Food innovation facing more revolutions

Do biotech have the potential to solve the global nutritional challenge?
Will retail pave the way for more food innovation?
Can lab food overcome the obstacles and become a realistic alternative to traditional meat production?
Are there a big potential for co-creating between top chef and the food industry?
Is Nicolai Hansen, KMC, the Food Innovator 2016?

The answer to all these questions was yes when Danish Food Cluster hosted its annual A Great Day for Food Innovation at Technological Institute in Aarhus, March 17th.

The overall feeling was of more than one revolution awaiting the food business as it face a growing world population and many health issues amongst the consumers. But to benefit from the new possibilities from both cognitive computing and stem cell burgers the business is facing opposition not only from the traditionalist within but also from the consumers. As Novozymes Vice President Christel Jørgensen stated:

“We need to find a way to use the new possibilities without scaring the consumer.”

She pointed to the fact that biological solutions is celebrated in for example cosmetics and detergents there as biotech in food is almost a hidden fact.

“Modern food is full of biotech helping us to live more healthy and sustainable, but we do not talk about is – this needs to change”

Professor Mark Post from Maastricht University also touched upon the consumer opposition to food innovation:

“When we look towards new ways of producing meat it is not only a shift within science and industry, it is also a cultural shift for those who buy and eat the meat.”

For top chef Thorsten Schmidt, who have transformed space food from a bare necessity to a gastronomic experience, the food business needs to be better at creating a emotional link between food innovation and the eating experience:

“Food is much more than just eating. We need to relate to our food. In a chaotic world people needs reference points – just as astronauts deep in space do – and food is one of those reference point.”

A Great Day for Food Innovation included ten presentations and the appointment of the first “Food Innovator” in Danish Food Cluster, a personal prize for an individuel doing a special effort for food innovation. Amongst eleven nominees Nicolai Hansen, CEO of KMC, won the prize due to his longlasting dedication to food innovation, his turnaround of KMC and his generosity in sharing his insights and passion for cooperation.

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