Envisioning the future in the Great Food Discussion

What will we be eating in the future and what kind of food innovations will we be seeing? S Group's Great Food Discussion gathered together nearly 300 food sector professionals to exchange ideas and envision the future of the food supply chain at the Finlandia Hall in May 2016.

The keynote speaker at the event was British futurist James Wallman, who emphasised the importance of being proactive to the food sector professionals.

"Companies must follow innovators and people who adopt trends as soon as they emerge. It is dangerous to succumb to the status quo and think that it is natural for our business to be slow, if you want to be a serious player in the future.

What will the food trends of the future be like then? According to James Wallman, vegetables and healthy eating will be highlighted in our choices. Smart technology will also increasingly guide the choices we make.

"Even today, we are able to use smart devices to scan food for nutritional information. In the future, we will be better able to choose food that is good for us personally," he says.

To balance the use of technology, people need to be able to do something with their hands. The popularity of cooking will increase, but it will be spiced up with experiences. Flavours from the new world will be served by pop-up restaurants, in particular.

Wallman also predicts that environmental consciousness will increase.

"Thus, reducing waste will be among the powerful food trends of the future."

Wallman's predictions are already realised in the Finnish culinary innovation of ‘pulled oats' – a healthful, ecological vegetarian food. Other similar products can be expected to enter the market as well.

The Great Food Discussion was organised again in spring 2017 with the theme ‘Maailman kekseliäin ruokamaa' (‘The Most Innovative Culinary Country in the World'). S Group will continue to initiate food discussions in the future as well.

Photo: Anssi Vuohelainen