English, Zukunft

Four Food-Tech Trends of 2024

von Nina Mohimi

Nutriceuticals, Food Coaching, Protein & Future Crops

Foto: Pexels.com/Nataliya Vaitkevich

Food tech trends focus on key areas of food technology. In 2022, 5.9 billion euros were invested in European food tech start-ups, almost twice as much as in previous years. New opportunities are emerging, which may shape the future of the food and beverage industry. This particularly concerns investments in sustainable practices and the development of products that are geared towards changing consumer needs.


The integration of nutrition into the medical context, especially through individual personalization, aims to significantly improve the health of consumers. This is done by providing easy-to-use, customized foods and nutritional supplements.
At a time when there is a growing awareness of healthy eating, nutriceuticals – a term made up of the words „nutrition“ and „pharmaceuticals“ – have established themselves as one of the leading trends in the food industry.
Nutriceuticals encompass a variety of products, including dietary supplements, functional foods, medical foods and those aimed at improving the gut microbiome. These products are at the interface between food and medicine and are designed to provide health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition.
An innovative approach in this area is the development of new ingredients, such as genetically modified products based on breast milk. This type of innovation aims to make the nutritional benefits of breast milk available to a wider audience by integrating them into different food forms.
Overall, this trend reflects the growing interest in a diet that not only satisfies, but also addresses specific health needs. By combining scientific knowledge and technological innovation, nutrition is increasingly becoming an integral part of personal health care and optimization.

Food coaching

Driven by similar motivations as personalized nutrition, the field of food coaching is experiencing rapid development in the food tech industry. The aim of this approach is to support consumers in managing their diet and implementing individual nutrition plans.
In this context, many companies are turning to innovative technologies such as breath analysis devices, microbiome tests and even genetic analysis to create personalized nutritional recommendations. These tools make it possible to identify individual health and nutritional needs more precisely and develop customized nutrition plans based on them.
In addition, personalized nutrition solutions take into account individual preferences and needs, such as sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan diet options. This individualization meets the growing awareness of health, well-being and dietary restrictions.
Technological advances play a crucial role in scaling personalized nutritional offerings. For example, 3D printing of food and the integration of robotics into production lines enable the highly individualized and efficient production of food.
Overall, developments in food coaching and personalized nutrition show how technology and innovation are responding to the individual needs and preferences of consumers and helping to promote a healthier and more conscious lifestyle. As these technologies continue to evolve, this sector is expected to remain a key trend in the food tech industry.

Protein-rich foods

The trend towards protein-rich foods, which originated in sports nutrition, has expanded. Consumers are increasingly turning to alternative protein sources for health and environmental reasons. This makes them an important trend in food technology. These alternatives include cultured meat and laboratory-grown foods, for example. Cultured proteins are currently exciting for investors – although they are still a few years away from being ready for the market (apart from the limited availability of cell-cultured meat). The main challenges (apart from regulatory approvals) are lower costs, stable cell lines, better taste and texture and scaling up production.
In the field of precision fermentation, companies are focusing on replicating, for example, milk proteins by inserting the genetic code of the desired protein into a microorganism prior to fermentation. Regulatory and scaling barriers (especially for casein) are crucial here, as is price parity.
In biomass fermentation, companies use microbes that can produce proteins in an uncontrolled environment to create protein products. This approach faces challenges, particularly regulatory approval.
Molecular farming – which involves genetically modified plants that produce proteins – is very promising and more scalable than precision fermentation or cell cultivation, but is still at an experimental stage.

Genetic engineering for future crops

The use of genetic engineering in agriculture is a particularly complex and emotive issue in Europe, raising a wide range of scientific, ethical, environmental and social questions. On the one hand, there is the scientific potential of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which holds the promise of higher yields, disease resistance and improved nutritional values. These developments could make a significant contribution to solving challenges such as food safety and the reduction of environmental pollution.
On the other hand, there are concerns about the long-term effects of GMOs on health and the environment. Many people in Europe are skeptical about the safety and naturalness of GMO foods. This doubt is partly rooted in the strong tradition and appreciation of natural farming and traditional foods. There is also concern about the increasing concentration of power in the agricultural industry and growing dependence on large agrochemical companies.
Despite these concerns, food tech start-ups around the world are continuing their work on improving seed quality with the aim of making plants more resistant to disease, increasing yields, controlling flowering time, improving nutritional quality and extending post-harvest shelf life. Commonly used technologies include genetic hybridization, i.e. the crossing of different genotypes, and gene editing, particularly with techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9.
The topic is attracting great interest from investors and will remain an important field in the food tech industry in 2024. In Europe, however, the debate will continue to be strongly influenced by the legal framework, which will either enable or prevent the approval of GMO products.
What we will see in 2024 and beyond is a food industry that is increasingly driven by ethical, health and technological considerations. These developments offer exciting prospects not only for companies and investors, but also for us as consumers.