Supported by Fearlessly Frank

Five things you need to know about the future of food

By Anna Schaverien 5 October 2017
Summary

A bite-sized look at our changing eating habits.

We’re a nation obsessed with food, always thinking about our next meal.

But just how will our eating habits change, what are the food trends of the future, and will we all be growing our own food?

Innovation consultancy Fearlessly Frank tells us all you need to know.

1. Choose wisely: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

What’s your favourite meal of the day?

In the future, you might only eat one meal a day, so make sure you’re happy with your decision.

Forget three-courses, we’ll all be sipping meal replacement drinks such as ‘human fuel’ supplement Huel or Soylent.

Why waste time feeding yourself with meals that won’t give your body the nutrients it really needs? Or so the theory goes…

But one of their remaining weaknesses is the very acquired taste you’ll need to stomach these ‘meals’.

But once a flavour that satisfies our tastebuds is developed, be prepared to ditch your traditional three-meals-a-day for these nutritionally-balanced replacements.

2. It will be Dry January all year round

Those virtuous people who gave up alcohol for Dry January or Sober October may soon take over our world all-year round.

The number of Britain’s most precious drinking establishments – pubs – has dropped by 10,000 since the turn of the century, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

Our national sport of drinking is becoming endangered.

The number of alcohol drinkers in the UK has dipped to its lowest level since 2005 and there are more teetotallers than ever before, says the Office for National Statistics.

At the same time, more people than ever are choosing to drink low or no-alcohol beers, making that market worth more than £24m.

But why are we turning our backs on a pint?

“The reduction in alcohol consumption isn’t just driven by health benefits, but also by lifestyle choices and people wanting to substitute booze for new experiences and natural adrenaline fixes,” said Zöe Kretzschmar, Fearlessly Frank’s COO.

The reasons young people, especially in cities like London, are steering clear of a hangover could be motivated just as much by social media as saving money.

“The pressure to look good online may also nudge people away from drinking heavily,” said Dr James Nicholls, policy development and research director at Alcohol Research UK.

“But I don’t think the UK will ever be a society completely without alcohol. Alcohol consumption has been part of human societies for millennia,” he added.

Phew.

Whether a world without alcohol sounds like your worst nightmare or a sensible (some would say sobering) idea, all signs are pointing towards the future being more teetotal.

3. There’ll be much more of less

By the time we get to 2040, we’ll see less food waste, less food packaging, and less of a carbon footprint attached to our food.

But the future of food is actually its past.

Shops like Bulk Market and the Zero Waste Shop will help us to do away with the 2.4m tonnes of packaging waste each year.

They’ll take us back to a time when a customer took their own containers to a store and filled them with the exact amount they needed.  

And if you do happen to buy more than you could ever eat, more apps like Too Good To Go will make it easy to share your leftover food around.

4. Living under the watchful eye of Big (Healthy) Brother

Who wouldn’t want the advice of a personal trainer, a GP, and a dietician at your fingertips?

The future will be a microchip implant which uses your body’s real time data to provide instant food, fitness, and health advice.

“It would be useful for individuals who want to understand their body’s needs and for healthcare providers to monitor the data,” said Karen Taylor, Research Director of the Centre for Health Solutions at Deloitte.

“People want something that is not obtrusive and works quietly in the background that prompts them to do something in their own health interests.”

Trying to eat healthier? The implant will let you check up on your progress.

Want to know how yesterday’s workout went? The chip can tell you.

And all the data can be shared with healthcare providers to ensure you get the most tailored medical treatment.

So no lying about how many cigarettes you smoke a day – your doctor will know all.

5. Back to basics

More than £2bn of organic food was sold in the UK last year, ‘clean eating’ is now a part of our everyday vocabulary, and that’s only the beginning.

We’ll cut out everything artificial until our future food is only made of all that’s natural.

In true The Good Life spirit, we’ll care so much about our food being fresh that we’ll head to farmers’ markets over our local supermarket.

The trend has already started, as the number of farm shops in the UK has tripled in just a decade from 1,200 in 2004 to around 3,500 today, according to research from the Guild of Butchers.

We may even turn to growing our own food with an Ikea flat-pack garden.

Indulge now, eat clean later

The wellness trend will make our food even more natural, healthier, and nutritious in the future.

Junk food will be binned, drinking alcohol will be seen as outdated, and brunch may disappear entirely.

So indulge in all your favourite foods now, before it’s too late.