The food and beverage industry is one that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. And one way as a business to ensure profitability and survival is creating an innovative food business.
As times and trends change, so do the demands and expectations of the consumer. Therefore, it is imperative to evolve and create an innovative food business that meets these changing demands.
You need to establish a clear understanding of the market and the consumer that you are targeting when creating or running your food business so you can stand apart and have a fighting chance of survival in this competitive industry.
In this blog, we will highlight why innovation is important in the food and beverage industry as well as look at some innovative food businesses ideas that are managing to make a mark and stand apart from their competition.
The Importance of Innovation in the Food and Beverage Industry
In order to ensure that you are up and running with the market, you need to change what you offer the market. This innovation makes a great difference to a food or beverage business.
It is a general understanding that a nation’s economic growth is generated by new ideas and innovation and this is no different for the food and beverage industry.
Innovation is a strategic means to help a business get where it wants to go.
We would even go a step further and say embracing change with innovation is arguably the most feasible solution for the rapidly growing challenges in the food and beverage industry, while the growing competition and profit margins are one of the most important growing issues.
It is important for the food and beverage industry to integrate with the latest technologies, trends and digitization with the ever evolving consumer demands.
The change and uniqueness that innovation provides allows businesses to continuously meet consumer needs and thus the business is able to grow.
Types of Food Trends to Base your Innovative Food Business on
When coming up with the idea for an innovative food business you want to consider what is in trend and what consumers are looking for.
Research has shown that there are certain elements or aspects that consumers are focusing on.
Establishing an innovative food business that meets the needs of these trends could give you a successful food business idea.
Here are some popular trends to consider.
1. Sustainable Food Options
There is an increased awareness among consumers about how the food they eat has been obtained. This involves preferring options that offer products and services that are environmentally sustainable.
- 81% of the world’s population is concerned about the sustainability of the products they buy.
- 87% of consumers have expectations from companies to invest in sustainability.
- Approximately 51% of baby boomers, 72% of Generation Z, and 75% of millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable origin products.
2. Locally Sourced Food Options
Another focus for many consumers is whether a restaurant or food establishment is supporting local businesses. Consumers now want brands to promote local products and producers.
- For 53% of Europeans, the most important factor when buying food is where the food comes from.
- 75% of Spanish consumers are more interested in the origins of a product and if it is produced locally rather than it being organic.
3. Food on the go
Nobody has time anymore, with busy schedules and commitments to meet. Food consumption is looked at more as a need than a luxury. Consumers are looking to satisfy this need on the go, at anytime and anywhere. Food innovations that adapt to this flexible and mobile pace of life are thriving.
- According to the European Vending Association, there are approximately 4 million dispensing machines in Europe with around 80% of these being located in workplaces.
- Studies have predicted that the food delivery market will double globally between 2017 and 2022. In Spain alone food delivery has grown by 34%.
4. Technology Forward
Efficient, simple, and accessible solutions are what many individuals seek. People want things to be quick and easy to meet demands fast. This means that food businesses need to be technology-forward including things such as online ordering for ease of access.
- 18% of purchasers worldwide have made online purchases of groceries and food over the last four weeks.
- The global e-commerce market is worth around USD 3trn and is expected to grow by 15-20% annually over the next 10 years.
5. Personalized Diet Options
With health crazes and new diets constantly popping up, consumers are after food that helps them manage a healthy lifestyle and incorporate their diets that can adapt to individual needs.
Personalized diet options is a phrase that has really caught on with most people who are diligent about their dietary habits. Futuristic visions of people consuming a personalized diet option that is tailored to the needs to deliver optimum wellness and health is on the radar of most nutrition conscious individuals.
To date, efforts around personalization have often focused on format adaptions and on delivery. Further work is required before the sector can move to the next level of truly personalized dietary options.
The biggest challenge is the current food system operates. Mass production models deliver food that is safe and cheap at scale.
- The health and wellness industry is valued at around USD769bn, which is approximately 30% of the global packaged food market.
6. Making Food an Experience
While some individuals are after quick solutions to their food demands, others are in search of creating memorable experiences. This includes businesses that provide novelty items, or entertainment.
- 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than purchase material things.
More and more people are becoming conscious of who they give their business to. There is an increase in expectations from consumers for brands to be honest and open about their practices and be transparent about their processes.
- 56% of consumers indicate that the story of a brand influences their purchase decision.
8. Tailor-made Products and Personalization
Consumers also like for the food they buy to be offer tailor-made products and services. They are after their identity as people being translated into their consumption habits.
Innovative Food Business Ideas
The concept or innovation that will propel you to success depends on what you are willing to offer, how unique you can be, as well as the market and customer base you are targeting.
That is why we cannot give you a full-proof guide of what works and what doesn’t.
However, here are some examples of people who have implemented their innovative food business ideas and are doing well and getting noticed as a brand.
By looking at these examples of innovative food businesses you may find that your creativity is sparked and you too have a unique and innovative food business idea that will help establish your brand in the market and set yourself apart from your other competitors.
RePizza is a brand that caters to consumers who are after sustainable options and avoiding food waste.
RePizza combines leftover food to make pizza. They gathered competing restaurants and joined together in an attempt to reduce food waste.
Restaurants that have partnered with RePizza sell their unused ingredients allowing the business to provide customers with over 200 flavors for customers to choose from. Options range per night.
2. Tony’s Chocolonely
For people who are conscious of how food is being produced and collected what better business than one whose slogan reads “crazy about chocolate, serious about people.”
Tony’s Chocolonely not only offers deliciously rich, unforgettable chocolate bars, but they also produce and sell chocolate using fair trade practices.
The company buys cocoa beans straight from farmers through partnerships with trading companies in Ivory Coast and Ghana while taking an active stand against child labor, slavery, and exploitation.
Feedr promotes local business. Feedr is a London-based platform that connects local food vendors with corporate businesses who are looking for catered functions and lunches.
Not only does the business promote local food vendors but it also promotes healthy eating. Due to an increased awareness of the need for good and healthy eating, Feedr allows companies to provide their employees with healthy food that is either wholly or partially subsidized.
The platform can offer healthy catered meals for as little as £5 a day.
Ekim is a French startup that is all about technology.
This company builds 24-hour automated fresh pizza kiosks. How? With pizza preparing robot chefs.
The pizza robot is aptly called PAZZI and takes simply 30 seconds to create a single fresh pizza.
The company is also hoping to be able to serve salads, drinks, and desserts.
The application of Ekim’s business is wide and can provide great service to locations where people need to eat on the go such as transit stations.
EDWINS is a restaurant in Cleveland that sets itself apart by employing formerly incarcerated adults in its kitchen.
This restaurant chain gives back to the community by offering those in need a chance to get back on their feet and be offered a chance to make a career.
EDWINS offers its staff hospitality and culinary training to be able to perform the job and thus serve classic, high-quality French dishes.
If you are like many other consumers and personalization is what you are after then Drinkfinity may be for you.
PepsiCo wanted to offer its consumers flexibility and choice and thus created Drinkfinity.
Drinkfinity is a program that allows customers to create and customize their own drinks. Customers can add and mix different flavored pods to water to create a drink just for themselves.
The pods contain different ingredients both dry and liquid and even offer a range of different benefits such as electrolytes for hydration.
Algama is working to establish ways in which microalgae can be turned into sustainable, yet tasty and protein-rich food sources for daily consumption.
Algama is a Paris-based food technology company.
This company has already released a product called SPRINGWAVE which is a drink that is naturally blue, spirulina-based drink. The drink is loaded with vitamins.
Feed. is a French startup that provides complete meals but in a bottle.
The company targets health-conscious millennials and provides drinks and bars that are lactose-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.
The drinks and bars with their healthy ingredients are meant to be sustaining and are packed with protein, fiber, and fats. Thus, each serving is able to deliver the required nutrients that you would otherwise get in a complete meal.
CERELAB is aiming its food innovation idea towards the elderly.
CERELAB is a research and development center that is doing work with wheat-flour bread and has specialized and developed a brioche bun that is energy and protein-enriched.
Targeting older individuals who may be malnourished the bread has been found the help improve health and is argued to be more effective than the simple and typical supplement and breakfast regime in most nursing homes.
10. Tree by Naked
Tree by Naked is located in Tokyo and is a virtual reality restaurant. If you are looking for your meal to be an experience this is the place you should be.
The premise of the restaurant is to take diners through a meal that illustrates chapters in the journey of life.
Diners are led through the meal and the experience with the help of a narrator, soundtrack, light show, and wind machine.
So far, we have elaborated different food innovation ideas concerning anecdotal achievements of different companies. They’re good for inspiration, but how about sharing food innovation ideas that are unique, or something that you can improvise and build on?
Here’s what you need to know to get started on innovative food ideas of your own.
11. Innovative Food Products for Students
Here are a bunch of creative food innovation ideas for students, regardless of their study level.
The reason for sharing these food innovation ideas is two-fold.
First, students are mostly strapped for cash, so hooking up with unique food product ideas during their formidable years, helps them to save something on the side.
Secondly, the slightest hint of incorporating innovative food ideas at an early age builds up confidence and teaches human interaction skills in the long run.
Create and sell ‘student survival kits’.
These kits could include a variety of healthy innovative food products for students. At the same time, they should be simple and affordable.
Snacks such as nuts, trail mix, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc., are all put together in an easily transportable and reusable container that the students can purchase, making up for innovative food products for students.
This would give customers something convenient that they can take to school with them or even on trips to tide them over when they don’t have access to meal options.
Introduce student-run smoothie stands
As far as unique food product ideas go, the stands are supposed to be placed outside of campus buildings during peak times of the day (e.g. before classes start).
Students who need a smoothie laced with innovative food products for students only can look forward to fresh ingredients like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and other whole food items. The smoothies could also be sold at a discounted rate for those using student discount cards/IDs which could further encourage their usage amongst fellow students.
Idea 3: Hold monthly food product-tasting events
Tasting events go hand in hand with unique food product ideas.
That’s where new or existing products can be introduced to the student body in innovative ways such as interactive demonstrations or workshops led by experts in nutrition or food science.
This event will help promote awareness about healthy eating habits among peers while simultaneously showcasing different products that are available for purchase by the university community.
12. Branded Meal Deliveries
Up next with our innovative food ideas and recommendations, we’ve got meal delivery services.
If you have a properly registered business, you can call it branded meal delivery.
Here’s how you can get started on such innovative unique food products ideas.
Create a meal delivery service that offers pre-cooked healthful meals for busy professionals and families.
While you are at it, don’t forget to incorporate unique food product ideas based on healthy ingredients, such as seasonal produce to create a rotating menu of delicious options.
Similar to what is offered at HelloFresh, consider providing a diverse range of meal choices.
Utilize local resources where possible, such as sourcing from farmers’ markets or partnering with suppliers. Set up an easy ordering system online, then package and deliver meals to customers’ homes or offices.
In summary, having a business that is willing to be innovative and different than what all other companies are offering is essential to make your place in the food and beverage industry.
Whether you use the trends we mentioned above or take inspiration from the businesses we highlighted, we hope this blog helped to conjure up an innovative food business idea that you can get to work on.
No matter what business you create the right marketing and outreach is essential to gain customers and create a loyal customer base.
Blink can help you do this. Blink provides a Software-as-a-Service and provides an online ordering solution for both web interface and mobile applications.
With the Blink platform, you have access to a secure, scalable backend that is connected to a pre-designed but branded template of a mobile application and website. These act as your online store fronts and offer your customers easy online ordering without you having to go through the hassle of creating these platforms.