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The new food paradigm is a necessity

The new food paradigm is a necessity

You are certainly aware that the world food system is under pressure and is at its limits. It is clear that current production techniques allow for food security, but too many resources are consumed and even wasted. Therefore, the food industry must reinvent itself. 

But of course, you are wondering what this new food value chain should look like tomorrow. It's simple! It will be made up of new skills, innovations and new technologies. Well, this past December 5th, I had the opportunity to attend an event where this new food system was the central theme. In the space of an afternoon, ShakeUp Factory, with the support of EIT Food and with the presence of several partners such as Food Ingredient EuropeAgrioGenopole and others, gathered startups, investors and mentors around the theme "The New 2030 Food Paradigm". 


An intense but effective afternoon

The concept of the event was quite interesting. After a short introduction, a series of startups took turns to pitch to the audience. The whole thing ended with a networking session between all the attendants. 

In total, 70 startups were registered. This gave almost two and a half hours of successive pitches, which may seem like a lot. But honestly, it wasn't. The different companies had been divided into themes which made the succession of presentations readable and digestible. 


New skills, alternatives...and common sense

Some of the companies on the podium are still in the early stages of their history, while others are already well advanced. But what is important to remember is that all the startups present gave a beautiful showcase of the food industry of tomorrow. 

Without making an exhaustive list, I'll give you some of the main trends that were highlighted during the successive pitches: 

  • The chain is rethinking itself by optimizing data: whether it is to optimize processes, reduce waste, or reduce energy consumption, data will optimize the work of farmers and manufacturers.
  • Plant based products are needed to reduce the impact of the animal protein industry, or simply to replace it where it is not enough. Products made from plant proteins have a bright future ahead of them. And the origin of these plant proteins can be found in classical cultures, but also in mushrooms and algae for example. 
  • Talking about meat alternatives, the substitutes intended to seduce flexitarians are becoming more and more advanced. Alongside bacon strips or minced plant-based alternatives, "whole cut" type substitutes are making their appearance on the shelves and on your plates. 
  • Upcycled ingredients: the idea is to recover ingredients and transform them to reuse as raw materials in other circuits, or as protein flour
  • Rather than producing far away and transporting, favor local production: this does not seem like a very innovative idea, but it is. Think about products that you would have to import from far away, like shrimps for example. Because in Europe we import a lot of shrimps from all over the world and especially from Latin America. So, why not cultivate them in ponds close to where they are consumed, even in cities?  
  • Reduce plastic waste by substituting, for example: using coatings for fruit and vegetables to extend the shelf life and protect them during transport, using edible packaging. There is even the possibility of using insects to transform plastics and use the result of the process as upcycled ingredients and materials. 
  •  ...


As you can see the list of ideas is long, and the good news for the planet is that many of them are already in operation. Actually, it could be interesting to come back on some of these startups in more details in other articles. I am convinced that you will be interested. 

To conclude on this event, let's greet the enthusiasm that reigned among the participants. It is clear that it is more than time to reinvent the entire production system. All specialists in the field agree that the planet has its limits and that the alarm bells are ringing. But instead of giving up, we must find alternatives and solutions. And this type of event, supported by committed organizations, is necessary to bring together the actors of change and lead us all towards a more sustainable food future. 








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