Food, ocean and agtech venture fund S2G Ventures released a report citing ten catalysts that will shape intersecting industries including agriculture, food manufacturing, nutrition and food retail in 2022. The report examines the trends that are driving the transition to a climate-smart, healthy food system.
S2G — investor in several food and agtech startups — looks at technology disruption in three major categories including agricultural innovation, supply chain disruption and personalized food and nutrition.
“The food transition is still in its infancy but is being propelled by seismic tailwinds: massive demographic change spurring new consumer demand, significant advancements in the biology, chemistry and physics of food production to create new choices and now capital markets anchored by ESG that want to fund high growth, disruptive companies,” commented Sanjeev Krishnan, S2G Ventures Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer.
Farmers in the US are facing new challenges every day from nutrient-challenged soil to lack of access to capital. The S2G report describes the ways that innovation in fintech, robotics and biotech along with an increase in socially and environmentally conscious investing (ESG) will lead to the “fourth industrial revolution” in farms across the country.
The drivers of innovation in farming include:
- Robots will increase efficiency while reducing labor needs across the food system.
- The rise of ESG will help to digitize the farm.
- Fintech will transform opportunities in agriculture, just as it did for the student loan and mortgage markets.
- RNA technology that saved lives during Covid-19 will be applied to farms to save soils.
Supply chain disruptions experienced over the past two years have catalyzed both governmental institutions NGOs and the private sectors to fund and drive innovation in biotech, cellular agriculture and food waste solutions. The result according to S2G Ventures will be supply chains that are more nimble, sustainable, localized and less wasteful.
Innovations that will revolutionize supply chains include:
- Fermentation will power the next generation of alternative protein products.
- Cellular protein will provide consumers around the world with safe, sustainable food.
- Adoption of food waste solutions will be recognized as both a good business practice and an essential tool for feeding the world.
Even prior to the pandemic, consumers were demonstrating a desire for better food choices and a renewed focus on ways to personalize their nutrition and healthcare. To answer this demand, food and nutrition startups are using cutting-edge bio and food science as well as AI and machine learning to develop nutrient-dense, functional and personalized food products.
Personalized food & nutrition catalysts include:
- AI and machine learning platforms will unlock greater understanding of and use cases for plants and fungi.
- Food will become central to the effort to prevent chronic disease and improve health outcomes.
- Food brands and grocers will have to “personalize or perish.”
To dig into more details on areas to watch in food and agtech this year, download the full report from S2G Ventures.