What is DigitalFoodLab’s mission?
A specialist in FoodTech, DigitalFoodLab develops the French ecosystem and brings together industrial key accounts, distributors, agencies, investors and start-ups, namely at DigitalFoodClub networking events.
What are your goals for the future?
DigitalFoodLab aims to help France catch up in the FoodTech sphere (it accounts for 8% of worldwide food industry GDP compared to only 0.45% of FoodTech investments) and then become the leader in this ecosystem. This involves creating tools and events to bring together key accounts and investors to highlight France’s assets in the FoodTech field.
What exactly is FoodTech?
A project that involves food (restaurants, distribution, farming, transformation of the food industry, culinary content & nutrition) and that uses new technology in its production, its distribution or its business model.
Concretely, this can range from online sales of fine grocery products or cold-pressed juices to advanced research on animal proteins or the creation of meal replacements. Based on several hundred discussions with entrepreneurs and thousands of projects assessed, DigitalFoodLab classifies FoodTech projects in 6 different categories: FoodService, BigData & Coaching, FoodScience, Retail & Delivery, Media and AgTech.
What is your motto at work?
The best way to predict the future is to create it!
A cause you care deeply about?
Making Paris a leading city and France a leading country in its ecosystem.
What country is the leader in FoodTech?
The United States is quite far ahead of the pack, in terms of variety of products, the amount of money invested in R&D and adoption by consumers.
What food-sector innovation has made the biggest impression on you?
All of the food-sector R&D carried out by start-ups to develop new plant proteins that can be used to make replacement products for meat, mayonnaise, etc. It is very similar to what we are seeing in the pharmaceutical industry, with a lot of investment and patents.
How do you predict what we will be eating in the future?
That’s the beauty of this abundant ecosystem. It promises the end of the single food model. Everyone is developing their own unique way of eating. For the time being, there is a lot of trial and error, but there has also been a lot of research on how to customise our diet, whether it comes from science – in other words the search for the best food to suit our genome (nutrigenomics) – or from beliefs, like the Paleo diet.
What start-ups should we keep an eye on?
We are paying close attention to the development of meal replacement drinks, Feed in particular, as well as to new home delivery services, such as Shar’eat, that offer to deliver meals not from a restaurant, but rather from an amateur chef cooking at home.
When is the next DigitalFoodClub event?
On 19 January at 7:30 pm, at Université Paris Dauphine, the 16th edition of DigitalFoodClub will present 4 FoodTech start-ups, and will unveil a few key trends to keep an eye on in 2017.
All start-ups can apply to pitch their project to investors, entrepreneurs and industrial firms.