The Future of Food is Beautiful, Functional and 3D Printed


Thousands of food and drink manufacturers, health experts and wellness entrepreneurs converged on London’s ExCel center this week to take part in Food Matters Live 2015. The annual event addressed the relationship between food, health and nutrition, and their connections with the environment, population health and wellbeing.

Over 450 speakers, including Ella Woodward, Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon Restaurants and Tim Clarke, Group Director of Marketing and Innovation at Innocent Drinks  participated in the extensive programme and prominent wellness brands Primal Joy Foods, Yakult UK and Dr Zak’s exhibited their products.

Industry leaders discussed a wide range of topics including sustainability, future nutrition, branding and wellness, and certain trends were hard to ignore.

From intelligent eating to ingestible beauty, we’ve identified the five future food trends that are expected to take hold of the wellness industry in 2016.

  • Trend: Intelligent Eating

    Mandy Saven, Head of Food, Beverage & Hospitality at Stylus highlighted the rise in the number of consumers taking personal ownership for their health and wellbeing. Businesses already tapping into this change in attitude include Dutch startup, the Fortified Food Coatings Co. and 23andme who offer genetic profiling (currently found in Superdrug stores across the UK).

    Image: the Fortified Food Coatings Co

    Image: the Fortified Food Coatings Co

    Anne-Marie Minihane, a professor of Nutrigenetics at Norwich predicted that it’s only a matter of time before the production of nutritional products based around specific gene types is commonplace. And as people become more aware about the extent to which food and health are inextricably linked, the industry will need to evolve in order to cater to the informed consumer.

  • Trend: Ingestible Beauty

    Already taking hold of the market, ingestible products that claim to offer health and beauty benefits will continue to dominate the industry in 2016. In the Food Matters Live exhibition hall collagen infused beverages from Botanic Lab and Vitness stood alongside Nutricoa – a dark chocolate bar crafted with hyaluronic acid and vitamins.

    The abundance of products already on the market draws attention to the fact that as consumers increasingly look to create beauty from within, the convergence of food and beauty is meeting their demands.

    Image: Vitness

    Image: Vitness

  • Trend: Home Innovation

    The presence of 3D food printing and personalised vitamin makers shone a spotlight on the future of production.

    Providing consumers with the ability to create their own food or supplements at home could have the power to change the whole landscape of the wellness industry and early adopters are already tapping into the potential. Some Michelin-starred restaurants and nursing homes have already begun utilising 3D printing to meet the needs of their customers.

  • Trend: Functional Food

    Food products containing ingredients that offer specific health benefits will feature heavily in the wellness market, which is forecast to reach £127 billion worldwide by 2017. Drawing once again on the notion of intelligent eating, the prevalence of food products that go beyond basic nutrition and target particular concerns such as gut or heart health are a sign of how the informed consumer is repositioning health.

    In particular, functional food startups are leveraging the ongoing trend of “snackification” and creating products that straddle both categories. American brand Epic are selling meat snacks containing high levels of protein, while SmartCandy’s vitamin-infused fruit snacks for kids are already available in Wallmart and Target

    Image: Epic Bar

    Image: Epic Bar


  • Trend: Nature’s Longtail

    According to Mandy Saven “21 of the world’s staple foods have reached peak, so the food industry needs to optimise previously overlooked foods.” So, moving forward more businesses will be tapping into nature’s longtail in order to overcome shortages.

    Previously overlooked products such as baobab and spider plants will start to be optimised. And aside from utilising more ‘exotic’ produce, longstanding companies are looking to reduce food waste or extend the life-shelf of certain ingredients in innovative or disruptive ways.

    Burger company Shake Shack recently launched a limited edition ‘food waste burger’ consisting of repurposed food waste to highlight the importance of creating a more sustainable food system.

    Image: Shake Shack

    Image: Shake Shack

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