Growing up in Detroit, I went to a lot of auto shows. My favorite part of the show wasn’t the everyday production cars, but the concept cars. These were artifacts that showed a world that was better than the world we currently lived in. They were sexy as hell and got my imagination flowing about how we might be living in the next 5–10 years.
Fast forward many years later to when I started working in the food industry. I remember some of my first visits to big food industry events where I expected to see tangible visions of the future of food, but was disappointed when I didn’t see anything like that. Where were the visions of how the food system should look? Who was pushing the limits of what our food system could do, beyond putting foods in more portable packages or launching a new flavor? Who was aggressively exploring how food would impact our health and planet in the deep future?
I started The Future Market as a response to not seeing those visions of the future out there in the industry. The concept car memo didn’t make it to the food industry, so we decided to create a place where ambitious concepts could live. The Future Market is a futurist food lab, and it explores how we will produce and shop for the food over the next 25 years. Our goal is to use our concepts and experiences to inspire food companies to innovate more ambitiously today.
Today, it’s my pleasure to announce the launch of The Future Market pop-up concept grocery store at the Summer Fancy Food show in NYC, June 25–27, 2017.
We started this project to spark imagination among the people and organizations that make the world’s food. Since then, we’ve done a lot of things to bring the future of food to life, namely:
All of these activities have been valuable in assembling insights and refining our point of view on what the Future of Food might look like. But they’ve all been leading up to the pop-up grocery store exhibit, which launches in just a few short weeks. We’ve partnered with the Fancy Food Show to build a food market of the future within their new LevelUp exhibit, a special exhibit that occupies the better part of 40,000 square feet at the Javits Center in NYC.
In the Future Market, you’ll find over twenty new concept food products built into a digital shopping system that blends the physical and digital worlds. Concept products like Custom Culture, a line of synthesized all-natural yogurts, tailor hand-made to work with your unique microbiome to provide a wide spectrum of health benefits. Or Heritage Culture, a product that anticipates steep advancements in cellular agriculture, in order to to cultivate the best tasting, most premium proteins like Kobe Beef or Mangalitsa Pork.
The digital shopping experience simulates what it would be like to have FoodID, a conceptual system that records and analyzes food preferences with user inputs and real-time biometrics. With FoodID, the inventory in the market is customized to you and your food values — it’s the end of one size fits all food. You’ll be matched with products that fit your specific blend of health, price, sustainability and flavor values. Finally, you’ll also see a multitude of vignettes that illustrate what the future of retail and foodservice might look like in the year 2042.
All of this is meant to create the same inspirational beacon in the food industry as concept cars did for the auto industry. You may love what you see or you may vehemently disagree. Either way, we’re delighted to start a dialogue with you. Our biggest hope is that The Future Market shakes you out of simply thinking about what already exists in food, and gets you to start thinking about what could or should exist. If we can inspire the people who make our food today to think differently and more ambitiously about how they feed the world, then we’ve reached our goal.
We hope you’ll join us to explore and discover what our food system could be.
To learn more about the Future Market, visit http://thefuturemarket.com/experience
To visit the Future Market Pop Up at the Fancy Food Show’s LevelUp experience, visit http://bit.ly/2rQ6p32
If you can’t make it to the show, join our newsletter to get notified when all of our concept products are posted on our website.