The Future of Food
By Kelsey Bennett
As our knowledge of the molecular makeup of sustenance deepens, our viewpoint of food shifts from food as a socialization center that brings people together, to a key building block of who we are: mentally, physically and spiritually. With a growing realization that what goes into our bodies creates our holistic version of self, consumers have an open mind to new ways to nourish.
How is this trend coming to life today?
SCIENCE TO SURVIVE
Our perception of techno-food is shifting from a fear of the unknown to a curiosity of the growing possibilities. Scientific advancements stretch the definition of food, not only changing the way we eat but also redefining what we consider ‘real’. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the world will have to grow 70% more food by 2050 just to keep up with population growth. As food scarcity become a dominant issue, lab growers and GMO’s open doors to widen nutrition and preservation to create a new ‘lab to table’ movement.
The word ‘natural’ has become so ambiguous to consumers that the meaning of the word is being defined by the federal court. Because of misuse and confusion, people are turning to ingredients they have previously trusted and consider ‘real.’ Popular brand such as Subway and General Mills are already taking note of this shift and working to eliminate artificial coloring and flavors from their products. Food brands must transition from fad diets including artificial colors, sugars, and fats to products with ingredients that can be easily identified.
MUSIC ON THE MENU
Dining experiences evolve from merely offering food to setting an atmosphere that incorporates sensorial elements affecting the palate. Taste is a complex combination of all the five human senses uniting to experience flavor. Scientists at the University of Oxford performed studies that uncovered the connections between food and music. One major discovery is that pitch and speed of sound affects taste–slow music results in flavor lasting longer in the mouth while more up-tempo makes the flavor fade quickly. The culinary research teams like Bompas & Parr have experimented with this discovery and created the first ever meal tasting with your ears where diners enjoyed acoustics that enhanced foods’ flavors. Brands must look outside of their natural element for inspiration to create surprisingly delightful experiences.
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