The Israeli “Ha’aretz” website published a report entitled “The world is eager for food technology, and these innovators are changing the way we eat” on January 1st. The author is Amir Arsek, chief strategist of Israel’s Jelling-Rapidot Investment Company and Hadar Winner-Schwarz, director of the company’s economic department. According to the report, technology will play an increasingly important role in food manufacturing, packaging, transportation and subsequent reuse and recycling.
The food technology industry is one of those industries that have begun to change the world and whose global influence is expected to increase unabatedly.
The industry is expected to achieve some developments, such as meatless meat, fishless tuna, laboratory beef patties and chicken breasts, robotic fast food chefs and “good for you” sugar.
No industry enjoys bigger customer base than the global food market with 7.8 billion people. In the United States alone, people spent about US$1.7 trillion in supermarkets and grocery stores in 2019. Approximately 10% of disposable income in the US is spent on food.
The food technology industry used to be mainly involved in online ordering and delivery of meals and the logistics of groceries, but now it has rapidly expanded to many other areas. Some of the most high-profile transactions in the field in the past two years have been the ordering business, including a $1 billion investment in India’s largest online restaurant ordering and delivery platform Svegi, a 600 million US dollars’ investment in Ince Takat Network Company, which provides home delivery services to the United States invested and so on.
Innovative startups are numerous in this industry. They include the “Impossible Food” company in California, whose products include plant-based “Impossible Burgers” and “Impossible Sausages”, natural machine company that uses 3D printing technology to produce food, power machine company that uses robots to prepare and deliver hamburgers, “Don’t Lose Good Things”, whose mobile app of the same name connects customers to shops and restaurants with excess food. The German start-up Savannah Confectionery, which aims to shake up the sugar industry, is developing calorie-free sugar, while Bonumos, a start-up company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, is producing low-calorie sugar, which the company says can “promotes health”. Of the 250 food technology companies operating in Israel, at least 124 are start-ups and have been established for no more than three years. In Israel, investment in this industry increased from US$52 million in 2013 to approximately US$135 million in 2019. Notable deals include Tel Aviv’s Dynamic Production Company, which developed an artificial intelligence-based consumer platform, which McDonald’s acquired for $300 million.
The trend of the stock market is also very clear. In May 2019, California’s “Beyond Meat” company, known for its meatless burgers and sausages, conducted an initial public offering. For manufacturers of plant-based meat substitutes, the company’s trading on the Nasdaq stock market is a watershed moment.