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Curated food makes healthy living easier

12 Nov 2018

Curated Food, Future Foodstyles

Tell me who you are and I’ll tell you what you should eat. (Photo: Konstantin Yuganov)

By turning the saying “you are what you eat” on its head, we can look forward to optimal, simple nutrition in future. That’s because one of the most promising future food styles wants to guarantee us healthy convenience cuisine on the basis of individual requirements. Tell me who you are and I’ll tell you what you should eat.

In our work-centred society, people depend on staying fit and healthy for the long term. Today, we already take care to do enough sport, relax and eat a balanced diet in order to compensate for our everyday working lives. But what foods are good for us and perhaps even ethical? And what keeps individual people fit?

Initial research in the field of nutrigenomics has shown that the decryption of our DNA profile could even make it possible to draw conclusions about individually optimised diets in the future. This would result in increased quality of life and reduced healthcare costs. But further research is needed to more accurately map out and establish the connection between genetic biomarkers, food intake and illnesses.

Less is more when it comes to choice

Until this becomes possible, we will have to make do with other solutions to lead a healthy lifestyle despite a rather stressful daily routine. This is where trends researchers see the future of “curated food”, in which various service providers and companies take on the task of advising and supporting consumers to eat a healthy diet. Of course, in doing so, they should not neglect personal preferences, tastes and values. After all, it’s not the breadth of choice but the desire to limit it to what is reasonable in terms of quality that should be the defining criterion in the future – and not just for food markets but also for manufacturers of kitchens and appliances.

Organic veg boxes, recipe subscription boxes

Organic veg boxes or recipe subscription boxes with selected products including recipe are in vogue. (Photo:HelloFresh)

The corner shop effect

By consequence, the number of relatively small grocery and speciality shops could increase again. And online concepts and delivery services would evolve, which would put a greater emphasis on their curating role. The focus here would always be on freeing the consumer from the burden of making “the best choice”. With a growing number of suppliers of organic veg boxes or recipe subscription boxes with selected products including recipe suggestions, this development has been on the horizon for some time.

Predicted rise in “curated” shopping and eating

The trend can be transferred to major retailers too, as demonstrated by a supermarket in Amsterdam. Here, arranging stock in a particular way makes shopping easier for consumers and even takes away the decision about what to cook. It works in three ways: in the first, the right ingredients for various dishes are placed directly next to each other on a shelf. In a second variation, the vegetables for the recipe, for example, are already chopped and pre-packed and it only remains for them to be cooked at home. The third variation is the fastest, with the ingredients being cooked directly on site.

Smart kitchen, cooking, assistance

In the future, kitchen appliances will help with cooking. (Photo: Nolte Küchen)

Last but not least, a trend towards “curated food” is also evident in smart kitchens. Manufacturers want to assist consumers by offering smart kitchen features that make cooking healthier and less time-consuming. This starts with the refrigerator with an integrated scanner that assesses food products before seeking out a suitable healthy dish in a connected recipe app and suggesting it to the user. There are also apps that automatically create shopping lists and help with cooking by monitoring the degree to which dishes are cooked and thereby guaranteeing the preservation of vitamins in meals. At the next LivingKitchen, the sector will address future scenarios in which our kitchens and their equipment become increasingly “intelligent” in order to unburden consumers as much as possible and support them with advice for their everyday lives.