In this article Marc Simony, VP TraceGains Network shares his insights and some soundbites overheard at the Future Food-Tech Summit, March 21-22, 2019.

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Posted by Marc Simony on Mar 26, 2019

The food, beverage, and supplement industries face big changes over the next few years. Automation is moving from the manufacturing plant to retail storefronts. Plant-based foods are breaking into the mainstream. While consumers are increasingly clamoring for CBD-infused products, whether it’s a sports drink or dietary supplements.

Staying on top of these seismic shifts in production and consumer demand is what drives attendance to conferences like Future Food-Tech Summit in San Francisco. The international event, held annually in four different locations, draws food brands, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss solutions, share ideas, and forge new alliances.

Last week, TraceGains attended, presented, and exhibited at Future Food-Tech Summit. Here are some key insights and a few zingers.

“It’s not about the protein arms race, how much you can put in, it’s about what the protein is going to do.”

“The biggest challenge to rapid innovation is regulatory approval, which always takes twice as long and costs twice as much.”

“Direct-to-consumer is what’s driving rapidity in innovation.”

“We have a new metric, ‘Return of the Future,’ which measures potential impact, and is then discounted by the risk we’re taking.”

“The problem is to solve the consumer’s needs, not our business needs.”

“How do you create a new segment? Rather than competing on sameness, just another bar that’s similar to others, find a way to reinvent the category. Ask yourself: ‘Where is there a consumer problem, and where can our brand live without compromising its principles?’”

“Legal, quality, and safety are the real decision makers in food development. They create roadblocks and friction.”

“Consumers adopt five new products per year.” (based on 20 years of loyalty data)

“From a microbial perspective, we’re only 1 percent human. We’re the one who needs to adapt to the microbes, not the other way around.”

“The gut is not like Vegas; what happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut.”

“Your brain does not talk to your gut; your gut talks to your brain.”

“Between 80 percent and 85 percent of consumers who consume plant-based proteins are neither vegetarians nor vegans.”

“When 80 percent of the data required by NPD lives outside a company’s four walls, there’s a huge opportunity to speed up efficiency, innovation, and time to market.”

“We need to stop apologizing for being plant-based and considered good enough.”

“It’s easier changing the world than changing consumer behavior.”

“Consumers are starting to not shop by ingredient, but by benefit.”

“If you have a great product, the rest of the business gets a lot easier. Good food wins.”

“Plant-based foods can’t just be as good as, but need to be better at taste, convenience, and cost than animal protein-based foods.”

“Transparency is the magic ingredient to winning the confidence of the public.”

“The most fundamental aspect of a technology must be that it’s continuously improvable.”

“What will eating look like in 100 years? I hope that we’ll spend a lot more on food, and a lot less on healthcare.”

“We want to give stores the same distribution infrastructure locally that Amazon has.”

“We need to increase food production by 70 percent to feed 9.7 billion people by 2050.”

“Organic farming produces 25 percent less food per acre.”

“We have to think about our portfolio the way our consumers do.”

“Food-hacks.” (New food combinations that consumers perform in their homes and can be productized.)

“We’re experiencing not so much a wave of innovation, but a wave of different perspectives.”

“Food 1.0: Safe; Food 2.0: Nutrient Fortified; Food 3.0: Health-Aiding.”

“The is no The Consumer, there are billions of consumers.”

“The human race is living well beyond its means. We consume 1.7 times the resources that our planet can restore.”

“Proof of concept has already been done. It’s all about proof of scale.”

“A cow takes in 23 calories to produce one calorie of meat; we want do it with three calories.”

“Biology is the future of manufacturing.”

“We see a future where 50 percent of all chicken nuggets are plant-based.”

Mind-blow of the weekSolein (“Food Out Of Thin Air.” Literally.)