Last week at CES, Impossible Foods announced its newest plant-based protein alternative, Impossible Pork. The fact that the announcement was made on the premier stage for consumer technology and electronics innovations is noteworthy; and it was the brand’s second food introduction at CES, having launched its Impossible Burger 2.0 at CES last year. This convergence of food and technology has our attention; and with both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat exhibiting at Natural Products Expo West in March, we will be on the lookout for other food & beverage products that are innovating in the natural and organic space with the help of technology.
The moment seems ripe for tech and food to meet as consumers are concerned with the overall health of the planet and its inhabitants. Their concerns include scarce resources, sustainable sourcing, animal welfare, and the waste of both food and materials. This has opened consumers’ minds to alternatives and made way for brands to introduce innovative solutions – in the sourcing, production, transportation, storage, sale, and disposal of food.
According to a recent report from Ketchum, 77% of 9-24-year-olds are willing to try tech-assisted foods, as are 58% of Xers and Boomers. With a majority of consumers expressing a willingness to try food engineered using technology, brands innovating via tech to create foods that address sustainable sourcing, animal welfare, and food waste will likely find themselves at home in the Natural & Organic space as well as with consumers who are presently making plant-based offerings arguably the hottest trend.
In addition to Impossible and Beyond, brands innovating with tech-assisted food include:
Innovation is blurring the lines between industries. As food makers are launching products at CES, what tech companies might we see introducing breakthrough food & beverage ideas at Expo West?