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Bringing together more than 700 senior executives and stakeholders across the food industry, the upcoming Future Food-Tech Summit is set to showcase the latest in sustainable nutrition. Taking place between September 30 to October 1, conference producer Oliver Katz says the summit will hone in on the biggest innovation trends, from “food as medicine” to personalised nutrition, through a range of panel discussions, fireside chats, networking workshops and more.
Future Food-Tech is set to take place this month, bringing together more than 700 industry experts, from investors to C-suite executives from food giants and startups alike. The interactive virtual conference, organised by Rethink Events, will be centred on Scaling Solutions in Personal Health and Nutrition Security, and will also feature in-person live sessions in London.
Big trends: sustainability, food as medicine, personal nutrition
Speaking to Green Queen Media about the upcoming two-day event, conference producer Oliver Katz says that the senior delegation in attendance will be leading thought-provoking conversations and sharing insights on some of the biggest trends in Personal Health and Nutrition Security.
“Sustainable nutrition is probably the biggest trend right now,” Katz shares. “Foods that not only deliver health benefits, but also positive—or shall we say, not negative—environmental effects.”
Another “massive” theme that Katz expects delegates to dive into includes food as medicine. “It’s commanding the attention of the industry—the idea of using food as a way to prevent, or even reverse disease. Our understanding of inflammation, obesity, and the human microbiome is allowing us to create solutions unheard of a decade ago.”
And while personalised nutrition has been steadily rising in the ranks across multiple industries, affecting everything from sleep tech to exercise, Katz says that it’s also going to continue penetrating the food world too, in new tech-driven ways. “As technology both monitoring key biomarkers and processing vast amounts of data has improved through the years, the discussion has moved from development to delivery,” he explains.
“It’s about how we can scale this solution to the masses and what key partnerships will be integral for companies to take their products mainstream.”
Just like previous Future Food-Tech conferences hosted by Rethink Events, the upcoming Scaling Solutions in Personal Health and Nutrition Security summit will feature an impressive list of speakers, including top executives at large food corporations and CEOs and founders from leading startups within the alt-protein space.
Some of these names include Marc Coloma, the co-founder and CEO of Europe’s fastest-growing plant-based meat brand Heura, and Sofia Elizondo, co-founder and COO at Brightseed, the Californian biotech behind an AI system that predicts the health of plant-based compounds, which Danone is now leveraging.
For Katz, one of the many speakers he is looking forward to learning from is Lloyd Mann, the global executive chef at catering giant Sodexo, who is set to share more about the firm’s push to incorporate more nutritious ingredients. “It’s always a breath of fresh air to hear from a chef, they have so much passion and practical advice when it comes to food, all of which really shines through when they speak.”
In terms of panels, Katz revealed that the opening session will feature a number of “industry heavyweights from across the value chain,” including Danone’s chief growth officer Nigyar Makhmudova, ADM’s EMEA president Ismael Roig, and nutritional products EVP at Abbott, Daniel Salvadori. They will be joined by what Katz described as a “true disruptor in the space of sustainable nutrition,” James Collier, the man behind the viral vegan protein and meal replacement brand Huel.
It wasn’t an easy task to bring all these heavyweights to table, the producer shared, crediting the whole Rethink team who spent a “huge amount of our time researching” and “identifying the right topics and speakers to build a compelling story that these A-listers absolutely want to be part of”.
In-person studio sessions in London
What’s going to make the Future Food-Summit particularly special is the hosting of live in-person sessions on the first day of the conference in London. One of them is a workshop on Personalised Nutrition and Human Performance, which Katz described as a “scorcher”.
“Brilliant speakers on stage from leading brands being interviewed by Mike Collier, Director Human Performance at McLaren will make for a fantastic return to physical conversations, particularly with our live studio audience,” he shares with Green Queen Media.
“It will be one of the first, if not the first opportunity to meet face to face in two years,” Katz continued. “We’re looking forward to the dynamics of an in-person panel discussion, a unique energy which we’ll share with a global audience joining via the livestream.”
The in-person events follows Future Food-Tech’s other conferences around the world, including the Middle East Agri-Food Briefing, coming on the heels of Eat Just’s plan to build the MENA region’s first-ever cultured meat factory in Qatar. The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit will be taking place in the same week as the London event, focusing on low carbon food solutions.
Startup showcase gets a revamp
Dishing out further details with us, Katz says that Scaling Solutions in Personal Health and Nutrition Security will feature a brand new format for its flagship startup pitch competition. This year, Future Food-Tech is working with food giant Kraft Heinz for its innovation challenge focused on the “Power of Beanz”.
“We’re hosting a refreshed format for our start-up showcase; Gone in 60 Seconds,” Katz tells Green Queen. “On day two, the audience will be able to vote through four start-ups to take part in a pitching session with our dragons.”
With the lineup of challenge finalists set to be announced “very shortly,” Katz added that delegates should “watch out” for the three companies chosen for their unique ways of using beans to create novel, healthy and affordable convenient foods.
Lead image courtesy of Fry Family Food Co.