Best practices to remain sustainable in the Food Industry
Best Practices with Edible Insects Novel Food Law
Exporting food has an environmental cost so is it really impossible to remain sustainable while consuming it? What are the best practices then ?
My last interview with Risteco’s co-funder Isabelle Lacourt and Thanaphum Muang-Ieam, a Thai edible insects entrepreneur were edifying.
Environmental cost of international export, especially between different continents seem fundamentally not sustainable.
Eating bananas from Australia would generate about 1.4 ton of CO2 since planes pollute 3 times more than cars. Moreover, that would deprive local farmers of jobs. Furthermore, consuming exotic food would promote an irresponsible consumption way.
So, should we stop eating bananas ?
On the 26th of october a conference involving the European Commission and the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) evokating edible insects future legislation took place in Bangkok. This novel food law should enter into force by 2018 to make edible insects business legal into the European Union. According to the regulatory expert of the Public Federal Service of Public Health in Brussels, edible insects from Asia and other continents might be legalized if they respect specific conditions.
However, we can expect these Asiatic insects to be sold at a lower price than the european one. As a result, we could expect those bugs to be the main consumers choice in the coming years.
Then are edible insects still going to be a sustainable food?
“Exporting is not always a bad thing” Isabelle Lacourt, cofounder of Ritseco says . It actually depends on the conditions the products have been made through. For instance, lambs from New Zealand actually revealed that exported food was sometimes healthier than the french ones.
In Thailand firms dealing with edible insects prepare to get into the European Market. They plan to produce this future food by huge amount. Is that wrong?
“Producing at a high scale is necessary in order to be profitable otherwise it is too expensive” Thanaphum Muang-Ieam co-funder of Global Bugs, answers.
Therefore the best practices to remain sustainable are:
Increase your production to get into global markets
Reducing your crickets breeding space
Develop a local farmer learning and support model
Anticipate future sustainable development hurdles
” It is wrong to make huge firms based on a vertical integration process. We need to separate the different supply chain activities to reach a better quality food »Dr. Yupa Hanboonsong said.
« Mass production is never conducive to biodiversity » Isabelle Lacourt added. Indeed, single supplier, concentration & production cost’ permanent reduction work are not sustainable.
Promoting sustainable food is a great opportunity to provide billions of people with high quality food standards. It should not be seen only as a business opportunity. If business is the key point of any sustainable activities, long-term effects of any opportunist approach might lead to a poor food quality.
Discover my three months edible insects’ investigation and best practices here.
“Goods can no be produced and sold without considering customer needs and recognizing the heterogeneity of those needs” Wedel and Kamakura, 2001
Economies of scale in manufacturing and distribution brought down the price of mass-produced goods so much that most consumers were often willing to forgot their individuality and settle for standardized goods. However, with the advent of social media services, such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest have made it easier for people to have a window to show and share moments of life and to brand themselves. In turn consumers started to consider products as another form of expressing their uniqueness.
To fulfil consumers’ needs, companies throughout the world have embraced mass customization to provide unique value in an efficient way.
How we got to Mass Customization
- The concept of mass customization began coming back into view when companies discovered market segmentation in the 50s and niche marketing in the 80s.
- The rise of mass customization in the 1990s gained space with the notion of segments of one: every consumer is his or her own market segment with specific requirements that must be fulfilled. Consumers got more informed and empowered, and businesses had to meet their demands to stay competitive and relevant. Mass marketing become less effective since customers expected personalized, real-time communications so businesses started to employ individualized marketing efforts to remain connected.
- Mass Customization term has become well-known since Joseph Pine published his book “Market of One- Creating Customer Unique Value through Mass Customization” where he defined Mass Customization as “producing, developing, marketing and delivering affordable low cost and high quality of goods and services that give customer nearly what they want.“
Companies that seize the opportunity of profitable mass customization:
- build loyalty
- increase revenue and gain a competitive advantage and engagement vs. competitors
- use their consumer base as an engine of advocacy to potential buyers
Big data for mass customization
As consumers customize products, they are volunteering extensive data about their preferences that brands can use to inform future product development. Data analytics have the ability to track customer episodes, predict certain customer behaviors and perceptions, and prescribe how a company should engage with those behaviors to deliver more value to customers.
It is the process of getting ideas from a crowd of people, usually online. It has emerged as one popular method for mass customization
PepsiCo: FritoLay “Do Us a Flavor” campaign, has been built around seeking consumer input: consumers suggested new product flavors, and the winning flavors were developed and launched.
– DARWIN (Decision Algorithm Rating What Ingredient’s Next)
Graze is an online healthy snack supplier that relies on an artificial-intelligence algorithm called DARWIN to customize snack boxes based on the preferences subscribers enter on the site. “It’s possible to get 4.9 million different combinations of snacks in a Graze box,” says Jones.
– Smart algorithms for dynamic pricing
Some companies are managing on-demand capacity by using smart algorithms and better data-processing capacity to enable dynamic pricing.
Walmart: dynamic pricing is done by monitoring pricing at your competitors, in real-time and it means dynamically changing prices to optimize revenue. Walmart changes its prices roughly 50,000 times a month.
– Recommendation Engines
Recommendation engines it is what advise product choices based on previous selections and it is now moving into the customization space by helping customers configure products.
Chocri: customizes and ships chocolate bars, helping consumers configure their own bars from four base chocolates and 100 different toppings. Recommendations are based on popular choices users of the site have made and are edited by the company.
Innovation technologies for mass customization
3 D Scanning and Modeling
3D scanners let you gather data from real-world objects that can be analyzed and collected and can be used to construct 3-D digital models. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd aims to develop advanced food manufacturing technologies by combining expertise in food, material science and 3D printing technology. Researchers have the long-term vision of developing high-tech vending machines that provide customised purchases.
- Production process organization: it is necessary to avoid early proliferation of consumers orders
- Supply chain structure for mass customization: it is crucial to manage physical and information flows with consumers, customers and suppliers in order to improve not only efficiency but also consumers and customer satisfaction.
Research’s key takeaway
SCM World, in cooperation with the non-profit association MESA international, recently completed a survey of 174 supply chain and operations executives to understand the future of manufacturing . According to the research, manufacturing is now entering a new phase of customization-oriented production that is less concerned with productivity and efficiency and more focused on agility and responsiveness. Fast increasing rates of investment in advanced robotics, additive manufacturing and advanced digital simulation of manufacturing processes all lend themselves to shorter production runs and more unit-level customization.
What is the focus for Brand Development
Mass customization offers the opportunity to perceive and capture latent market niches and subsequently to develop technical capabilities to meet the diverse needs of target customers. For Brand Development it is necessary to:
- Challenge the Mass-Market Mind-Set : in fact for mass producers, the focus of the marketing group is not about spotting differences but it’s about identifying and exploiting needs that are similar.
- Embrace Big Data as a new way of doing business.It is essential to incorporate advanced analytics and insights as key elements of all critical decisions.
According to Andrew Weil, the world-renowned doctor considered as the “father” of integrative medicine, the superfood is a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in components (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health, that pack a higher nutritional punch than regular fruit and vegetables. It can increases energy and vitality, regulates cholesterol and blood pressure. Moreover it may help to prevent or fight cancer and other diseases. In view of this sucess, some companies decided to create their own superfood (energetic bar and yoghurt with protein etc.).
Superfood a real trend product
With the latest research from Mintel finding that between 2011 and 2015 there was a 202% increase in the number of new food and drink products launched globally containing the terms “superfood”, “superfruit” or “supergrain”, it’s clear that consumers around the world have never had so many “super” products to choose from.
Indeed the number of shops specialized in superfood increased in the same period. Moreover, it is also possible to order this kind of sustenance. Adepts can find a large choice of products on http://www.thesuperfoodgrocer.com/ or http://thehealthygrocery.com/ in order to maintain their balanced meal and their LOHAS (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability).
Flagship product in the SIAL 2016
After visiting the SIAL 2016, we have realized a top 3 of our prefered superfood producer.
Their slogan is “Sempre pronta, sempre con te“. It means “always ready, always with you. They offer a large range of prepared dish with Quinoa. Elected as the 3rd best innovation of the SIAL, they propose quirky recipes developped in their Research & Developpement center in Peru.
They propose a range of biological cereals without sugar and added products. Available on Eastern Europe, these products are healthy and give the daily recommended amounts of natural fiber which gives you energy for the whole day! Moreover, we decided to present Milzu because of the great originality of their packaging.
Cultivated in Brazil, the fruit of Açaï is growing and growing. With its antioxidant virtues, its vitamins, omega 6 and 9, today you can find Acai everywhere. For instance in some products like sorbets (Açaï Frooty) and drinks with energy beer (Brasili Dada).
The Future trends
According to this graphic from New Hope study, the superfood is destined for a bright future. Indeed the increase of positive perception of organics foods and beverages is significant this last decade.
Gogi berries, kale, and chia seeds have all been labelled superfoods but nutritionists claim that the next-generation superfoods will eclipse them over the next few years.
The future of superfood is Açaï, Moringa, millet, microalgue and of course insects.
Source: LSA / New Hope / Telegraph
Food technology is taking over our kitchens and changing the way of eating and cooking.
Tech giants like Samsung, Dyson and innovative start-up companies are heavily working and investing on it. The focus area is the user. From smart refrigerator to portable food safety checker, food technology aims both at the simplification and at the improvement of a household life. There are four key pillars where food technology devices focus. These are: smart kitchen, digital dining, safe food and healthy diet.
In this article the most promising food technologies are analysed. Firstly, these aim to enhance the life quality of households. Secondly, they all are examples of what a consumer needs representing for the food industry strong consumer trends to be watched out.
1. IKEA Smart table
IKEA smart table brings the future inside the kitchen. Single food items are recognized when placed on the table, suggesting linked recipes. Single steps are projected on the table in real time. It has the function to warm the surface and cook directly on the table. The table consists of a camera and projector above the table with an induction coils underneath the table surface. Put together they are able to recognise objects movement, projecting images on the table used as a screen.
2. Smart Refrigerator
With a Freshness Tracker, this refrigerator can monitor items in the fridge and suggest recipes to be sent over to the oven. Enables users to track the expiration dates of food items and sets reminders so that foods wastage is minimized. Food items can be input into the food management system by voice recognition or scanning the receipt or product bar code on a smartphone. It also offers Smart shopping, which can be done directly from the refrigerator’s LCD panel or a smartphone.
3. Smart knife
The hi-tech utensil calculates dangerous levels of bacteria in food, analyses sugar content and gauges how much protein or carbohydrate is present in food. The idea is to use the sensors in the knife to assess nutritional value and freshness of fresh food products. Delivering accurate feedback in terms of product freshness, it helps the user checking food labeling and eliminate redundant expiry dates.
4. Global chef holographic projector
It connects people around the world through hologram technology to facilitate a social cooking experience that is not limited by geographic location. With the holographic projection technology, the conceptual device conjures up image projections of friends and family or holographic chefs while they shows how to cook daily recipes.
5. Digital taste simulator
The device works via a simulation-game that offers individuals the opportunity to combine a host of different ingredients to create their own dishes. And the dishes can then be tasted. The taste can be simulated as ‘flavor replication‘ and then ‘samplers’ miniature spoon like utensils that send ‘flavor replication‘ signals to the brain placing it on taste buds present in the tongue.
It is a handheld spectrometer scanner that can analyze materials by measuring properties of light, which can help detect risk and hazard in food. After beaming a low-powered laser at an edible product, and decoding the photons that are emitted back to the device, the scanner can detect the presence of allergens and chemicals, and chart calorific composition.
It analyzes air borne data to check beef, poultry, pork, and fish for freshness. The user gets feedback instantly via the system’s mobile app. It uses four different sensors to determine whether or not food has gone bad. One detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another gauges ammonia levels, another checks temperature, and one measures humidity levels. The device reads and analyzes the data gathered by the sensors before transmitting it via Bluetooth to th euser’s smartphone or tablet where it can be viewed on the PERES app.
8. Thanko sodium meter
It assess the percentage of salt present in warm liquid and semi-liquid foods like soup, pasta or curry, which helps people to control daily salt intakes. There is a sodium sensor inside it, and the results can bedisplayed on an LED scale within a couple of seconds. This technology is thought for households who, for health reasons, need to have low salt intakes.
For more on food technology read Best 3D Food printers.
A selection of the best 3D food printers out in the market
Technology is shaping the way people eat. Households are looking for new ways to save both time and money while at the same time having a high food experience. Food automation is becoming very important, because it enables both time and cost savings. In the recent years many companies have tried to satisfy this need by creating machines able to address this needs. The first best 3d food printers were not able to address this need correctly due to poor quality and unhealthy ingredients. However, as we saw with 3D Meat printer, new machines have been inspired by those and they have potential to become huge successes.
Born by a Kickstarter founding, this a revolutionary machine able to print a high variety of food by using fresh food prepared directly at home. Indeed, all the others comparable machines out in the market prepare foods by using only factory prepared ingredients. Multiple studies and researches have questioned the final food quality and many of those have agreed upon on a poorer quality than packaged food.
Foodini has a strong edge cutting design and it has been defined by many as the future microwave. The founder’s vision behind this invention was to create the first 3D food printer able contribute to a healthy eating lifestyle. Soon commercialised, this is the one of the most waited products in the market by consumers.
2. Choc Edge
This the first 3D food printer already being sold on the market. Choc Edge creates unique shapes by using chocolate. This can both be prepared at home or normally bought in store and then melted before the use. An app will also help the user chasing and preparing his first creation.
Bakers and households can now rely on a high efficient machine to create amazing decorations. This machine can be used to create personalised chocolate bars, customised chocolate art, corporate gifts, cake decorations, desserts, coffee toppers, children’s workshop and as engagement tool.
3. Barilla Pasta Printer
Barilla, the leading Italian pasta maker, has created a own branded printer. By choosing a selected variety of ingredients, users have the possibility to create on demand unique pasta shapes. The prototype presented in 2015 was able to produce fresh pasta in 2 minutes using Durum Wheat Semolina and water.
This technology is able to produce new geometrical shapes not obtainable with the traditional technology used in pasta production. End users will be restaurants and gourmet shops who demand original pasta shapes, tastes and colours. For example original shapes already tested and not present in the market are “Roses”, “Moon” and “Vortipa”.
5 Direct To Consumer Key Players: Selling beyond retail
Nowadays the online world has become a space in which brands can directly engage and sell to consumers eliminating the need for physical stores or online retailers. The shoppers are keen to discover those new options and more brands or software’s that sell directly to consumer are emerging – creating simplicity and efficiency in marketing and supply chain.
Here is a selection of 5 key DTC players that are disruptive in their concepts or service:
1) Amazon Dash
Shoppers purchase a product-specific Amazon Dash Button and use the Amazon app to connect Dash to WiFi and set the product to be reordered with the button. When consumers run out of that product, pressing Amazon Dash automatically purchases and ships the product to their house.
2) Amazon Echo Alexa
Hands-free speaker shoppers can control with their voices. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. In addition, consumers can speak to Alexa to easily order products via Amazon.
It eliminates the need for shoppers to visit app or website, they simply uses voice commands to make purchases. All you have to do is ask.
3) Blue Apron
Shoppers subscribe to the service and receive a box each week with the right amount of ingredients to prepare two-three recipes.
Blue Apron makes it easy for busy consumers to prepare tasty meals at home that fit their dietary needs –no finding recipes, going to the grocery store for ingredients, having leftovers that go to waste.
Shoppers subscribe to a monthly sample box of beauty products for men or women, Helps consumers easily and efficiently try, learn about, and purchase beauty products online. Brands use Birchbox to launch, sample, and test new products.
5) Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be simpler. The shopper has to select the kind of blade he wants for shaving (from 1 to 5 blades) and then pay a monthly subscription to receive the right quantity needed for a proper shaving. Cost are from 1$ to 9$ according to the type of blade chosen and there is no minimum commitment. Their funny commercials are the most viral on DTC market, explaining their outstanding growth.