The world's population is set to grow by two billion by 2050, according to UN projections, and a billion will rise to the ranks of the middle class over the next decade. A growing cohort of largely urban consumers will help lift global demand for food by 60% – adding to strains on natural resources and boosting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
But disruptive tech and new ideas are shaking up the global food and agricultural sector, presenting investors with an opportunity to reshape the farming, shipping and consumption of food:
- Farming 4.0: Agritech investments stood at just USD 4.2bn in 2018, according to KPMG. Smart implements will grow more common, as the costs fall for networked sensors and robotic components, and as data-analytics and vision systems improve. Drones will shift from simply monitoring production inefficiencies to managing crop science and spraying growth inputs, boosting yield while reducing water, chemical and energy usage.
- New Food: Old consumption patterns are changing, with health and wellness a significant focus for many of us. After a break out year, the plant-based meat market grew to USD 4.5bn; we expect this to rise to USD 85bn by 2030. The adoption of cellular “clean meat” – where actual eggs, seafood or meat flesh is replicated in a lab – may significantly cut our GHG emissions.
- Logistics: Supply chain innovation will improve transparency on food quality and traceability, while cutting inefficiencies, fraud and food waste. Urbanization, centralized kitchens and app-based logistic networks will see the already fast-growing food delivery segment grow from around USD 60bn in 2018 to roughly USD 365bn by 2030.
Given the growing market and emergence of new technologies, we expect food innovation to become a USD 700bn market by 2030 – a fivefold jump from today. Read more in the CIO report "The food revolution: The future of food and the challenges we face".
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