It is no big secret that Asians absolutely adore food. Therefore, it is not a big surprise either that most entrepreneurial Asians who wish to start their first business often gravitate towards the food industry. In all fairness, it might be quite accurate to say that every single person in the world has dreamt at some point of opening their own restaurant, eatery, or cafeteria. However, there is so much more to food than just cooking and serving meals.
Foodtech has been gaining traction over the past decade. With its emergence came familiar brand names today; such as GrabFood, FoodPanda, Lalafood, GoFood, and more. While on-demand food delivery might the first thing that comes to mind, the foodtech space is much larger than that.
Foodtech encompasses any attempt to innovate a product or service along the food value chain, any of which would be a promising area for Asian founders to create a business around. One of the easiest ways to understand the massive opportunities in foodtech is to look at the biggest players in the sector and see exactly what they do.
One such example comes in the form of companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. These companies are pioneering the creation of meat substitutes that taste exactly like meat. It goes without saying that these companies are targeting the unique demographic of health-conscious people around the world who have gone vegetarian or are seeking a better diet; but still occasionally crave the taste of a good slab of beef.
These companies are examples of innovating the food we consume. Many might assume that such products require prohibitively expensive research, but that is not always the case. Sometimes it’s just about turning consumers toward a product that is already there, as in the case of some Asian brands that extol the virtues of goat’s milk.
Creating demand for alternative foodstuffs that are as healthy as the incumbent but are nowhere near as popular will aid with food security, one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations for 2030. As the world’s population continues to grow ever larger, demand for food alternatives to maintain a sustainable lifestyle is ever on the rise. As such, one can expect to see a generous amount of investment is being poured into venture capital funds for the foodtech industry.
With increased development in AI, robotics, digital integration, and cloud kitchens, the F&B industry continues to increase their food traffic. Soon, we can expect to see a greater proliferation of robo-cooks, serverless-options, and digital storefronts. Clearly, there are opportunities across the entire spectrum of foodtech for Asian founders to create a business that addresses a pressing need.