Food for thought, plated for the future
The need to reimagine the way we produce and consume food is more urgent than ever before. Current means of production and levels of consumption are simply not sustainable. Consequently we need to redesign and innovate the food service and wider hospitality industry. The challenges may seem daunting, but at the same time we see great opportunities to apply emerging innovative approaches.
The research centre Future of Food aims to serve as a platform to make the food service industry future-proof. We identify current and future challenges, we imagine new consumer experiences, we propose sustainability interventions. We do this through prototyping and testing, through applied research with the aim of stimulating sustainable innovation in the industry. If we can imagine the future, we can create it.
The research centre Future of Food contributes to todays challenges by supporting and providing direction to the development of the food service and hospitality industry.
The Future of Food is a topic much debated in the last decade. Its importance and need for direction is evident in the formulated ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ set for 2030 by the United Nations. Twelve out of a total of seventeen of these goals can be attributed to food, from consumer health through nutritious food consumption to the food production process and waste across the food system.
We are living in times where the need for change and transformation of our food consumption and supplying sectors is more urgent than ever before. This urgency is particularly visible by examining the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic which has caused devastating conditions but also sparked new innovations across the food service sector globally. For many stakeholders this has vast consequences, from limiting and adjusting consumption behaviour to closing of businesses and unemployment. As we persevere through this challenging period, this is also a time and opportunity for radical innovation towards a more sustainable path of our industries.
Consumers today are equipped with the technology to access knowledge across disciplines in a matter of seconds assisting and stimulating their decision-making process. This in turn means that the chain from production to consumption has become much more complex, where various stakeholder needs, and contexts need to be understood and incorporated to create a more sustainable development pathway for the food service sector, and closely connected industries.
The challenge lies in how to innovate the food and wider hospitality industry through sustainability interventions that satisfy consumer demands for food experiences while anticipating and responding to disruptors that trigger transformations across the food sector to guarantee a sustainable future of food.
The research centre Future of Food serves as a platform that brings together industry practitioners, researchers and students nationally and internationally to identify current and future challenges across the food service industry and resulting consumer experiences. The research centre tackles these through evidence-based sustainability interventions that can be prototyped and tested through applied research with the aim of stimulating sustainable innovation in the industry.
The Food Experience Lab embodies a playground for innovation. We embrace technology such as immersive technologies, 3D food printers, and physiological measurement devices, to imagine, prototype and test future food experiences that are sustainable and valuable for directly or indirectly impacted stakeholders.
The Food Experience Lab is an environment that brings people together to explore the next step in food experiences.
Every year, the research centre Global Minds @ Work provides an annual overview of its activities, events and achievements.
Isabelle Grosch discusses the phenomenon of Rückwanderung, using her own experiences returning home for Christmas.