The report finds that Switzerland is at the forefront of many emerging trends within the food & nutrition sector, and that the use of Big Data and blockchain technology in farming constitutes a growing focus area for many Swiss FoodTech startups. In AgTech, fresh trends include the adoption of precision agriculture to minimize resource consumption, the deployment of blockchains to strengthen the traceability of food ingredients, and the trialing of cell-based proteins whereby meat can be grown in a lab in a sustainable and ethical manner.
In food retail, there is a clear move towards zero waste, with shops offering bulk unpackaged wholefoods and the normalization of wonky produce. Moreover, as ever more consumers demand transparency of ingredients and insight into the ethicality of food sourcing, technological enhancements to supply chain management are becoming increasingly sought after.
Swiss actors, for their part, have been especially active. In recent months, two big-brand Swiss corporates collaborated to launch the first Plant-Based Protein Innovation Center in Singapore, while a dizzying array of startups – Essento, Planted Foods and xFarm, to name just a few – have achieved global acclaim for their contributions to pushing the boundaries in areas such as agricultural biotech, alternative protein, ingredient traceability, food upcycling, and sustainable packaging.