With terms such as innovation and disruption becoming catchwords for growth and development in the start-up ecosystem, they mostly refer to advancements in tech, digital tools and platforms, etc. But that may not be the case when it comes to the mammoth Food & Beverage sector, which is poised for the next level of disruption. 

Driven by the increasing awareness towards health and fitness as well as changing taste preferences, there is a revolution in the way food is farmed, distributed and consumed. Putting things into perspective, much like everything else, consumers today are drifting away from “traditional” foods and beverages and are always seeking something new and healthy.

By “traditional F&B”, we mean products that have existed in the market for a few decades. Most food products produced in the past did not take into account their health benefits or impact on health. They were simply concocted to indulge the taste buds and, in most cases, minus the nutritional values, and with added artificial flavours, colourings etc., such as with soft drinks and junk foods.

Identifying the gaps, start-ups in the F&B sector began catering to the specific emerging needs of consumers, creating a niche market for themselves. Riding on this trend, F&B start-ups are uniquely primed for disruption by capitalising on this growing niche trillion-dollar market. What’s more, this trend drove the misperception that products produced for the masses are likely either to taste bad or would lack in quality, which is not true. 

Against this backdrop, one needs to know that consumer preferences are undergoing a paradigm shift too. Consumers expect newer types of foods and drinks that not only taste better but also have associated health benefits. If the above boxes are ticked, they are willing to pay a premium for such products. Clearly, these are a group of motivated consumers, convinced they deserve better – and this is laying the groundwork for disruption in the F&B segment.

Additionally, riding on waves of data and information, more people want to know their food better. Consumers now want details on how and where their food is grown, how it is processed and packaged, its impact on the environment, community food habits and various other important aspects, such as sustainability of food practices. As diverse trends are playing out in the food segment, it is a good time for food enthusiasts as well as F&B players to capitalise on the emerging opportunities.

The evolving food dynamics are paving the way for F&B disruptions like never before. Taking advantage of the possibilities, a rising number of F&B players are joining the start-up bandwagon, with research-based food products high in nutritional values while catering to one or more health requirements. Undoubtedly, for foodies as well as F&B entities, the best is yet to come!