An Exploration of the Food Experience Today and Tomorrow
Think about how you eat today, and then try to reimagine the future of the food experience. How might we eat in 5, 10, or 20 years? What will we eat? When? Why?
Whichever table you find yourself at, one thing is certain: One cannot reimagine the future of food without also considering the human experience that is so deeply rooted in it. No matter what innovations emerge, digital or otherwise, food will always remain an integral part of our existence. And yet, in an ever-changing, fast-moving, and increasingly connected world, our most basic ties to food remain, while our expectations continue to change.
Food connects all of us, across the globe, transcending cultures and religions. In every corner of the world, you can fund places and spaces where people connect over food. Think of the vibrant Taling Chan floating market in Bangkok, bustling with both locals and tourists enjoying seafood at rickety communal wooden tables; or lining up around the block with hundreds of New Yorkers, impatiently waiting to try the world’s first bleeding veggie burger from Impossible Foods at Momofuku Nishi; or foraging through a tasting menu of 17 small plates (that ends with chocolate reindeer moss) at Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants; or a perfect three-hour gastronomical experience that’s waiting to be shared with your social networks.
Consumers have become so much more educated that they are more aware than ever about the relationship between food and wellbeing – not only in terms of our own health and wellness, but that of our planet as well. There is a greater desire to know what’s in the food that’s consumed, but also to know where it came from and how it was grown. The #RealFood revolution, popularized by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, followed by the rise of a countless number of natural food brands, illustrate the seismic shifts that are altering our relationship with food. The rise of these initiatives has unearthed an innate desire – which was dormant throughout the Fordist era – to connect with food. Real food, made by real people (not the faceless brands that reigned at the height of the industrial food era).
Conversely, the digital revolution of food enables new and redefined experiences, from biometric personalized nutrition plans, to frictionless ordering and delivery at any time of day.
The digitization of food empowers consumers with new and different forms of access and information, resulting in a new relationship between humans and what they eat.
The visionaries who have created these new products and services have tapped into the human experience that is so central to food. They play at the intersection of real food and technology, and are able to unearth new and in nite possibilities that are abound in this new digital culinary era.
As the future of food continues to unfold, and an increasingly digitized food experience emerges, the human experience will need to remain central. As you delve into this series of articles, take time to consider the experience you want to have with food, and how your brand, product, and story can deliver on this as we continue to redefine the future of food and the experience surrounding food culture.