A trend to watch: food tech used to be about scale - the next wave is about both scale and improving quality (MITTechReview):
For years, the most important food technologies were all about scale. How could we feed a fast-growing population at less expense? By doing everything bigger: food grown on bigger farms was sold by ever-merging global food giants to grocery chains of superstore proportions.More here (MITTechReview): Robots Start to Grasp Food Processing
Many of today’s food technologies seem to be moving in the opposite direction, toward methods and products that are economical for small farms as well as large corporate ones. This does not mean an end to big food: with the planet’s population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, agriculture and food production will still have to achieve a massive scale, with help from technology and innovative research. Still, evolving technologies, including inexpensive sensors, mobile devices, and data analysis, have helped an increasing variety of food companies, retailers, and producers lower their costs and compete in many specialty markets.
This could be the start of a new food economy—one that reflects more competition and more innovation, provides opportunity for a broader group of investors, and is more dynamic and responsive than the industrial model that has dominated for decades.