Tangential Technology – The Future of Food is Ripe

The bees in my head are very busy this morning….and here is my latest foodie data rumbling:  How will the hottest technology trends in the high tech market today impact the ongoing transformation in Foodtech?

(1) Big Data and Analytics – being front and center for IBM’s transformative ventures into Cognitive Commerce, I see the power, profit and scale that these solutions can bring to both enterprise and small to medium businesses.   The larger food players have already realized that leveraging the power of consumer and supply chain data properly can mean customer loyalty, retained market share and ongoing brand survival.

(2) Blockchain and Digital Currencies – In the early days, bitcoin and cryptocurrency may have been viewed by many as the rebellious flailings of anti-establishment revolutionists, challenging the status quo of a staid and traditionally conservative Financial Services sector.  Today, the growth of blockchain paradigms as models for how to transform Commerce applications are no longer relegated to the Financial Services sector.  This shift means data remains king to consumer retention and trend relevance. Amazon Coins, as one example, and the pervasive issues around addressing digital currency in e-commerce, causes me wonder how food technologists will leverage this development explosion to increase customer adoption and e-commerce transformation.

(3) Virtual and Augmented Reality – Marketers of all types look at the promise of VR and AR like a starving man looks at a warm meal.  The acceleration of consumer access to first generation VR means we all may have cool new ways to use our iphones and devices as soon as this upcoming holiday season.  Once VR (and more importantly AR) come to the masses in an affordable and commercially available way, e-commerce and just in time consumption business models will explode.  How are food technologists planning to capitalize on this?

What say you, FoodieData thinkers?  What are your bees buzzing about?

Does the Future of Food Live in Better B2B Investment?

Although today’s food technology start up market remains hot, there have been murmurs of a potential food technology start up bubble – one of the most recent speculations from Mother Jones (https://t.co/4dqlTcsmYc).   Recent news around food delivery platforms, mobile ordering applications, and meal kit membership programs is even catching a fevered momentum with established, traditionally non-food industry companies such as The New York Times (https://t.co/1b1IDNQxYo), Amazon (http://read.bi/1WYbXE0), and Uber (http://bit.ly/1NUT03d).

Investment in the business to consumer (B2C) food technology space is clearly where the current growth and profits live – end users have a steady desire for real time access to food information and choices.  However, to influence real and scalable growth in our food chain – source to consumer – I believe we need to ask our food-tech focused Venture Capitalists a primary question:  what investments are being made in technology solutions in the business to business (B2B) space?  Or perhaps, more profitably, into the business to business to consumer (B2B2C) space?

We have seen some examples of such B2B investment recently in Agtech with the implementation of drones and GPS and materials-tracking technology to give farmers the big data, analytics and resource visibility needed for smarter farming.  A recent article from Farmlogs showcases this movement (http://bit.ly/1T6fSdf. )  I would love to see more financial investment in technologies that are focused on the sourcing of food, the recalling of food, and the ecommerce transactions around our food.  In order to see fundamental change in the future of food, the B2B innovators in food technology need our investment.