The IFTF Blog
Eating for Change: 2017 Food Futures Lab Research Agenda
Transforming the Next Decade Through Food
Why do we eat what we eat? This has never been a simple question. Myriad factors, such as hunger and satiation, cravings and memories, economic means and social practices, shape our food choices. In recent decades, we’ve seen an expansion in the diversity of demands—beyond price, taste, and convenience—we place on our foods. We’re looking to food to achieve transformation for our bodies, communities, and the planet. We’re eating for change. In the next decade, this desire and practice of using food as a lever for change will intersect with big global forces that will reshape the choices and tradeoffs of future eaters.
We already have new tools that help us eat for change. We have almost limitless information at our fingertips, whether we’re trying to choose a long-term diet to stick with or simply figuring out where to grab lunch. We’re coming to understand the way food impacts health, productivity, and emotional wellness in ways that drive new behaviors in what and how we eat. Concerns about the food system’s impact on people and the planet are creating new standards and demands for sustainability and social responsibility from the local to the global level. But these efforts are just the beginning.
Over the next decade, many of the basic assumptions we make about how, when, and why people consume food will be disrupted by forces reshaping our economy, our relationships to our bodies, and the food system itself. In 2016, the Food Futures Lab mapped the landscape for future food experiences, forecasting disruptive shifts in food, the contexts for food experiences, and the known boundaries of what it means to be human. In 2017, we’ll augment these forecasts with a deep dive into the motivations, aspirations, and strategies of eaters around the world as they adapt and seek food that transforms their bodies, their communities, and the planet.
Join IFTF’s Food Futures Lab as we explore how people are eating for change and navigating food choices and experiences in the next decade.
- What new technologies will support food choices, and what are the implications for trust and loyalty?
- In what ways will eaters’ attitudes and appetites for risk shift?What new approaches for engagement with food, food companies, and food systems will emerge?
- How will eaters make tradeoffs between price, convenience, taste, and need for food system transformation?
- What do today’s leading-edge eaters tell us about tomorrow’s new markets and offerings?
New needs and wants, values and priorities, choices and tradeoffs
Forces within and outside the food system are creating new wants and needs, values and priorities, choices and tradeoffs. Eaters will need more than today’s solutions and strategies from stakeholders in the food system.
In the next decade, the rise of the gig economy will alter the rhythms and schedules of daily life. Wearables and the Internet of things will put computing power, access to information, and media experiences on our bodies and in our environments. Environmental and social justice movements will reshape our understanding of cost and value. Constant digital connection will redefine even the basic roles and rituals of childhood, parenting, and family life. These forces will create entirely new definitions of good food and demand new strategies for finding, consuming, and sharing it.
In 2017, the Food Futures Lab will conduct a deep dive into the motivations, aspirations, and strategies of eaters as they adapt to this emerging world and look to food as a lever for transformation. To gain insight into this future, we will map the strategies that eaters around the world are using to ensure they are eating safe, nutritious, sustainable, and delicious food. We’ll uncover new information authorities—from social media influencers and shopping bots to new tastemakers such as algorithms and chefs—who are shaping food choices and are defining good food experiences for the next decade and beyond. We’ll explore the technologies that matter and how they are adding new layers of information and shaping how eaters seek meaningful and engaging food experiences. And we’ll uncover the leading-edge practices among today’s most innovative eaters to give us a view into new opportunities in the coming decade.
The 2017 research will be your guide to eaters of the future.
- FORECAST MAP of the leading-edge eater strategies of the next decade, with a set of archetypes of future eaters and food choices for work and productivity, health and well- being, taste and novelty, and more. This map will augment the 2016 forecast map and toolkit by giving you a deeper dive into eaters’ aspirations, motivations, and strategies for their food experiences.
- CROSS-INDUSTRY FORESIGHT WORKSHOP at IFTF’s Future Gallery in Palo Alto on November 7-8, 2017, to engage in the forecasts to help you draw insights for your own business strategy. This is an opportunity to engage with IFTF researchers, leading thinkers in industries other than your own, and Bay Area innovators, entrepreneurs, and experts. Together, we’ll draw out insights and identify new opportunities that you can share with your colleagues.
- EXCLUSIVE WEBEX RESEARCH BRIEFING for your organization to help you socialize foresight with your team and engage directly with the Food Futures Lab about our research and how it may impact your unique organization. These sessions may be recorded to share across your organization.
- REGULAR RESEARCH UPDATES and analysis of the latest signals of food futures, a continuous stream of foresight with regular email briefs that will help you connect your daily decisions to the future more effectively.
This year's research will help you to
- Augment traditional market research by mapping emerging practices and behaviors.
- Understand the technologies that matter to eaters as they adapt to global shifts and seek change through food.
- Anticipate future motivations and aspirations of people eating for change, such as improving health and wellness to maximizing productivity, to shape new offerings.
- Identify new strategies for consumer engagement across the supply web.
- Build foresight capabilities by engaging with IFTF researchers and our processes developed over 48 years.
- Expand your network by engaging with global innovators, experts, and industry leaders.
About the Food Futures Lab
IFTF’s Food Futures Lab identifies and catalyzes the world-changing innovations that have the potential to reinvent our global food systems. We use a suite of methodologies to systematically envision future possibilities, and draw insights to drive action today. We align the minds, innovations, and resources shaping the future of food with a long-term perspective. The Food Futures Lab challenges assumptions and reveals new opportunities to make a resilient, equitable, and delicious future of food.
Images: flickr Creative Commons users breadfortheworld, the-buzz-of-a-city, usdagov, zz77