Blogs & Commentary: What will we be eating in 2050?

Leading food watchers share their visions of what consumers will be munching on and swigging in the decades ahead.

Some food trends have staying power while others are fleeting fads … do you remember gelatin salads? Food fashions come and go but may reappear wearing a new set of clothes in 10, 20 or 30 years. Today, gluten-free, protein, local sourcing, sodium reduction, and whole foods resonate with many consumers and influence food choices and eating habits.

Since FutureFood 2050 is focused on finding solutions to sustainably feed 9-plus billion people by 2050, we thought it would be both fitting and fun to ask leading food watchers, market researchers and “trendmeisters” what they think consumers will be eating in 2050. Please click on the gallery of bloggers below for their gastronomic guesstimates.

 

Eating in 2050

Technology turns today’s dreams into tomorrow’s triumphs
Thanks to science and technical advancements, future foods may be fresher tasting, healthier, more mobile, sustainable, individualized and easier to select at the grocery store.
“Pity the food that has to be eaten with a fork or a spoon because it may not make it to the next century; the successful foods of 2050 will be foods that can be eaten without utensils.”

Eating in 2050

Food past is prologue to the future
The future of the food and beverage market will not be so much about the foods and beverages we will consume, but who will prepare them.
“The change in our diet will not be so much in what we eat and drink, but who will provide our foods and beverages. And we will most likely follow those marketers that make our lives easier or our food costs lower!”

Eating in 2050

Technology, public policy impact future eating
Foods will become personalized for individual health and nutrition. Shifting agricultural policies and support will reshape the food industry.
“I imagine we will now enter a period where we see the agricultural policies that have shaped the food industry being reexamined so that different sectors get more support. Nothing drives a trend faster or harder than a change in government policy.”

Eating in 2050

Familiar foods but different ingredient sources
The merging of traditional food cultures with environmental issues will greatly change where our food comes from and what it is made of, but it will likely still be recognizable to future consumers.
“Future generations may never bat an eye at insect-fortified snack bars, cookies or simmer sauces as they will have been raised on the stuff, but their parents will still be seeking analogs for the foods they recognize and know. That is the enduring culture part.”

Eating in 2050

Three trends with staying power
Consumers increasingly demand food supply chains with greater transparency, local food sourcing and healthier cuisine on the menu.
“Although health and wellness comes with a price, the future will likely hold greater opportunities to make healthier fare more affordable for lower- and middle-income groups.”

Eating in 2050

Proteins shift from animal to plant, insect
The winners in 2050 will be GMOs, edible packaging and kiosk-style fresh food prep machines.
“The Western antipathy toward insects as part of the diet will wane, out of necessity, and proteins derived from those sources will be incorporated into foods effectively and invisibly.”

Eating in 2050

Economy influences future food choices
Consumers turn to comfort foods during recessionary times and seek adventuresome and playful fare in a healthy economy.
“What will consumers be eating in 2050 and why? It will depend in part on what the economy is doing that year. If we are in a recession, then expect a wave of comfort food which by then may include some global comfort foods along with traditional U.S. comfort foods.”

Eating in 2050

Consumers yield more power over the food system
The food horizon will be populated with greater knowledge of diet and health, 3-D printed fare, sustainable sources of protein, more local food and better packaging.
“The resurgence of home canning in Mason jars is a good reminder that the future of food doesn’t necessarily need to be futuristic. There’s nostalgia in the future too.”

Oscar Sjogren

Real breakthroughs are being made in areas like sustainability, food safety, nutrition and agriculture. And FutureFood 2050—through this website and other media, and in an upcoming film—will keep you connected.

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