5 Food Science and Technology Trends: How Restaurants Stay Fit for the Future
This year, food science and technology solutions have focused on the sustainable throughout systems. As the findings of research predicted, the most exciting restaurant tech companies have turned to the same purpose.
With a strong future predicted for alternative proteins‒and the processes that create them‒our fresh plant-based partners show nothing but promise.
Then, more depth has blossomed for customer palettes as they seek "complex heat" through spicy, more exciting, and expansive flavors. The industry of sustainability, waves in vegan and vegetarian diets, and a seemingly new tolerance for heat levels‒they suggest subtle and serious change.
But, what will they mean among shifts in the restaurant intelligence and practices used to create success? They turn out to be in service to that same heightened demand for sustainability in restaurants. More and more food science and technology has centered on reducing food waste.
This post also covers protein content trends, fermentation and agriculture, and shifting production standards. For the executive, the intention is to point toward one global idea: a louder demand is coming for connectedness (through online ordering platforms, for example) and restaurant content (on each ingredient) to align for more inclusive, global benefits.
Key Takeaway: From menu options up to executive leadership decisions, food science and technology has tied future gains to global benefit, making one difficult without the other.
1. Alt-Proteins as Food Science and Technology
Through brands like Beyond Meat, we have all seen real possibility in new sustainable food practices and products. Such “alt-protein technologies” are also highly encouraged in an increasingly health-aware consumer who participates in events like “Veganuary.”
In fact, the global food tech market is greatly helped by new ideas about what makes food good. Here, consumers and the scientists backing the development of their favorite new fare can each see beyond flavor profiles into the benefit or contrast it brings people in general—not simply the one eating.
Today, food tech is worth more than $220 billion (as of 2019), and it’s rise is expected to reach above $342 billion before 2030. These increases in awareness have a profound effect, also, on those who grow food and see to its distribution. These related technologies also form a hotbed for innovation and development.
2. Agriculture and Food Science Advancements
The call for the environmentally friendly has steadily continued working its way back to food production and farming itself. Consumers know that rising temperatures and otherwise unexplained weather records have an investment in what we eat as, a consequence, how it is grown.
Agriculture has seen many advancements to speed along the easily caught change in thinking about the meaning of food. The result is more efficiency, resilience, and sustainability at once. To get more concrete, the discovery of helpful “hops-derived” bacteria and several fungi now allow researchers to offer new ways to support (or inhibit) plant growth.
But, what does that mean for restaurants? The key may rest with strong communication and clear set of newfound standards. The pressure for sustainable restaurants to design valuable menus, for one, that show more value than taste and more texture than pleasure is most certainly coming on strong.
3. New Production Processes via Food Science
As customers ask, food science seems to answer. The most impressive technologies this year focused on boosting protein-packed nutrition, facing a very global trend toward health-consciousness.
The expectation, and hope, for these technologies is that they will positively affect what will be the global food security issue of the past. As climate change and population growth shows no slowing, the emphasis of sustainability mounts on every food-serving and agricultural business.
Sports nutrition may have originated the present need to high-protein foods, but tech advancements are merging that initiative with the plant-based diet and the sustainability concern. The result is stronger monitoring and transparency withing the industry as a whole.
Those who don’t take up technology will not be aware of their own food practices. More integrated and traceable production processes are showing all the truth about food in quality, about reduced food waste, and who’s responsible. Food data is poised to tell all.
Traceability and food analytics technology leads to circularity in a system which was once more obscure. That may mean consequences on profit for those who don’t adapt and rewarding revenue gain for those who do.
4. “Circular Economies” in Food Science and Service
Stars, influencers, and ordinary people across social media and YouTube promote the concept of a circular economy. Applied to restaurants, they mean a food economy that is more helpful than harmful.
In other words, the goal is a “regenerative” exchange of food which achieves its highest good—while also producing less waste or pollution.
Owing plenty to the motto of “reduce, reuse, recycle”—this new approach to food production (and its evaluation by consumers) spells something serious for brands driven by profit as the sole purpose of practice.
5. New Standards for Success Face Decision-Makers
It stands to reason that committees across the industry have started to reconsider not only how they promote sales, but also how they define a good product. They look to the definite impact of their operational efficiency and all the way down to each menu item’s ingredient list, source, and growing standards.
That’s much of the reason for the hope that sustainable restaurant tech and artificial intelligence can help assure success. In many areas, advancements already help eliminate waste while standardizing quality.
Interestingly, machine learning is also revealing more to executives so that they see the cost of making choices based on old strategies. The familiar “business” of costs vs. profitability is a conversation itself pointing to change.
This seems easily demonstrated. Compare the attitude toward brands centered on non-human concerns with the sustainable packaged who thrive on a human experience of the safest, most satisfying and stable world we can imagine. It’s clear that consumers’ renewed passion for health in all aspects quickly turns to the enraged, resistant, and abstaining.
Frequently Asked Questions About Food Science and Technology
Learn what it takes to use food science, its technology, and the potential good it could do the restaurant industry—as well as the world.
What is food science and technology today?
Food tech is the use of science in every area that food touches. That means everything from its selection to storage, its processing to packaging, and down to distribution and safe serving.
There are many fields the food scientist draws from: biotech, chemistry, engineering, nutrition, quality control, and food safety as well.
What do food scientists and technologists do for industry?
Using chemistry, biology, engineering, and discovery—food scientists help to make food cheaper to produce (in its resource demand as well as cost) and also more beneficial for actual eating.
In another domain, food science has helped some products, which may not be healthy, become more convincingly flavored, desired, and “effective” from the profit angle alone. Nevertheless, the science can be in the service of the industry’s questions alone or use them toward the public good.
What is the good of food science for the restaurant industry?
Food science serves to offer new discoveries and, therefore, practices and products to the entire web of making, buying, transporting, serving, and eating food.
The impact of food science should not be underestimated as both a predictive area of study and a protective servant of popularized needs, questions, and concerns. In these dual roles, the food scientist offers both insight and solutions, leaving responsibility up to restaurants who will participate in development, or not.