Shazi Visram on the Future of Food

It’s no surprise that Shazi Visram, founder of Happy Family brands, foresees a bright and healthy future for consumers. Happy Family is a leading baby food company devoted to providing families with nutritious and organic alternatives.

While today’s food industry revolves around convenience, Shazi is hopeful that there will be shift toward focusing on health instead. Historically, big food companies have capitalized on convenience and affordability; recent systems, however, have taken a more quality-focused approach to food products while maintaining affordability, she explained. So, for Shazi, the future will hopefully incorporate more high-quality and family-friendly food options that are both nutritious and affordable.

According to Shazi, the roots of this movement are already happening. Large food brands and agri-businesses are evolving and starting to provide support structures for smaller, more artisanal products. She foresees craft brands continuing to partner with large food companies in order to gain industry knowledge as well as logistical support.

But while Shazi envisions a bright and healthy future, she recognizes that major changes will need to take place in order for these goals to be attained.

Happy Family’s “This is Happy” campaign is a step in the right direction. The family-oriented ads promote clean, nutritious eating in the home, and emphasize how the family unit will remain central in a utopic future.

Shazi explains that shared happiness in the family is not hard to maintain. “Celebrating all those moments even though they are not typically perfect, but there is so much beauty in them… that is actually what happiness is,” she said.

“Recognizing that it’s not about this unobtainable perfection, it’s about celebrating what you have” is key.

When asked about how the traditional family dinner will evolve in the future, Shazi is hopeful that there will be more time spent at the dinner table and there will be changes made to our meal planning. “In the future, there will be an emphasis on lengthening quality time [together] and I hope this will happen around the dinner table – because dinner is a way to connect. I see food as a real, deep connector. Having dinner together is one of the only times during the day where a family gets to be all together,” she explained.

Echoing her optimism around time spent as a family, her vision of the future also involves more healthful, thoughtful food choices: “By 2040, I think most of the food will be anti-inflammatory in nature, excess sugar will be dropped from the plate, and you won’t see coloring and preservatives. There will be more of an emphasis on a whole foods diet that is sustainable. Less consumption of meat, and more consumption of plant-based protein”

In addition to consumers and families changing their habits, Shazi thinks brands should also shift their processes, in order to be more transparent about their practices and ingredients. For her, packaging should be clear, explanations should be concise, and ingredient lists should be visible. “I am eternally optimistic on my outlook on the future of food,” Shazi says. “I think we have long way to go and there are major challenges, but I also think there are massive opportunities and there are so many new innovations and technologies that are going to take us into that future. It’s going to be very exciting and bright, and – ideally – it’s going to be very happy.”

the author

Emily Empel

Emily Empel is Head of Futures at Idea Couture.

the author

Erika Streisfield

Erika Streisfield is an editorial intern at Idea Couture.