Day One —
June 19 Morning
Welcome Remarks from Rethink Events
Keynote: Future Food and How to Feed the Next Billion
In just 13 years we’ll have another billion people to feed. Rapidly growing urban populations and shrinking availability of agricultural land could leave us struggling to meet demand. As a society and across the whole industry we want to move towards supporting people in better health and nutrition – leveraging technologies to find more sustainable way to produce food.
• Although we face unprecedented challenges, the market presents extraordinary opportunity for positive impact. How is the food-tech sector leveraging these opportunities?
• How can business and investment impact in a greater way?
• Does the current market situation, production capabilities, and government policy support this business potential? Is there a risk of commodifying food-tech like traditional tech?
• How do we marry a vision for a future in which high technology is applied to food, while living in a society increasingly enamoured with natural, minimally processed and locally sourced products?
Distribution: Rethinking the Global Food Supply Chain
• As the rising global population puts increasing demand on quality, safe and sustainably produced food, how is technology enabling us to produce, manufacture and distribute food more efficiently?
• How is the traditional model of food distribution being disrupted and what are the market opportunities? What impact are e-commerce, direct-to-consumer, online delivery and localized food production having on food distribution models?
• How is the evolving role of technology impacting the food delivery space? How are big data, artificial intelligence and analytics being adapted to meet the demands of the future food value chain?
• How can we tackle food distribution in a way that is fair, democratic and sustainable – domestic as well as global? How are emerging solutions supporting the way we address food deserts and practical logistics of supply chains?
Impact Investment: The Role of the Food-Tech VC in Shaping the Future of Food
• In what way have investors transformed the food industry? How has their work been a force for good in the food-tech revolution?
• How do VCs approach impact investments and how does their approach differ from traditional tech investments? What are the key challenges facing a food-tech investment?
• How can you balance the relationship between the entrepreneur, the investor and the demands of capitalism? How can impact better capitalise from collaboration and partnerships? What is the opportunity to tap into the resources of non-profits?
Networking Coffee Break
Smart Food: Connectivity, AI, Robotics and Machine Learning
• How are companies using Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and big data to become more efficient and cost-effective? What potential do these technologies unlock for the optimization of the food value chain?
• How is advanced technology being adapted to meet the demands of future food production? When we think of future food communities, what can we hope to achieve through the use of these technologies?
• How are these technologies being applied to identify inefficiencies and automate processes where appropriate? What improvements are we seeing for freshness, quality and safety in the fresh food supply chain?
Ingredient Innovation: Delivering on the Promise of Clean, Nutritious, Sustainable & Trusted Food
• How is the movement towards clean label products driving ingredient innovation?
• Where are we seeing the greatest success in using ingredient innovation and reformulation to meet the challenges of clean label foods?
• What are the key barriers to achieving clean, better-for-you food? What, exactly, counts as “clean” or “natural”? Do “clean” or “natural” ingredients need to be regulated more closely?
• How can manufacturers educate consumers on the role/origin of certain ingredients in their food? How is label transparency helping to win the trust of consumers? What is the role of technology here?
Eating for Pleasure/Nutrition: Flavour Manipulation and our Relationship with Food
• For decades, the food system has evolved by the pursuit of yield and uniformity – but what if flavour had a seat at the table? What new standard of ingredients would be possible if we selected for taste and nutrition from the beginning?
• When it comes to saliva and sensory perception, how is the personalized perception or experience of food impacting R&D and formulation? How can we measure the different ways in which individuals experience taste sweeteners or textures? What is the potential of DNA fingerprinting and overlaying that with the individual experience?
• Ultra-processed foods are designed to make us want more. What effect is that having on addiction behaviours and how great is the link between flavour manipulation with obesity and poor health? How is regulation addressing this area? Can “real food” ingredients hope to achieve the same level of sensory satisfaction for consumers?
Day One —
June 19 Afternoon
Networking Lunch Break
Creating a Global Movement: Championing a Plant-Based Diet for Better Health
• What are the growth opportunities of aligning plant-based alternatives with the exploding healthy eating sector? How can a plant-based diet address nutritional deficiencies?
• When comparing a plant-based diet with a high-meat diet what are the nutritional gaps? What key health benefits come to the fore? Do these benefits link to maintaining a healthy gut/balanced microbiome?
• How are initiatives such as Meatless Monday driving demand for plant-based protein products in the US?
• Globally, we are seeing increased government support for the plant-based movement, such as the Chinese government announcing a goal to reduce domestic meat consumption by 50% by 2030. How can the plant-based protein industry respond to this growing demand? What kinds of new products are coming to market to meet demand in different regions of the world?
• Will the supply chain be able to meet the growth in market demand over the next 10 years?
• What do the latest innovations in plant-based protein look like? What’s coming next?
Genetically Engineered: Addressing the Challenges Facing our Future Food System
• As we look to feed the growing population in a more sustainable way, how are gene-editing tools helping to address this challenge? How can the food sector connect this technology with consumer demand for natural food products?
• How are emerging gene-editing tools such as CRISPR or TALEN impacting the food system currently? How is the technology advancing? What are the opportunities?
• How can brands position their use of gene-editing tools? Where are the loopholes in terms of labelling and how transparent should brands be in using this technology?
• How should the industry approach food safety and quality testing in the case of gene-edited food? What are the regulatory implications?
Networking Coffee Break
Technology Showcase: Early-Mid Stage Technology Companies Present 7 Minute Snapshots of their Solutions
Transparency & Traceability: Restoring Trust in the Food System
• How will a commitment to transparency help the food industry rebuild trust with consumers? What is the market opportunity here?
• How can we achieve a more integrated supply chain? How are advances in technology such as sensors and data analytics addressing transparency and food safety across the supply chain? What factors pose the biggest threat to the success of these technologies?
• If the success of transparency relies on honest participation, how can we transform a fragmented food system into a harmonised system? What will drive accountability?
• How is technology supporting the consumer’s right to choice? How much information can be shared with consumers at the point of purchase?
• How are tools such as SmartLabel, shelf edge labelling and smartphone technology offering greater visibility into the supply chain?
A Collaborative and Transformative Approach to Food Safety
• What are the key challenges to achieving a more collaborative and transformative approaching to food safety? What is the Achilles heel in existing food safety management?
• How can we better learn from food safety incidents and failures around the world to create a more robust system for the future?
• How are emerging technologies driving progress in food safety management? What role will data play? How can we better optimise and interrogate data to achieve a more predictive approach?
Networking Drinks Reception
Day Two —
June 20 Morning
Welcome Remarks from Rethink Events
Industry Insights: Interjecting Entrepreneurial Thinking into Big Food
Not every great idea is ready to be launched at scale. When you believe in an idea, but it doesn’t quite fit within your company model, how can a new approach eliminate risk?
• How can we encourage in-house teams to take risks on truly innovative solutions?
• How could injecting some entrepreneurial thinking nurture innovation within your business?
• What are the lessons that can be learnt from an entrepreneurial approach? What does success look like?
Personalization: Big Questions Concerning the Holy Grail of Optimal Nutrition
• As consumers are increasingly expecting a more sophisticated approach to personalization in food, how well developed is the integration and interpretation process of personalized nutrition?
• Where products are optimized for specific health benefits or nutritional requirements, how can food manufacturers deliver personalization to the masses?
• Does the average consumer see sufficient value in personalised nutrition in its current state? What technical and implementation challenges still exist? Who can provide trusted and actionable solutions? Can data help change behaviour? How can consumers interpret and better understand the science?
• What are the principle drivers behind consumer adoption? What is the role of digitisation and home tech? How are consumers using technology to drive health-related dietary decisions?
• How are tailored meal kits being used to deliver personalized nutrition solutions to consumers, and could this be the business model by which meal kit companies differentiate themselves to succeed?
Technology Showcase: Early-Mid Stage Technology Entrepreneurs Present 7 Minute Snapshots of their Solutions
A Deep Dive into Collaborative Innovation Models Accelerating Future Food
Over the past decade we have seen a frenzy of major food brands starting their own innovation groups, accelerators and venture arms.
• How do these different collaborative relationships work?
• What are the pros and cons?
• Why might a company choose a specific model over another?
• How as an industry can we better drive innovation in the food ecosystem? How do we build a food industry that takes advantage of creativity and innovation? How can we mobilise investment in the areas that need it most?
Day Two —
June 20 Afternoon
The Role of Technology in Reducing Food Loss and Food Waste during Production and Distribution
With population growth in mind, it has been recommended that we double food production by 2050. However, the FAO report that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year.
• How is technology addressing food loss and food waste across the food supply chain?
• How great is the opportunity for manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and grocery retailers to prevent food loss, or convert waste into a value-added product or service?
• How can IoT and data analytics tackle the elements contributing to food loss? How can companies improve profit margins while reducing spoilage? Is there a competitive advantage?
Alternative Proteins: Is the Hype Making an Impact?
According to the USDA’s per-capita measure – Americans are set to eat more red meat and poultry in 2018 than ever before, despite the buzz around plant-based and lab-grown alternatives.
• What is the market trend really showing us regarding consumer adoption? While we’re seeing a projected rise in meat consumption, what results are we seeing from alternative protein products? What’s happening globally?
• What is the potential for lab-grown alternatives to meet this demand for meat products? What are the latest technology breakthroughs in this space? How is research and development addressing the scale up of production?
• What’s the greatest barrier facing the commercialisation of alternative protein products? In what way is consumer adoption being addressed?
Close of Summit