pure version of this scenario is also quite unlikely.
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. If external conditions change. seen as a last resort rather than a Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 40 .g. In this sense. The roofs of buildings are being transformed into agricultural spaces and gardens are mostly serving food production than planting flowers. New food preservation methods are being thought of to maximise the reserves. large scale algae production.g. Such innovations may include genetically modified crops and fungi to resist harsh conditions.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 The situation in many non-European developing countries is even far worse. improve yields or diversity (i.e. 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. leading to socio-political tensions and environmental refugees to Europe. indoor farming and lab-grown meat as well as the utilisation of (perhaps also genetically modified) insects as fast-reproducing food source. 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. genetically modified animals optimised for food consumption. alternative farming methods Alternative protein sources (e. irradiation). it nonetheless shows that a general lack on innovative ideas (regardless of current acceptance) could pose grave problems under certain conditions. a variety of alternatives are being tried out and all are welcome and get implemented quickly. entomophagy (insect eating) and food pills may become acceptable given the alternative of insufficient food and water. Possible innovations based on chapter 3. in contrast to the “High Tech Nutrition Scenario”. GMO. disputed food preservation techniques (e. However this scenario certainly leads to general declines in health and wellbeing and is.g.1: GMO food to be grown under extreme environmental conditions GMO to enhance crop yields and the utilisation of animal proteins Indoor farming. 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. rainwater and even urine). Characteristics of the industry and products: Under these conditions. farming in large ‘terrariums’ like Biosphere 2 and greenhouses designed for the Mars mission as well as food pills and ‘field rations’. to have some ‘backup’ crops if external conditions change or some plague will hit). insects) Development of new food sources Improving the efficiency of food usage. Major examples include technologies for water filtering and recycling (e.g.
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. which not even have the sufficient means to apply undesired technologies as last resort. but it also depicts the reality in some countries stricken by environmental catastrophes. 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 . 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. improvements could also reach the lower budget sector. improved preservation methods and faster and real-time safety assessments are getting cheaper. 4. safety and sustainability are the main goals of innovation activities. The “emergency” scenario is certainly a kind of worst case scenario where even food security (enough food) is in jeopardy. sustainability and health. then the scenarios “cheap and convenient” as well as “emergency” are definitely not favourable. The “business as usual” scenario is not a very innovative one. If new technologies for healthier ingredients. 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. 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. 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. but if sustainability will be neglected. Nonetheless. dividing the industry into highly innovative sections and non-innovative less healthy low budget areas. Also innovativeness may become quite selective. this could become a realistic outcome. Therefore innovations should also keep the cost factor in mind and look for solutions that improve quality in an affordable way. sustainability as well as affordability. Especially obesity is a major health concern that is also associated to “junk food” and unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. draughts and poverty.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 choice. It depicts a situation where everything goes wrong and is getting out of balance.3 Concluding remarks If deriving from the assumption that affordable improvements in health. 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. 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. 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.
Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Personalised diets Evidence-based functional food Reduction in fat. waste and water reduction) Automation in processing (could improve hygiene) Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 42 . sugar and other problematic ingredients Alternative proteins Improved preservation methods Advanced and continuous food testing Sustainable production (energy efficiency. salt.
the usage of less conservatives and additives that are considered harmful as well as environmental concerns are challenge and problem-driven. automation. Some innovations like the production of healthier foods and drinks.is currently hard to assess. cost reductions. In this respect the main issue to be taken into account in respect to food and drinks rather relate to societal. ICT. 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. Another example is medicinal food that goes beyond functional food. 5. which could generally lead to radical changes or disruptive effect in some areas. which is likely to become technologically possible by under current conditions would lead to legal problems. Here demands are assumed since the technologies are expected to solve certain problems or improve certain aspects of foods. improve taste.2 will focus on Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 43 . consistency or shelf-life).1 will focus on future innovation possibilities based on currently emerging developments.g. Thus section 3. The research areas mentioned above are constantly progressing and will continue to do so in the future. section 3. They are very likely to bring about new ideas and solutions for healthier foods.1 New products. nanotechnology. It has to be said. interest groups and policy-makers. laws and societal issues. improved food safety. drinks and their production (e. It is even expected by some that the progress in these areas might become more interdisciplinary and through “intellectual cross fertilisation” even accelerate.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. however. New scientific and technological potentials are not only affecting products but also regulations. 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. 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. however. political. but expert and consumer concerns over potential health risks make such innovation ideas uncertain in regard to successful future market introduction. neurosciences and material sciences. processes and technological trajectories The spectrum of technological possibilities for innovations in food and beverage products and production is large. 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. Other innovations. legal and economic factors that could hamper fast progress. Whereas the previous section has described more general drivers. 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 .
it is very likely that the food and drinks of the future will take these findings into account. i. epigenome.1. The main goal of this organisation which has 23 partner organisations within 10 European countries is the improvement of the European nutrigenomics research. It studies the relationship between nutrition and the genome. Funded for six years. Section 3. some biotech firms are offering personalised nutritional consultation on the basis of genetic analysis. called nutrigenomics. leading to differences in the utilisation of nutrients (and medication). Progress in computer 33 33 NuGO is a Network of Excellence in the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technology.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. Already today.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 market factors and 3.1 Inputs from biotechnology and life sciences Bio. chapter 6 will connect the innovation themes from 3.org/everyone Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 44 . 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”. trying to uncover the complex interlinkages.and life-sciences will substantially shape the future food and beverage industry and their products.nugo. 2009). their health state. the primary aim of NuGO is integration. metabolome (molecules involved in metabolism) and proteomics (expressed proteins). (NuGo. Influences affecting the epigenome may even be inherited to offspring.g. Later. These findings may also put new responsibilities onto the food and beverage industry and agriculture. making European nutrigenomics research easier. In short. 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. This could lead to new services offering personalised recommendations for food and beverage intake and combinations. being active or inactive (through influencing DNA or protein methylation). One currently still emerging area of science which could profoundly influence food and beverage products is epigenomics (sometimes also called epigenetics). However. There already exists a specialised research field based on epigenomic theory. 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. e. The European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGo) . See http://www. Related research has also shown that individual persons can possess a different enzymatic makeup (polymorphism) that makes their metabolism work differently. scientists around the world are researching in this area. In contrast – or as addition – to “classical” genetics.e.3 on organisational issues. 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.1 to challenges. but science is currently still not able to understand all the complex underlying mechanisms to provide meaningful and evidence-based advice. 5. for example is a Network of Excellence in the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technology.
New categories like foods and drinks with mood and memory-enhancing effects could also be developed and may attract a large share of customers.ac. in combination with possibilities of personalised diets (at least to a certain degree) will be a likely development within the next 1520 years.e. smart sensors and smart labelling. The regulatory framework in this regard is uncertain at present.g. improved lab-on-a-chip systems. meat produced from cell cultivation in the laboratory without the need of growing and slaughtering a whole animal. Food testing methods and food chain management will certainly improve very much due to new technological possibilities like instant testing. in-silico analysis). The principal possibilities for food nanotechnology are likely to grow within the next 20 years. Out of these developments. Medicinal food and GMOs for pharmaceutical purposes (although it might become technically feasible within this time frame. the following trajectories are likely to evolve within the next 15 to 20 years: New and improved functional foods and drinks. Also the enormous progress that has been made in DNA analysis – in regard to speed and cost reduction .fhi.uk/archive/2009/human_enhancement_workshop_in_brussels. the 34 34 http://www. Norwich Research Park. i. could also become feasible for industrial-scale use to a certain degree within the next 20 years. The progress is likely to be faster if sufficient financial support and research-co-operation are being provided. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 45 . Challenges and barriers More research needed: Especially in the areas of functional foods and drinks. medicine and “drugs” will certainly become an issue. perhaps in contrast to their usage in the food and drinks themselves. Especially natural functional ingredients will get increasing positive attention through consumers. Molecular biotechnology and nanotechnology are also likely to be welcome in the area of food testing and surveillance. it will encounter much more regulatory hurdles and costs.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 technology is of great assistance for enabling the necessary complex calculations. If there will be drafted a regulatory framework on so-called “Human Enhancement Technologies” as it is currently being discussed at STOA (FIH. Although much progress is being made in modern bio(techno)logy. improved preservation methods and a better scientific understanding about the reasons for food contamination. 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. health foods and personalized diets. 2009) . spoilage and the behaviour of harmful micro-organisms.is also a contributing factor that genetic and epigenetic findings might be integrated into tomorrow’s food and drinks. the trajectories will depend much on further safety evaluations and consumer acceptance. more scientific research is needed to develop advanced and reliable products.) Cultured meat. the industry and research. the School of Food Biosciences at the University of Reading.ox. nutraceuticals. innovation is likely to process rather gradually and necessitates profound testing and safety analysis. With a growing number of dedicated research institutes and medical centres like the Institute of Food Research.
2008) . VTT Biotechnology. 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.” Need for efficient authorisation procedures for novel and functional foods: firms have frequently addressed the need for more efficient and rapid authorisation procedures. chemistry. the Unilever Health Institute in Vlaardingen and many others. Regulation can be a driver for innovation.jrc. the scientific foundation is getting stronger (e. 35 The High Level Group on Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry put forward a number of recommendations on more research.europa. ICT.com/html/reports/medicine_health/report-55872. texture. Currently. Therefore innovativeness could become a real problem for the sector and many potential improvements might just not be possible due to lacking human resources.g. the newly founded Top Institute Food & Nutrition Wageningen. experimentation. perhaps as many as half of them (IFST. Because of this. physics.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 46 . In some cases a substitution of ingredients could even be comparable to re-inventing a whole product. Europe’s competitors.eu/enterprise/food/high_level_group_2008/contributions/cia_human_capital.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM).innovations-report. 2006). Only large companies currently have the financial means and human resources to tackle such issues. neuro sciences and psychology. and even they complain about a lack of sufficiently skilled personnel. 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. including very specifically 1) to support the development of new food technologies.html 37 http://ec. Lacking skills and human resources: The food and beverage manufacturing of the future is likely to become increasingly multi-disciplinary. are experiencing a shortage in scientific and high skilled personnel (CIAA. ICT. e. Ex ante impact assessments of regulatory (and other) policy initiatives could help ensure innovation. nano sciences. but also to 2) simplify access to funding research programmes. smell or shelf-life. health sciences. sugar or salt and the substitution of synthetic through natural ones in foods and drinks can be very challenging and necessitate much scientific research. bio-sciences and bio technology. Regulation: Regulation as such is not to be viewed as negative by definition. know-how and high-level skills in areas like physics. ecology and others could contribute to improved foods and drinks.This problem is even observed globally. however. where insights from many different areas. marketing.es/pub/EURdoc/JRC43851. 2008).g.pdf http://www. 3) enhance the research and innovation efforts. Currently such procedures can be very lengthy. such as the US but also various other countries currently 37 36 35 36 ftp://ftp. and 4) make better use of the instruments available in the context of the European research and innovation policy (HLG. IPTS. chemistry and biology. many European food and beverage manufacturing industries . 2009).
future food might be engineered in a way to purposefully remove or insert certain substances. But nutrition for the elderly is not only a medical problem. Elderly people are often less sensitive to taste and smell and might have problems with moving or chewing. biotechnology and medicine. 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. If it will be known how specific ingredients in foods and drinks influence DNA methylation (determining which genes become active and inactive).1.g. 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. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 47 . 2001). perhaps necessitating other forms of innovations that can compensate for these circumstances (cf.2 Improved functional foods Whereas today’s functional food relies on (assumed) knowledge about specific ingredients that could yield specific effects in humans (e. lowering cholesterol. The findings may lead to science/evidence-based nutrition that specifically affects mood. e. The production level of serotonin can be influenced by foods. This efficient authorisation point has also been advanced at the recent HLG (HLG. 5. better digestion. life expectancy). i.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 outcompete Europe on this aspect. being evidence-based. cognition or other neural functions. Nutrition for the elderly also stands in the intersection of geriatrics (study of the diseases commonly found in elderly). “Anti-ageing” food/drinks and products for the elderly. Also the bioavailability of nutrients could be improved if our understanding about metabolic and proteomic mechanisms will grow. cognition and the nervous system. 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. leading to certain positive or negative effects (e.g. overweight. future functional foods could be designed on the basis on findings from epigenetics and epigenomics as well as medical research. Ways to counter and prevent age-related diseases are currently very high on the research agenda in food research. e. Neuroscientists and neurobiologists are currently analysing these complex mechanisms between brain chemistry and nutrition. Research suggests that there is a connection between specific nutrients and mood. Fillion/Kilcast. Customised diets for the elderly are getting increased interest in the context of rising life-expectancy. binding of free radicals.g.e. aggression and appetite and can be responsible for depressions. 2009). memory. raised by carbon hydrates). improve wakefulness). thus negatively influencing their eating habits. affecting the probability of cancer. Functional food for the brain and nervous system. by adjusting the serotonin-level in the brain as well as that of other neurotransmitters. (Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood.g. 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.
The tendency towards cheaper and faster genome analysis are also an important factor for the realisation of personalised geneticallybased nutrition(al advises). This could be performed in form of composing personalised functional foods or in just making recommendations in regard food choices (e. The customer interest in the concept of personalised nutrition is already quite high. nutrigenomics.g. Also the new strict calls for science-based evidence in relation to healthclaims necessitates much research and testing.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. which is likely to be too expensive for most companies. Researchers and public health specialists are also very interested in these new areas of research. for some individuals it may be better to eat more meat. although the topic is still a scientifically emerging issue. it may take some time to yield usable results.1. proteomics. researchers. independent from the issue of nutrition. Regulation: Regulation as such is not viewed as negative by definition by the food and drinks industry. hence a certain nutrient can have different effects in different persons. humans have different metabolisms. A general trend towards a nutrition approach based on these new research areas is very likely to be realised. and far from usable industrial results yet. which however still lack a solid scientific basis. research in the fields of epigenetics. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 48 . 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. Epigenetics is still an emerging research field and normal genetics is sill far from full understanding. Regulation can also be a driver for innovation. optimised for the individual person’s biological makeup. metabolomics and related areas is well supported and advances in analysis methods and computer technology provide positive contributions. companies have to think of methods to substitute for these ingredients and thus innovate.g. the US) and hence can cause turnover and profit losses. if specific substances are not allowed in food production. In regard to novel foods (foods and drinks generally new to the European market). E. Currently there already exist many claims. the regulatory process currently takes a lot of time compared to other countries (e. because of the prospective of providing new and rather easy ways for disease prevention (especially in regard to so-called life-style diseases. whereas for others a vegetarian diet might be preferable). However the interest of customers. The customer interest may also be the result from the general current trend towards customisation and individuality. Currently. 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. With science progressing. offers and advises for personalised diets. but also concerning cancer or dementia). it will be possible to compose individualised diet plans based on genetic information and epigenetic findings. especially SMEs. food producers and policy makers is currently high so that such research areas are getting quite good support.3 Personalised diets As mentioned above.g.
except if scientifically proven. 2009). For this reason. measles or diphtheria. Only if the product complies with certain guidelines and limits (e.1. 5. This ancient idea has been taken up by modern biotechnology and medicine. However. In December 2006. Claims about the prevention of illnesses. it is allowed to be (explicitly) advertised as healthy. a new Regulation on the use of nutrition and health claims for foods was adopted by the Council and Parliament. Health claims as well as products are being assessed and when the transition period is over. the intention behind it can be regarded as positive since it encourages producers to compete in establishing real improvements and innovations and prevent fraud. They have to undergo to undergo rigorous safety assessment before being brought to market. food and medicine have been closely related. which necessitates medical testing procedures.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Box 5.g. e. If the products will not meet the (scientific) standards of the health claim. Van Zoest. with specific foods used in therapeutic applications and functions.e. percentage of fats and vitamins). and hence improve the consumer choice process.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.g. banana) that contain the specific vaccines. i. called (molecular or gene) pharming. It is unclear in how far consumers will be willing to pay more for such innovative but unknown products lacking long-term experience. 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. only approved health claims will be allowed to be used. Statements like “calcium is good for your bones” are only allowed if approved on a so-called “positive list”. A similar method.g. as well as in other cultures.4 Medicinal food In ancient traditional China and India. In principal – although not yet in (approved) practice -. it will not be allowed on the market bearing this claim after the respective transition period is over (e. related research is slowing down. 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. genetic engineering technology can be used to create plants (e. Although health claim regulation has been criticised for setting restrictions to advertisement. however is Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 49 . One direction in which this research has developed is the creation of foods that can have the same effect as vaccinations. against polio. especially in face of the current regulatory frameworks. “ this product prevents the risk for heart disease” or “this product improves your memory” are not allowed.g. 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 Regulation went into force by 1 January 2008. 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.
Challenges and barriers Scepticism about GMO: However. However. even inhibiting or reducing the production of proteins that cause allergies. the criticism and scepticism is especially a European problem.htm Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 50 . In pharming. 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. Although it is assumed that GMOs might get more acceptance globally in the long run. current political.bbc. which are not allowed to be marketed as medicine (OJEU. especially in Europe (Mayer. Japan is currently developing an anti-hay-fever rice. Even the so-called “golden rice”. Although it would be technically possible to create genetically engineered plants that produce pharmaceutically usable components. although not uniquely so. 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. and/or underlie the novel food regulation. it is currently unclear how long this may be. Also the development of genetically modified non-allergenic foods – “knock-out nuts” – is a possibility.e.g. 2005). 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. because of the 39 38 38 39 http://news. the popularity of organic food is steadily increasing in Japan. Since different countries have different attitudes towards GMO. 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.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/index_en. global sourcing may pose a challenge.) . At the same time. since they either have to be defined as medicine and have to undergo pharmaceutical testing or as food or beverage. or as already mentioned. vitamins. 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.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 experiencing growing applications. calcium etc.stm http://ec. The prospects of future GMOs in agro-food products will mainly be dependent on consumer perception and regulatory issues.co. However. Future GMOs for pharmaceutical use. which could build up the acceptance of GMOs in this country where large portions of the population suffer from pollen allergies.europa. even in generally technology-friendly Japan. including food ingredients. “Nutraceuticals”. i. legal and ethical problems as well as unclear safety issues can be named as hindering factors. food and beverage products that ought to have a (proven) therapeutically effect fall into a kind of “legal hole”.uk/2/hi/health/7188969. 2006). Principally this currently still applies to all GMOs in food and agriculture. 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. GMO research is continuing with the goals of producing plants that contain (more of) specific ingredients attributed to positive health effects (e.
Instead of breeding and raising chicken.pdf http://news.jrc. 41 40 41 ftp://ftp.” [Winston Churchill. whether processed.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 necessary amounts of scientific research and evaluation that have to be conducted.mongabay. organ transplants in humans). 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. ‘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. Here biomedical science and food science can profit from each other in a rather unconventional way.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. cloning and tissue engineering.com/2008/0423-peta. both in choosing and in consuming functional foods. Box . 2008) .2 Food definition For the purposes of this Regulation. researchers have asked the question why not growing meat in the laboratory using the same techniques. However. In general. 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. 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. ‘food’ (or ‘foodstuff’) means any substance or product. but only the meat (the meat cells) might be grown in the laboratory.es/pub/EURdoc/JRC43851. partially processed or unprocessed. in order to slaughter them to get their meat for food. especially since it is much easier to create tissue for food than for medical purposes (e. intended to be. The Dutch researcher Henk Haagsman from University Utrecht is leading a research project about cultured meat in co-operation with scientists from University Amsterdam. […].1. Also the non-profit research organisation “New Harvest” is working on the development of me at substitutes. 2008). Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 51 . for example.5.g. not the whole chicken. The requirements for cultured meat are even below those of medical tissue engineering which has to be functional for therapeutic purposes. 1932] As scientific and advances are being made in stem-cell technology. 40 5. it can be assumed that scientific and technological advances in tissue engineering will make the development of cultured meat easier in the coming time. This is to the benefit of consumers. or reasonably expected to be ingested by humans. On the other hand. partially funded by the Dutch government. 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.
However. 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. The issue of making more use of insect sources for nutrition has also been evaluated at a FAO conference in Chiang Mai. Challenges and barriers Consumer perception: Eating algae. the possibility of engineering the fat amount. Entomophagy (insect eating) is already quite widespread in South Asia. 2008) . Around 1400 insect species are already being consumed. Also new standards and testing have to be established if broader insect consumption would be established to avoid harms from insecticide residues (FAO.edu/entomology/dept/bugfood2. 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. 42 5.ca. Latin America and Japan . even if the technology matures. Even the moderator of a German ZDF science documentary (“Abenteuer Wissen” from July 8.6 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. available in large amounts. many current customers however show negative (emotional) reactions towards the idea. especially in countries on the Southern hemisphere and new processing methods could actually make their use more attractive. Therefore the question remains how to convince consumers about the advantages of cultured meat and to pay higher prices for potential products.asp Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 52 . Africa. even to Westerners. Since insects are nutritious.uky. currently known methods for cultured meat are still too inefficient for industrial usage. Thailand in 2008.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Challenges and barriers Costs and consumer perception: In technological terms. 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.1. they could become economically and ecologically relevant. reproduce fast.html http://www.html 44 http://www.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000791/index.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index. However. worms and insects represents a very uncommon situation for most Westerners and the highest barriers may be psychological in nature. but not in Europe and North America.fao. 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. 2006 ). 2009) has voiced his scepticism about artificial (cultured) meat and his preference for the natural product.fao. it is very likely to be far more expensive than conventional production at least in the beginning. necessitate little space for keeping and can be produced cheaply.
However as also mentioned above.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. environmental considerations as well as fair trade and animal rights rise. Healthy and higher quality (and higher priced) fast and convenience food are well conceivable and could especially address working professionals.and convenience food As is seems that some people are having less and less time for cooking and lengthy food preparation. whereas it can not always assessed if some measures are only superficial or real innovations.g.g. One major issue is the production of healthier fast food. in regard to ingredients and trans. innovations in fast and convenience foods are also being thought of. Although natural ingredients have already been utilised for quite a while in Western as well as Eastern diets. for health but also for enhancing properties during processing).g. 5. e. However. cow or pig when eating ham and sausages. proteins or lipids.g. but both aspects could be changed.1. ecological sustainability or fair trade) . but as mentioned above. However. wasabi. concepts for self-heating and cooling have already existed for quite a while. fast food is currently often also associated with low budget and unhealthy choices. rosemary) or other beneficial functional properties (e.g. regulations and legal pressure could especially lead to innovations and changes in the fast and convenience food industry due their already fragile image. 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.foodproductdesign. Challenges and barriers Cost pressure may be named as one of the major barriers for quality-related innovations in fast and convenience food. e. As customer concerns over healthy nutrition. fast food and low budget do not necessarily have to be related. 45 http://www. 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.g. but never became really popular so far. sugar.g.g. e. 45 5. 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. for drinks) packaging. salt and preservatives that are considered unhealthy.1.fats) or customer wishes (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.aspx Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 53 .7 Innovations for fast. by reducing trans-fats.com/articles/2007/08/fast-food-innovation. scientific analysis can help to assess their workings in an evidence-based way and enable more specific utilisation. making preparation even faster or even mobile. The other issue is increasing convenience. Fast food producers can also serve as trendsetters to respond quickly to legal requirements (e. by using self-heating or self-chilling (e.
com/spotlight/spotid=8960. EC.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. 2008. for methods to enable the release of medication only in the area where it is needed. vitamins or flavour and for enhancing their bio availability.10 Smart food packaging with nanotechnology The combination of nano.1 Examples of food/beverage nanotechnology: Source: nanowerk. (cf. for improving the texture and viscosity of products like tomato ketchup and chocolate. 2006. nanoparticles and nano-capsules) are currently being evaluated for use in targeted drug delivery. 2009 47 5.g. The customer could therefore choose the flavour or colour through different heating times or microwaveoven settings.swr. Although such innovations are within technological possibilities. Nanotechnology (i. Nanowerk.1. Despite consumer concerns.g.php Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 54 .9 Nano-based food and beverage ingredients46 Nanotechnology (in combination with methods from biotechnology) is not only considered for packaging. Similar techniques could also be applied in the food and beverage industry for improving the release of nutrients. nanotechnology has already reached the supermarket shelves. but more far away innovation could be the creation of “customer taste adjustable foods” or “programmable foods”. Flavours or colours could be contained in nano -capsules that release their content only upon a certain temperature.com.nanowerk.and biotechnology may also open up new ways for improved food safety control and surveillance. e. microwave setting or other triggering effects. e.html http://www. Another thinkable. Table 5. but also as food ingredient. Nanotechnology enables the creation of ultra-small thermo-sensors that can 46 47 http://www.e. nano-emulsions and similar nano-based techniques seem to show advantages over “classical” non-nano methods in regard to controlled delivery.de/swr1/rp/tipps/essen/-/id=446830/nid=446830/did=3268588/axyyx4/index. 2009). nano-encapsulation. In general. it is currently quite questionable if they will be accepted by the customer.1. better foodmatrix integration and avoiding undesired tastes. WDR.
pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 55 . there exist insufficient long-term data about potential problems. This allows for visual indications of broken coolingchains.e. Other research areas are protective films that have anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties (“active packaging”) or block moisture.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 cause colour changes depending on temperature.asp?ArticleID=1702 http://www. Since heating (and freezing) tends to destroy vitamins and nutrients or has negative effects on taste and texture. Future sensor technology will be able to react towards a broader variety of substances and smaller amount in realtime with improved accuracy. 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”. this property could increase the occurrence of dangerous and unintended effects. which makes use of specifically engineered polymers that release medication over time at a controlled rate. food and drinks. 2009). But also inspirations from medicine might someday enter food packaging. Targeted drug release technology.11 New food preservation methods49 New preservation methods for foods and drinks are not only about preventing spoilage. but aim at maintaining as many vitamins and nutrients intact as well as achieving better results at keeping taste and texture. AZo Nanotechnology. i.or. In the future it is expected that the technology will get cheaper and with this more wide-spread. or to create packaging that is more heat or cold resistant. nano-scale vs. 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. Applied to food or food packaging. for example.at/Docs/agro1. a similar technology could be used to release preservatives. Food regulations also have not integrated the importance of size (e.atp. Nanotechnology in packaging is also used for the development of packaging films that absorb UV radiation for better protection of light sensitive food ingredients. because of uncertainties about perceptions and (future) regulations. In other situations. flavours or other substance on an interval level (cf.com/Details. 48 5. non-thermal preservation methods are getting increasingly attractive.1. Since the technology is novel. 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. oxygen and other gases and substances from reaching the food and beverage.g. non nano-scale) into their assessment of substances.azonano. and some of them are likely to 48 49 http://www. but on the other hand it acts quite cautions on this. Such labels are already being marketed but still rather expensive. On the one side the food and beverage industry is quite interested in the new possibilities of nanotechnology. Many new methods are currently being tried out or under development. are under development .
14 Antimicrobial systems for food preservation51 Protective bacterial culture can also provide anti-microbial functions.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.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 be cost efficient enough to be used commercially in the near future. The method destroys harmful micro-organisms and promises long shelf-life preservation by maintaining a very good quality in flavour.12 High pressure conservation (pascalisation) If food products are exposed to high pressure (500 – 10000 bars) over a period of several minutes to hours. together with supercritical carbon dioxide is also applied for extraction (e.com/Published_papers/Natural_Preservatives_update. Since the proteins being changed through such pascalisation have better properties than those being exposed to heat. With this method. 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.html 52 http://www.html http://www. milk products. fish and milk products.ch/research/amcprotc. micro-organisms will be destroyed without negatively effecting important nutrients. 5. high pressure conservation could also lead to improved meat. soups and liquid eggs (cf. 5. 2007). Currently the technology is mostly used for high-end products. lipids etc. This leads to a kind of “heatless cooking effect” in regard to texture and more importantly. prevent spoilage and the production of toxins and thus serve as substitutes to chemical or heat preservation. of oils. yielding more gentle and environmentally friendly results. ETHZ. Ohio State University.ethz. Finding suitable bacterial cultures necessitates research in molecular biology and interdisciplinary co-operation (cf.dweckdata. 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. 5. aroma and colour.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 56 . the same reaction effects can occur that would also happen under great heat.osu.bt.g. It is especially suitable for liquid foods like juices. 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.1.1.edu/fse-fact/0002. High pressure. Currently the pascalisation still necessitates new equipment and high investment costs. 2005).ilw.agrl. nutritional value and freshness.1. micro-organisms are killed by breaking their cell membranes when the food is placed within a high electric field induced by a high voltage.) instead of using solvents like alcohol or hexane. Because most food and drinks are generally products prone to spoilage.
it takes rather long until dangerous bacteria can be discovered in the food chain. public health (e.g. 2008). 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. food and drinks (and tobacco) manufacturing is ranked behind iron and steel.16 Reduction in energy.or. 5. Samples of the products have to be taken and sent to a lab for analysis. Improvements in micro.1.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 between different components. ionised (radioactive) radiation. 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.or.15 Converging technologies for food safety testing53 Currently. which could take days in the worst case. agriculture. Natural preservatives.g. optical components.at/Docs/agro1. They are generally getting more versatile (detecting an increasing variety of substances) and precise. non-metallic minerals and paper and pulp production (IEA. transport and retail also contribute to the 53 http://www. 2007. 5.87% share in energy consumption of the most important industries within the EU-25. chemicals and petrochemicals. Here effectiveness and toxicity of potential antimicrobial agents have to be evaluated. blood analysis). LOCs are already being used in medicine (e.atp. seem to be very popular and also attract growing attention by the industry. This technology enables fast and on-the-spot analysis for the detection of various contaminations (cf. Challenges and barriers High costs: Current barriers still lie in the relatively high costs of LOC systems. These small devices have the advantage to be mobile and run analysis in much shorter time. for detecting cancers. However. disease control) and water testing. other technological forms of improved conservation and new kinds of additives for food conservation. MEMS-technology (micro-electromechanical systems) has made it possible to put sensors.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. With a 10. Genetic engineering could also be used to create specific antimicrobial systems. however. Further technological progress is likely to make LOC technology more ubiquitous in the food industry.pdf and http://www. Challenges and barriers Consumer perception: Many customers are still reluctant to accept the use of genetic technology.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 57 . so-called fluid channels and microscopic pumps on a microchip-like device to run complex laboratory tests.1.atp. data availability for 2004).at/Docs/agro1. packaging. bacteria. but prices are already being reduced and the systems are getting better and more robust. Sozer/Kokini.
This does make (non-synthetically enhanced) biopolymers unsuitable for liquids and products with a long shelf life. cattle farming produces more greenhouse emissions than transport (FAO. 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.waterfootprint.gdrc. Researchers at University of Birmingham. especially in view of the growing popularity of regenerative energy sources. However.org/uem/footprints/water-footprint. bioplastics etc. 2008). however. According to data from the Global Development Research Center. The use of leftovers as animal feed also comes with downsides in regard to hygiene and safety (IHT. Above this.sciencedirect. 2008). According to the FAO. for example are developing ways to use chocolate waste for energy production (University of Birmingham. water that is needed to grow and process the product : Box 5. However.e. 2006) and the water usage for foods and drinks manufacturing is substantial. and may hence lead to a substantial increase in relative prices of food and feed. T.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.php?page=1 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 58 . Challenges and barriers Eco-packaging: The call for environmental sustainability has made the idea of bio-degradable packaging (e.html http://www. 54 Sources: http://www.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 final energy and environmental balance of food and beverage products.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. their use for the food industry is only limited. they are not very heat resistant and decompose rather quickly.iht. biopolymers. the amount of “virtual water” in food products can be very great and goes mostly unnoticed.g. 55 Food and beverage manufacturers as well as retailers and fast food chains are already addressing this problem and seek put innovative ideas.org/?page=files/productgallery&product=beef (beef) 55 http://www. The following example the amount of “virtual water” – i. looks like a positive idea.) increasingly attractive. Staikos. 56 Using leftovers as energy source. cannot be sealed air-tight. if not to conflicts in the near future. because these materials which are derived from living organisms (that once had pores). 2008) and Japan is promoting the use of food leftovers and residues from industrial processing for animal feeding and fertilisers. Bio-energy and renewable raw materials currently are popular new forms of income to farmers.com/articles/2008/07/23/business/food.
weight reduction.esa. Although they might not become popular with the mainstream. promoted in one of the recommendations of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry. 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. Real foods contain many other substances that for example help vitamins to work in the body in the desired way. there seems to be a big difference between foods/drinks and pills in regard to their nutritional utilisation in the human body. 2005) 57 and is already sold as nutritional supplement. the workings of the human body and the interplay between different food ingredients could. Especially the military (e. textures suitable for zero/micro-gravity and hygiene. however. Besides for food consumption. Besides challenges for food preservation. Innovations from space research: Feeding future astronauts on long space journeys is a challenge and could bring about food innovations from other perspectives. for the military. Other problems deal with general issues like the still growing amount of malnourished and starving people. Further scientific knowledge about metabolism. DARPA) does extended research on “food pills”. Energy efficiency. also new food sources are taken into consideration. especially in Africa and some parts of Asia.int/esaCP/SEMQTE1DU8E_index_0. astronauts and emergencies the idea of innovative food pills could become a useful idea. is only one of the challenges towards a more conscious use of natural resources. The ESA is already thinking about healthy food sources that could be grown on Mars or during extended space flights.html Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 59 . Although there are a lot of food supplements being sold today. their effectiveness is much disputed and none of them is intended as a complete long-term replacement for food. food pills may not become popular with the great part of the population out of cultural reasons. 57 http://www.1. 5. make possible new forms of food pills and meal replacement drinks that take into account this complexity of different ingredients. huge gaps between overproduction and insufficient food and clean water and food security in face of a growing world population. One of their envisioned ingredients is Spirula. a blue-green algae which is very rich in essential nutrients (ESA. Since eating is to a great deal a social activity. yet might gain importance.g.17 Miscellaneous: food pills. innovations from space research Food pills: The idea of food pills goes back to 1930s science fiction. also from the consumer (selling) perspective in the future. Spirula can also be used for energy production. Challenges and barriers Nutritional value and social factors: As research about food supplements suggests.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Conscious use of natural resources: this challenge holds for most industrial (manufacturing) activity.
caviar. since currently the food and drinks manufacturing industry is the largest employer in European manufacturing.Astronaut.Food-3667018. Processing power alone does not necessarily say anything about the level of “machine intelligence”.aspx?ArticleID=22158 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 60 . computer assistance will become necessary for food development.and energy-efficient manner (Horizons. ICT solutions are also getting increasing attention in the food and beverage manufacturing industry and logistics. According to a Frost and Sullivan report from 2009. could make further automation in the food and drinks industry a more acceptable solution. 2009) . especially in food chain management and traceability. Using.1. Consequences for the workforce: If robots and computer technology progresses. 2008).www. which will be essential for progresses in biosciences and neurosciences that could contribute to future food developments.2 New markets due to societal developments 5.eraunews.shtml 59 http://www. Challenges and barriers “Intelligence”: It is currently difficult to predict the future path and speed of developments in Artific ial Intelligence (AI) and robotics.com/article.Worms. A fully automated food factory is generally thinkable. or luxury restaurant meals. At the same time this would imply a major change. 2009) .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. the growth is likely to continue.and can be raised in a space. especially in regard to pattern recognition. 59 5.For.com/media/storage/paper917/news/2009/03/11/SpaceNews/Researchers.Propose. amino acids and nutrients – about twice the amounts found in pork .Silk. Control Engineering Europe. If the trend is also going more towards the direction of personalised foods and drinks and the customised engineering on bioscientific bases. more sensitive (being able to handle fragile objects and being fitted with improved sensors) and cheaper.18 Food automation The food industry is currently a major growth factor for the robotics industry (World Robotics.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. 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). 58 5. unemployment). but has its downsides (e. all having rather elastic demand 58 http://media. the food and beverage industry is increasingly becoming a major purchaser of wireless technology and robotics (cf.controlengeurope. whereas an increase in processing power is regarded as a precondition for further AI developments. A declining active workforce because of ageing. on the other hand. Processing power is expected to increase throughout the next decade according to Moore’s assumptions (“Moore’s law”).2. They are also rich in proteins. As robots are becoming more “intelligent”.g.
shirt for Lifestyle of health and Sustainability that gains international popularity within Europe. human and animal rights.35/ 62 http://lohas. If the mainstream interest in such products will grow.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 curves and higher income elasticities). the environment and spirituality. estimations talk about 20% of the US population .de/component/option. 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.44/id. and niche markets such as ethnic and exotic. see also Müller.com/about. Japan and the US. Since it is a rather young phenomenon. Trendstudie Food by ZMP/CMA. health and convenience foods are the big trends. Labelling provisions are one of the means to better organise the provision of information to consumers. low carb. Although no official statistical material is available. larger companies are also likely to offer according products. comprehensive. Challenges and barriers Diversification and market transparency (information) do not naturally go together. A very plausible future development would be the continuation or even further increase in existing market segmentation and diversification. 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. regional and “ethnic” foods are currently mostly provided by smaller companies and specialty producers.html http://www. the range of products is likely to broaden. cooled products with a short lifetime). legible and coherent information should be provided. 2007). Traditional.g. Chilled food (high quality. the Netherlands. just being a hype) or merge with or transform into something different. anti-aging and best-aging foods and drinks (e. 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. clear. Vegetarian products. Indonesian and Indian food in. Another driving force on the consumer-side is the so-called LOHAS-movement.groupsite. for instance.com/main/summary Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 61 .lohas. possibly strengthened by immigration. it is currently difficult to predict if it will last.com_mkpostman/task. up to 44% of Germans 61 60 62 and around 29% of Japanese identifying themselves as LOHAS. 2007.view/Itemid. also for the future (ZMP/CMA.lohas. 2009). This observation can already be made with Chinese. The movement is currently growing and spreading and encompasses many of today’s popular concerns and lifestyle choices about health. regional food.g. Labelling should also take into account 60 61 http://www. anti fat. Food and beverage consumption in today’s modern society are very much linked to lifestyles. As is also recommended by the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry (HLG. there is a role for the European Commission and the Member States to enable consumers to make (better) informed and healthy choices. Especially where safety and health are at stake. disappear (e. 2007). around 10 years old. With the current trend of lifestyle diversification continuing.
g.e. can be very relevant for the food and beverage manufacturing industry.8% in 2025 and the share of people being older than 80 will rise by 1. the strategic usage from knowledge outside the sector.1 Knowledge transfer and open innovation Many developments that could support the food and beverage industry to innovate are being generated outside the sector. large firms and innovative SMEs (e. Challenges and barriers The relationship between ageing. nanotechnology and even psychology and cognitive science. bio(techno)logy. niche segments may become smaller.3% in 2010 to 20. At the same time. These constellations have been especially fruitful for the development of innovative functional and healthier foods and drinks.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 the needs of the elderly. the share of children from 0 to 4 years of age will decrease by 0. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 62 .3 Organisational change and firm strategies 5. e. university spin-offs) are located in close proximity to each other. 5. health and ICT as well as research institutes. Since elderly need different nutrition than younger people due to changes in metabolism and physical characteristics. in ICT. 5. it is likely that the industry will also adapt and offer tailored. more customised solutions to elderly. thus making unprofitable.3. Positive experiences can be observed in clusters like Bretagne (France) or Øresund (Sweden). there will be a slight population decline in Europe from 2010 to 2025 (UN population statistics).1% within this time. Scientific achievement (food and medicine) and better communication should go hand in hand to deliver this potential. health and longevity is something that stands only at the beginning of its potential. health sciences.2.4% during this period in Europe. Greater concerns about aging could also lead to changes in habits like healthy eating. Above this. If diversification grows. Therefore the open innovation concept. 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. These demographic developments will lead to changes in consumer structure with a greater proportion of elderly and a declining number of babies and toddlers. where actors from the whole value chain and related complementary areas like biotechnology. Food producers need to adapt towards these trends that will become even more pronounced as time progresses. food. i. dieting or caloric restriction.g.2 Demographics – an ageing society The share of Europeans being older than 65 will rise from 16.
however. but also DSM. they are keeping a very low public profile about it (cf. the High Tech (Philips) campus in Eindhoven.nanowerk. For the industry. because in view of the industry it often takes too long until a new product gets approved. 5. 63 Currently there seems to be a trust problem between the major actors involved in the food and beverage complex: the industry. 2008) . This comes with high costs for research. use genetically modified micro-organisms to produce certain enzymes and components for food processing and are doing active research in food nanotechnology. Challenges and barriers This is mainly due to uncertainty and fear about consumer reactions.com/spotlight/spotid=5305. The health claim regulations that went into force in January 2008. for example. the Netherlands. a chemical manufacturer and active in the novel and functional foods segment. regulators and consumers.g. development and evaluation for the industry and only large firms are likely to be able to conduct such activities.php Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 63 . which even looks justifiable if taking into account that actually very little scientific evaluation is being performed in regard to food nanotechnology.4 Establishing trust Although large food companies are apparently already using nano-particles in food. Similar problems apply to novel foods. are meant to protect consumers from false promises and misleading advertisement on food and beverage products.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 Challenges and barriers Best practices and learning from open innovation experiences in other sectors (e. nanowerk. The latest proposal from 2008 for amending the novel food 63 http://www. Regulators often stand in a difficult position between consumer interests and the industry as the following examples are indicating. IBM. this means that only health claims are allowed which are scientifically proven and assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
may provide advantages and cost reductions. This especially holds for those producers that focus on novel and innovative products. 2009). See also the recommendations of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry (HLG. Trust in scientific analysis and public food-testing institutions should be improved as well. not yet unexplored. Consumers and consumer advocacy groups generally seem sceptical about large food and beverage manufacturers. Therefore it is necessary for the food and drinks manufacturing industry (especially large companies) but also agro-food in general.europa.pdf Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 64 . 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. Improved transparency and involvement of the customers. 2008) . Challenges and barriers: enhancing the entrepreneurial capabilities of especially SMEs. which in their view allow products to enter the market prematurely. Even though the introduction of new ingredients and food and beverage processing agents. Some even voice criticism about the scientific testing performed by the EFSA (e. loans) and facilitating access of SMEs to global markets belong to the challenges that need to be taken up in the coming years. providing them with adequate financial support (private equity.g. in regard to GMO safety). Also advances in science.eu/food/food/biotechnology/novelfood/COM872_novel_food_proposal_en. 5.g. based on GMO or nanotechnology. Current mistrust. however.4. If taken together.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector 64 December 2010 regulation aims at simplifying the bureaucratic process (EC. It is also difficult to predict which information customers will believe and which trend they will follow. within the innovation process are important strategies to improve credibility and trust. especially within new and emerging areas. but also often distrust regulators. insufficient customer communication about it could easily lead to distrust and a general negative perception about the industry and innovation. could lead to fast revisions and updates of findings and information. but it will not affect the criteria for assessment. 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. to build up a better trust relation with the customer. might rather be rooted in societal attitude and perception than in objective insufficient scientific analysis. including micro-enterprises. 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. 64 http://ec. the looser may be innovativeness. consumers represent a very wide spectrum of interest in regard to choices for food and drinks. e. including final consumers.1 Flexibility and diversification As has been shown in the previous sections. 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.
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. 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 . While outside knowledge is often very welcome. the food and beverage industry tends to be hesitant about exchanging ideas with potential competitors and other firms. Grunert et al.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”.e. for example? 65 http://store. Many food/beverage recipes do not fulfill the criteria of being useful. firms try to avoid knowledge leakages to the outside and other firms.4. as one food expert based in Japan and Germany acknowledged. 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. Because of this.3 User-driven and user-oriented innovation User-driven and user-oriented innovation.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5.g. which has brought up the still unsolved question about the interrelation between user needs and innovation (ibidem). 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. 2008). 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.inventorprise. copyrights) for food/beverage products proofs difficult.4.2 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. Experiences with interdisciplinary clusters where food and beverage companies operate in close proximity to universities.com/content_articles.. health and ICT have gained positive results. 65 5. research institutes and other areas like biotechnology. being useful. 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. 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. (More information about clusters and networks can be found in the report on “Patterns and Performance of Sectoral Innovation”).php?id=1049 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 65 . i.
On their website “Innocent Drinks” offers news. innovative ideas and products for large firms. videos and networking opportunities besides product information. 66 5. This is especially noticeable in the novel and functional foods segment.5% of which 78. the food and beverage landscape is likely to remain diversified or perhaps become even more diversified in terms of number of firms.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. especially for large firms.4. However. instead of having an advertisement banner on a “general information website”. producing and selling worldwide. Collaboration between food and beverage players and those outside the sector. in ICT.4. newsletters. to make them known to the public and get into contact with customers.innocentdrinks. 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 .uk/bored/ Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 66 . etc. Small firms are often much more regional and even regard locality and traditional production and products as an advantage. medicine. 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.4 E-marketing and advertisement (for SMEs) The selling of foods and drinks over the internet has it limits. The ten largest European food and beverage companies are sourcing. In general. This strategy could especially be useful for SMEs. i. packaging.6% have less than 10 employees).Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. biotech.4. the internet can be an important tool for advertising food and beverage products. which is partly due to the specific nature of the products that often require customer “inspection”.6%) and a very large amount of small and micro enterprises (95.9% with more than 250 employees. with strategic acquisitions (takeovers) being made by the latter comparable to what is observed in biotechnology. small firms appear also to function as a pool of promising. In this sense it looks like “reversed advertisement”. 66 http://www. maybe out of university spin-offs or co-operations with biotechnology.e. As long as consumers value small producers and their produce . At the same time. Global sourcing is an important strategy. as well as with science could further enhance a more pro-active culture of innovation in the sector. e. blogs. 5.which they apparently do – the fragmented structural of the food and beverage industry may not change substantially in the future.co. comparatively few medium-sized enterprises (3. the company has created the web-service. but it also bears risks in regard to safety and standards in regulations.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.g.
For instance. and http://www. Within the European Union. ISO Focus.g.com/en/health/industry-bashes-commission-proposals-food-labelling/article-169973 http://www. an adjustment of the current legal situation in the EU concerning the definition of food. Implementation and enforcement of existing rules and regulations (policing) is an increasingly important issue therefore.euractiv. in regard to limited size of packaging) and having a bias towards processed foods in contrast to unprocessed products (euractiv. industrial ingredients (e.org/iso/22000_implementation_ims_06_03.org/iso/iso-focus_2008-12 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 67 . Legislative initiatives also apply to novel emerging foods.e. 67 Above this.5 Institutional and legal changes 5. This holds for animal and arable/vegetable ingredients.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 5. CIAA) for causing additional costs. practical problems (e. which is now under evaluation (ISO.5. The stricter new nutrition labelling rules proposed by the European Commission in 2008 which includes front labelling. especially because food laws and requirements are not internationally standardised. 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. i.g. medical devices and novel foods is likely to be necessary. 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. Some companies are using food labels as a form of advertisement (e. 2006.1 Food labelling – increasing trust Food labelling gets mixed reactions from the food and beverage manufacturing industry. International difference in regulations and approval could become difficult for companies that produce and operate globally. and the more so given the global character of the food and drinks markets. if nutraceuticals.iso. 2008). especially where implementation is concerned.g.g. has taken its “Butterfinger” bar from European markets 67 68 http://www.iso. indicating “organic” food). the coordination between EU and national food safety agencies is growing in importance. foods with proven medical therapeutic effects. active ingredients and co-formulants from the chemicals industry) as well as final products.5. 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. for example. will be considered as a potential innovation trajectory. The International Organization for Standards (ISO) has already drafted a proposal (ISO 22000) for global food safety management. whereas others are signalling vital product information. 2008).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. 5.pdf. Nestlé.
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.5.5. 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. 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.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. But these are exactly the points that make GMO or food nanotechnology so controversial and so difficult to assess. instead of the basis of novelty as such.5. Currently. New foods and drinks have to be assessed in view of the novel food regulation. preventative or functional nutrition and medicine – at least in theory. the natural and the traditional. since innovations are new by default potential long-term effects just cannot be known. 2008). 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.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. whereas common foods like raspberries or peanuts would very likely not get approved as food if they were novel or synthetic products. On the other hand it does not make much sense to run tests for 10 or 15 years before introducing a novel product.5 Convergence between food and medicine? The further development of functional foods and drinks. 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. This critical view about science. Here the general problem with long-term risk assessment shows. whereas these products are often even less well tested than new products. however. 5. But too precautionary approaches can also hinder innovative processes. innovation activities may just not pay off in an industry with low profit margins as it is the case with foods and drinks. has already allowed Steviaproducts on the market in 2008 (idw. Innovative products should be rather assessed relative to the characteristics of established ones. therapy Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 68 . This is a general societal problem in many countries and an analysis of the reasons for this should get more attention. Also a better quality control of consumer advocacy groups and their scientific basis could also be taken into consideration. 5. 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. 5. Switzerland.
are not in line with scientific and technological reality and might necessitate a revision in the foreseeable future. chemists. Also it might be helpful if research.5. might just be the realisation that new possibilities for innovations in the food and beverage sector are opening up. This situation could worsen even in those areas where competition between sectors for high skilled labour is likely to arise (e. joint ventures or openinnovation strategies. One solution to counter these shortages could be the creation of co-operations. 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. The palette of necessary skills and educational backgrounds can range from nutrition specialist.g. side effects and safety. in regard to the “Human Enhancemet Debate” (http://www. 5. the interest could be promoted. By focusing on the challenging character and the responsibility of the food and drinks sector. organic foods as well as natural and synthetic ingredients. Since nanotechnology has already entered the food industry.fzk.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector 69 December 2010 and “enhancement” . physicists. The most important aspect. neuroscientists and food designers to ICT and robotics experts. These legal distinction.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. 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.de/tatup/083/stoa -news. spanning processed foods and drinks. technological and societal developments. however. modern biotechnology. The consumer trust into governmental and EU scientific testing institutions also has to be strengthened. This may also be in line with the better integration of the customer as actor of responsibility as proposed earlier in the text. thus helping to generate more interest in the subject. 5. environmental consultants.7 More scientific research and development In all areas.g.g.5. 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.and even medical experts over marketing and public relations professionals. chemical engineers. in regard to the reasons for obesity and civilisation illnesses. A symmetric safety evaluation of “organic” f oods and drinks and “conventional” products could also be of advantage.htm) Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 69 . more scientific and objective research is necessary in regard to effects. e. however. Education policy could contribute by communicating the great importance of the food and beverage/agro-food industry for society and even (public) health. ICT professionals). In general. 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.itas.
Europa NU. 70 The following table provides an overview about major innovation themes featured within different scenarios.nl/9353000/1/j9vvh6nf08temv0/vhwfke66kuyy?ctx=vhwbck0vhlt0 Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 70 . 2008). This would mean that even the use of an already approved substance has to be re-evaluated when used on the nano-scale (cf. 70 http://www.europa-nu.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 substances being used.
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. 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 .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. processing.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.
medicine. innovative and functional foods and drinks Marketing innovations (incl. neuromarketing) Emergency (desperate consumers) Less relevancy in this scenario Less relevancy in this scenario Insect protein GMO Everything that can increase yields. 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. health.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. nutrigenomics. production and nutritional value Concerns over food security (enough food) and related problems Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 62 .
Although ‘desirable’ may mean different things to different people. As in regard to prices. the principal technological possibilities in the area of food and beverage production are high and even growing.g. lies in bringing these possibilities in line with solving current challenges and fostering the developments towards desirable futures. recipes and thus innovation which requires investments. The reduction of ingredients considered as harmful to health and wellbeing like trans-fats. healthy and of course safe nutrition are key desires for society as well as the industry. substitutions or reductions require the development of new production methods.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. benefits or even dangers for the human body. some major aspects have been identified as being rather undisputable: 6.1 Healthy Nutrition 6. This is also in line with the overarching goal of achieving healthier nutrition. some claims about functionality are still more speculation than science and some benefits (e. ways should be found how to make healthy nutrition affordable for all and here also information programs.1. training and education in schools could be good starting points. This already starts with rather small improvements in common products. The major challenge. However. however.g. of Ginkgo in regard to mental health) are disputes. in case of salt and sugar) as well as other properties like taste and consistency (e.1.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 6 Policy Issues As already mentioned before. 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.g. 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. 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. Thus efforts in research should also be dedicated to sound and evidence-based assessment of functional ingredients and their real workings.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). There exist two factors that may counter these efforts which are costs and possibly consumer preferences. 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. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 71 . cholesterol. fat).
2 Ecological Sustainability and Ethics 6. Such curricula could be supported by policymakers and ministries.1.g. financial institutions and consumers. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 72 .1 Reducing energy and water consumption The energy consumption in food and beverage processing is mid-range as compared to other major industries.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.2. Such assessments should also be conducted in regard to the usage of GMOs or nanotechnologies in food processing by improving risk-benefit analysis. healthy eating as well as cooking could be taught. 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. Schools could be a place where nutritional education.1. 6. 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. but especially water consumption and water contamination is high within conventional agriculture and food/beverage processing.g. 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. Such ideas should get more support from industries.HACCP) and stricter controls to uncover hygiene problems and frauds. 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. 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.g. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points . 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. 6. It would also serve two positive purposes: a general improvement of personal and public health (e. consultancies.
3 Economy and business 6. meat consumption is also a matter of culture and habit. leafs).g. But innovation support in material science and development could also yield more suitable solutions in the future. Many current practices applying less healthy ingredients or factory farming. Finding solutions for affordable quality and healthy choices seem to be an important issue. 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. In contrast SMEs and even micro-companies in niche areas of Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 73 . PETA).2.3.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 As in regard to waste. 6. are said to be done due to price competition.g. 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. 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). 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. a potential conflict could occur between convenience and reduction in packaging (fast food).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.6% of all firms. for example. 6. On the other side.2 Innovation for SMEs The food and beverage manufacturing industry is dominated by micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees that make up 78.3. but also here solutions can be found like the usage of bio-degradable packaging or the use of natural packaging materials (e. price policies as well as issues of overproduction and food waste may also be reflected upon. Thus.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. 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. sustainability and safety. Meat in general is getting under growing criticism from the perspective of health as well as ethics and animal wellbeing.
Thus ways may be considered to better support food and beverage SMEs to improve their products and obtain necessary know-how. functional food and healthy eating in general (e. can help with improved testing as well as evidence-based assessment of health claims. through smart labels) as well as providing technologies for tracking. safety and sustainability. 6.g. medicine. between biotechnology.3 Clusters and interdisciplinary cooperation As it has been outlined within this report. life sciences.3. tracing and assessing ecological footprints (e.g. the embedding of food and beverage companies into multidisciplinary clusters could provide fruitful inputs for the generation of innovations. ICT and food and beverage production (through the whole food chain) is getting increasingly important for improving parameters like healthy nutrition. Thus.Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Food and Drinks Sector December 2010 new technologies that may be able to generate innovative goods and services. based on findings of nutrigenomics and metabolomics). behavioural and psychological studies are of value for analysing eating habits and consumer reactions towards products and marketing. through RFID tagging). Life sciences and biotechnology.g. shelf life and safety (e. it may be more difficult for food and beverage SMEs to innovate due to limited financial and human resources and higher labour intensity. the necessity of interdisciplinarity. material sciences. Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 74 .g. for example. Material sciences and ICT can improve packaging. e. But also societal.
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Utrecht University) Govert Gijsbers (TNO) Miriam Leis (TNO) Tine Anderson (Danish Technological Institute) Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch 80 .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.
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