Futurists Forecast What Consumers Will be Eating in 2050

Leading futurists from the Institute of Food Technologists believe that in the year 2050, the food on consumers' plates will be tailored to meet their specific health needs.

CHICAGO (Newswise) — When consumers sit down to dine in the year 2050, the food on their plate is likely to be more nutritious, tailored to meet their specific health needs, and sustainably grown thanks to evolving technological developments that could reduce waste and decrease the amount of water needed for agriculture.

Those are just a few of the ideas advanced by top futurists in the latest series of interviews from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) FutureFood 2050 publishing initiative, dedicated to showcasing new and innovative solutions for feeding the world’s projected 9 billion-plus people in 2050.

“Seven billion people on the planet today, 9 billion by 2050 … [a] massive increase in consumer base,” says PepsiCo’s executive vice president and chief scientific officer Mehmood Khan, leader of the company’s initiative to innovate the way it approaches research, technology, product development and nutrition to better accommodate the global changes that lie ahead. “The question is, are we going to be smart enough to anticipate what they need, but also anticipate what it’s going to take to deliver that?”

The futurists and visionaries profiled for FutureFood 2050 this month include:
Stewart Brand: president of The Long Now Foundation and publisher of the 1970s counterculture bible the Whole Earth Catalog, who’s betting on biotech to power the next green revolution
Mehmood Khan: PepsiCo’s executive vice president and chief scientific officer, an advocate for innovative global partnerships to accommodate the coming demographic changes 
Ramez Naam: author and futurist at Singularity University who believes the farmers of 2050 will combine both high- and low-tech tools, some of which are already here

In addition, FutureFood 2050 is hosting personal blog entries from other influential visionaries about the evolution of eating by the year 2050:
Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director, Datamonitor Consumer
Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and vice president, NPD Group
Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation, Innova Market Insights
Kara Nielsen, culinary director, Sterling-Rice Group
Darren Tristano, executive vice president, Technomic Inc. 
Marc Halperin, COO and principal, CCD Innovation
Suzy Badaracco, president, Culinary Tides, Inc.
Laurie Demeritt, CEO, Hartman Group

FutureFood 2050 is a multi-year program highlighting the people and stories leading the efforts in finding solutions to a healthier, safer and better nourished planet to feed 9 billion-plus people by 2050. Through 2015, the program will release 75 interviews with the world’s most impactful leaders in food and science. The interviews with futurists are the sixth installment of FutureFood’s interview series, following sustainability, women in food science, food waste, food security and nutrition in Africa, and aquaculture.

Next year, FutureFood 2050 will also debut a documentary film exploring how the science of food will contribute solutions to feeding the world.

For more information, please visit FutureFood2050.com to subscribe to monthly updates, learn more about the project and read the latest news on food science.

About IFT 
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.

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