Marius Robles, CEO of Reimagine Food praises technological innovation as a source of transparency and highlights nutrigenetics as a trend that will mark the future of food
He was born to be the Silicon Valley of the food sector. A global observatory that operates from the “cosmopolitan, creative and entrepreneurial Barcelona”. A dynamic organization with DNA technology and breakaway ideals squints at present to anticipate the future. So Reimagine Foods, the first innovation center on the power of the future and accelerator food-tech startups.
The latest edition of Food served shuttle to the company that aims to “bring together in one system restless industry organizations to be connected with the future of food”. He explains its CEO, Marius Robles, who boasts the milestones achieved by Reimagine Food in its two years of existence: detecting 5,000 startups around the world, accelerating the first twenty entrepreneurial projects and coinnovar with 25 large companies in the industry to understand the horizon of food.
“The future of food is not just about creating new products, but interpreted as the consumer acts during the shopping experience, for instance.”
First things first. A new product?
Whoever imitates the taste of the meat. There is currently an excessive demand for this product [since 1970 has doubled the average consumption per person] that with population growth on the horizon will require increased agricultural production. The same applies to the egg. Big brands, but most restless startups and dedicated efforts to develop foods that mimic the taste of others.
In Silicon Valley it has curdled a new food called Soylent, which is the antithesis of “eat to enjoy.” Why?
Soylent is a meal replacement product, the smoothie fast and economical fashion designed by the American engineer Rob Rhinehart that provides all the nutrients needed by the body. It is aimed at a target audience a concept very different from the Mediterranean diet. Of course, many eat a sandwich when we do not have time, but do we know its origin and all its ingredients? I do not see farfetched that we end up consuming in Spain such as cool products.
Tell us another trend that will be imposed in the future.
Nutrigenetics. Getting better know our genetic map, hence we begin to feed ourselves based on our DNA. In the future, when we go to a supermarket we can detect those products allied with our DNA through a device incorporated into our body.
And in the restoration?
We are visual consumers. 29% of the population shares by images everything you eat. Well, imagine a restaurant, always with prior consent, identify consumer tastes, how many calories you eat or spend that day, intolerances … to share that information. The establishment will be able to offer a completely personalized menu automatically. To give an example: the multinational IBM has invented Chef Watson, a web application that includes 30,000 combinations of ingredients and other thousands of components to produce about 10,000 recipes that never before had prepared.
The rise of technology in the industry seems unstoppable.
We will ensure transparency. He is currently serving distraction, entertainment, but end up on the plate. In the coming years we will of apps designed to place an order or designed to reserve a table at a restaurant applications that detect the calories of a dish.
The less intimidating feel constantly observed and analyzed …
We are in a very conservative field, of which less innovates. No doubt some tendencies can lead us to feel that fear food because we will be able to go fully addressed. The technology will also be an ally to see how a real-time feed and their role in disease prevention behaves. The technology will provide tranquility and security. Another key concept personalization.
You say that the food industry can benefit from the emergence of robots. Are we facing a future passive consumer?
For robots I feel a special weakness. They end up replacing a number of jobs that offer no value, so that the whole human force will focus on adding value in areas we have not yet raised. There are still about 25 years for the field of consciousness of the robots work. And then we’ll see. Five years from now conceive robots in the food industry and gastronomy, not only serving tables.
It is also surprising that the spectrometer can be imposed consumers.
This gadget the size of a pen and a cost of 300 euros gives great power to the people. You can measure the quality of a food and its conservation status, identify the nutritional information, detecting the level of pesticides … This is a case of the use of technology towards maximum transparency.
With a 3D printer at home we can produce our own food?
On one occasion I was asked if in the future there would be a printer capable of printing a turbot. The answer was no. The technology has no value but provides a stimulus, something unique and different. But if we can play with our food. With seven or eight rounds, each with a different ingredient, experiment with shapes and colors and, why not, we can achieve a unique food with all necessary nutrients.
His Prometheus platform helps drive technology startups. Cite some who are in the throes of cooking.
Memora is an American startup that is working on a micro accompanied a software that can detect all day interactions with food a consumer to establish, at the end of each day, a pattern of behavior. Nu4Format, dedicated to the interaction between brands and consumers in developing solutions augmented reality and holograms also highlighted. And DigiFood, a French startup with the answer to a question that every weekend is repeated: order food from the chair of a football field without having to make an endless queue.
¿Barcelona is poised to become the global epicenter of food disruption?
We need to believe more in ourselves. Barcelona is the fifth most creative city in the world and the eighth cradle of entrepreneurship. The first objective of Reimagine Food was to show that we could capture international talent for him to stay here. And the twenty startups accelerated so far, most are foreign. We need to follow the steps needed to advance. Clearly there is a spirit of complaint with the public administration about financial aid, but we can not complain constantly. Today there are enough private money circulating as to pull interesting projects.
Is e-commerce has already ceased to be a trend or yet to explode?
Electronic commerce is in a very mature situation in Spain. The big players in the distribution are making big bets for immediate delivery. One of the points of improvement lies in sending fresh produce. It is interesting a project under development which will see the fish that we consume at the time being captured from the shipping company. Now that will reach the market with all fish sold, besides being a paradigm different shopping experience and maximum transparency.
We asked for innovations that arise. But what will disappear in the coming years?
Many intermediaries unable to add value and those archaic processes that are not renewed. This will occur in parallel to the rise of the direct relationship between the local producer and the final consumer.
2050: how will we eat?
I hope surrounded by family and friends, regardless of what’s on the plate. Maybe we eat levitating, but sure we will in a 100% aligned with the DNA and the amount of calories you want to take that day. And something very important. The technology will allow us to know how a food affects our body in the next twenty years. That is a real breakthrough of medical supplies.