Food is an ever-changing industry. Add a global pandemic to the mix, and you have a recipe (pun intended) for a slew of new food trends.
We asked some of our recent Innovation in Food and Ingredients portfolio companies what they anticipate for their companies and the FoodTech industry overall in 2021. Here's what they see for 2021.
Elif Güngör Reis, Co-Founder Arkim Chemicals
Arkim Chemicals produces natural food preservatives from natural sources of calcium, such as eggshells, for packaged or fresh foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
“The pandemic severely impacted the food industry, especially B2C business models such as restaurants and cafes. With more people eating at home, the pandemic also demonstrated the importance of food and shelf-life quality.
Looking at 2021, we will see how the pandemic affects how people take care of themselves. People are more aware of their immune systems. They will purchase products to improve their immunity to viruses. At Arkim, we are launching a natural ingredients-based vitamin C supplement, Ester-C, within a month and a calcium supplement in the Q2 of 2021. We think consumers’ demand for natural supplements will continue well past 2021.”
Shashank Gupta, Co-founder & CEO Nom
Nom manufactures flavored edible drinking straws and spoons, meant to be paired as a tasty companion snack for beverages and snacks.
“We see sustainability driving food industry decisions in 2021. Sustainability should add value to customers’ food decisions and consumption, as we see with plant-based products. However, we need policymakers to promote and enforce adopting sustainable practices.”
Matthew Sillick, Founder and CTO Paragon Pure
Paragon Pure produces high-performance sprouted rice flours to replace additives and deliver natural flavors, colors, and nutrients into wholesome foods.
“COVID accelerated several food industry trends – we have seen this with healthy snacking because so many of us are working from home. Consumers want naturally sourced foods with enhanced nutrition to enhance their well-being. In addition, the growing awareness of the impact food choice has on climate change, and habitat destruction has led to significant investment into companies developing novel plant proteins and meat alternatives. We are proud that we are part of the new wave of companies focused on improving alternative meat formulations through innovation in clean-label fat and flavor delivery solutions.
As for Paragon Pure, in 2020, we focused on our first innovation, a nature-inspired encapsulation solution for color and flavors called CaptaClean(TM). In 2021, we will continue our model of innovating successive food ingredient technologies that are clean label, sustainable, and better-for-you. Through grants from the Good Food Institute and a government sponsor, we are currently developing wholegrain bulking ingredients and improving fats for plant-based meat.”
When we look back on FoodTech 2020 predictions, many went out the window due to companies and startups shifting due to the pandemic. Will 2021 predictions hold true? We will see, but we think that a focus on personal health and sustainability are likely to be on-trend for 2021 and beyond.