Disrupting the Food Industry through Technology
The traditional food industry has reached a metaphorical fork in the road. Customers have access to more information than ever, and are using that information to make informed choices on the types of food they’re willing to consume. Consumers are also making tough choices about the brands they choose to purchase from. Agile food startups are stealing traditional brand’s customers. Large food companies are left to re-evaluate their current business practices, and questioning their relevance. So, what will the future of food look like?
The answer is simple: technology-enabled. But, whether you’re an established food company or a startup, how can you ensure your relevance in the future?
1. Listen to what consumers want.
While it may seem obvious that you should listen to consumers, you should look to listen beyond your own consumers. That means learning about the periphery surrounding your core consumer. Trends don’t appear out of nowhere—except to those who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. By listening to what all consumers are looking for, your food company will be able to better plan for future disruption.
2. Experiment with new technology.
Take an entrepreneurial approach to technology—while you may not fully understand how blockchain works, there are tons of resources out there for people who are curious. The first step to integrating new technology into your business is to learn. At KISSPatent, we have a Learning Hub for those interested in learning about artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, and more. Technology changes quickly, so the information you have about blockchain may already be irrelevant.
After learning about the technology, you should be willing to take small risks in integrating new technology. There will be hiccups along the way, but believe us: blockchain and AI aren’t going away anytime soon. Treat new technology like you would treat a new product—you wouldn’t bring a new product fully to market without running some tests first.
3. Consider protecting your ideas with intellectual property.
Businesses that protect their ideas receive higher valuations from venture capitalists. They also signal to investors that the business is serious about scaling. And lastly, intellectual property shows investors that you’re thinking about the future. As a food company, millions of ideas are out there—and so are competitors. In order to stay relevant in the future, the winning food companies will need to make sure they have a strong defense, as the barrier to entry for new food companies becomes lower and lower.
We’re excited to attend the Future Food Tech Summit this March in San Francisco, where we expect to see global innovators in food. If you’re attending and would like to arrange a meeting, please feel free to reach out to us! And if you’re a food innovator, we also want to hear from you! What are you doing to ensure your company’s future viability? Reach out to us and let us know your thoughts!
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