Discover the top 3 (plus one) food tech trends for this 2017: from the automated supermarkets to 3D food printing, the future of food has never been more tech!

With technology playing an increasing role in food production, 2017 is bound to be a very interesting year for food fanatics. We have identified some of the major trends that are going to make an impact:

#1 Food stores

#2 3D food printing

#3 Edible cannabis

food-tech-2017-top food tech trends

#1 The future of supermarkets

What will the supermarkets of the future look like? If you are imagining robots replacing human staff and no-waste, zero-packaging items, then well, we are pleased to inform you that the future of supermarkets is already here.

With self check-out lines now being the norm in our grocery stores, food businesses worldwide are feeling the need to push tech boundaries a bit further. In Sweden, for example, you can now shop in this fully-automated supermarket, 24/7: customers register for the service via the online app, which gives them access to the store by unlocking the front door and enables them to scan the items they wish to buy. At the end of each month, an invoice is raised and sent to users, who only then get charged for their purchases. A piece of cake.

The “no queue, no bill” principle is the same that has inspired Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos to create his grocery store Amazon Go in Seattle. The idea is simple: shoppers swipe the Amazon Go app to enter the store, then add their items to a virtual cart on the app as they pluck them from the shelves. Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. Receipts are emailed to customers only after they have left the store.

For now, this (artificially) intelligent store is only open to Amazon employees, but plans are being made to let the public in by 2018. Stay tuned!

#2 Food fit for printing

We have already talked about how 3-D food printers are reshaping the world of food in this interview with Natural Machines‘ co-founder and CMO Lynette Kucsma. The incredible 3-D food printer Foodini is one of the best examples of how it is possible to apply environmental efficiency and top tech solutions to the food business, without having to say goodbye to your taste buds.

But this is not the only example of its kind: along with Foodini, an increasing number of tech companies are looking at food printing as a way to reinvigorate sales. Today, 3-D food printers make it up for an increasing share of the food market and they are set to be one of the next big things shaping up the food industry.

foodini 3d food printer heart cracker valentines day
Courtesy Foodini

#3 Cannabis business

Brownies, chocolate bars, milk and oils: these are just some of the products made from edible cannabis you can now enjoy in the US – and all over the world. With the edible cannabis business set to grow to $7.1 billion last year (equal to 26% growth over the previous year), the market’s steady growth is taking over the US food industry.

Among those moving the first steps in this fruitful market, NYC-based underground supper club Sinsemil.la is the “first marijuana experience dedicated to fine dining.” Clandestinely founded only a couple of years ago and with chapters hosted in different locations all across the country, Sinsemil.la prides itself on its locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and its marijuana varietals tested to balance the flavours of each dish. As stated on the club’s  website, “Sinsemil.la isn’t about getting high — it is about haute cuisine.” And it’s good for the environment, too.


sinsemilla edible cannabis restaurant
Cold-smoked Peconic Bay scallop crudo with chorizo, Og Kush oil, fresh coriander and lemon ¦ Courtesy of Sinsemil.la

More food tech trends

Turning peas into proteins: the plant-based revolution

With meat consume getting higher and land animals using up a huge part of our water supply and generating 18% of all greenhouse gases — we can say that, yes, we do have a problem.

In order to tackle the stringent issues affecting the animal farming business, many solutions are currently being implemented, from bioprinting to lab-grown meat. These innovations could enable to feed a growing world population and feed the world with less water, land and energy.

Among those active in the field, there is Ethan Brown, founder of LA-based plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat. Ethan says he can “turn peas and lentils into proteins that taste — and feel – exactly like beef and chicken.” Listen to the full podcast on NPR’s How I Built This to find out how he does it.


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