The research project conducted by Labcom (Laboratory of Research on Business Communication of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan) and specifically by a research team led by Stefania Vitulli, professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan with Chiara Cangialosi, Cecilia Frangiamore and student Elisa Cogo and with the support of Angela Antonia Beccanulli, in partnership with Fiera Milano, proposed, for the 2019 edition of TuttoFood (the international B2B show dedicated to food & beverage and organised by Fiera Milano), the monitoring of four macro-trends in the agrifood sector: food and innovation, novel food, food and technology and new frontiers of organic food.
Various tools were used in the performance of this research:
- an overview of the international scenario, allowing the isolation of macro-trends and monitoring of their individualities and peaks;
- Italian and international analytical case studies;
- in-depth qualitative interviews with companies and industry start-ups;
- the inclusion of a focus taken from an original Labcom project on the practices of cooking as a context for exploring the productive activities of consumers.
From 3 to 5 years the use of 3D printers for food will increase
The analysis shows those results concerning food and technology, along with some insights that emerged from the qualitative interviews. It is pretty much clear that what the study found out is fitting also the world of pasta and its technologies and consumption. Trend of food means trend of pasta, too.
With regard to food and technology, three consolidated trends stand out:
- the use in 3/5 years of 3D printers for food, to compensate for malnutrition and implement a proper diet, focusing on the nutritional values of the dishes and more sustainable methods of
- a substantial global increase in agrifood sector investments in nutrigenomics;
- a new role of food in the social context. The preparation of food currently seems to be at the centre of three dimensions: in addition to the traditional areas of production and consumption, also self representation and eudaimonic realisation or alternative hedonism.
As regards in-depth qualitative interviews with Italian companies and start-ups in the agri-food sector, the insights that emerged in relation to the issues mentioned above offer a more analytical view of the topics in Italy. Here is some details:
- on novel food, it was found that 50% of the interviewees did not know what it is or were not up to date on the subject;
- 25% of companies believe that the country is not culturally ready to embrace new foods and that the trend will only take hold in the long term;
- with regard to technological innovations, 50% of the companies interviewed responded positively in relation to the present and future of vertical farms and water crops, on which they proved to be more than up-to-date.
We have to admit that pasta makers are looking ahead to be prepared to the “customer of the future”. Think about Barilla 3 D printer, for example. BluRhapsody, the pasta printing spinout of
Barilla’s Blu1877 group, has just launched an e-commerce platform where anyone can order customized pasta printed by a Barilla-developed 3D pasta printer.
The new e-commerce offering is an expansion of an early limited directsales business in which BluRhapsody worked with a small handful of Michelin-star chefs to create customized pasta for their restaurants.
With the new e-commerce offering, anyone can go to BluRhapsody.com and order pre-designed custom pasta and, eventually, design their own and order it online.
The company’s custom-created pasta capability could evolve through a couple phases. Now, customers have the chance to go to the web site and order from a small catalogue of pre-designed pasta.
A new role of pasta in social contest is coming out
They can also to start custom projects in which they work jointly with BluRhapsody to create unique pasta designs. In the next future, the company plans to eventually offer a “customize-your-pasta page” where the customers use an interactive online tool to personalize the shape, ingredients, and even taste and texture of the pasta.