The next Uber for food

Monash's Angeline Achariya speaks at KPMG on food


Machinery
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Personalisation and on nutritional trend, may be the key.

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UBER disrupted not only the taxi market, but also the standard business model of employment.

While no company wants to replicate Uber’s record financial losses, many would like to replicate its market share. 

Speaking at the KPMG IoT Innovation Expo for Smart Food and Fibre, Monash University, Food Innovation Centre chief executive officer, Angeline Achariya said while she couldn’t name the next Uber of food, she could identify the traits it would have.

“It is about designing a product for that affluent consumer that is willing to pay,” she said. 

The whole space around what is called clean meat is around the corner - Angeline Achariya

“It is the whole intersection of personalisation, nutrition, health and digitisation.

“It doesn't matter where you are in the world, it is the holy grail, personalised food, for me, when I want it, wherever I want it.”

Ms Achariya said the intersection between health, nutrition and digitisation was a dynamic area, with a burgeoning global middle class looking for better food and increased protein, while a shift towards plant proteins, rather then animal proteins is occurring at the same time. 

Personalise everything, people will stand in queues for personalisation - Angeline Achariya

“The millennial generation are choosing to have plant based meals,” she said.

“There has been a 13 per cent increase in veganism and vegetarianism in Australia over the last two years.

“People who are investing in this space are investing for a ‘flexitarian’ diet option,  targeting people who are wanting to have less meat.”

Ms Achariya said KFC was investing in creating chicken-free chicken, Gelator was looking to replace the gelatine market and investments in 3D food printing were developing. 

Basically, the baby boomers are focused on three things, wellness, sustainability and connectivity - Angeline Achariya

“The whole space around what is called clean meat is around the corner,” she said. 

“Then we have dairy, we have seen the rise of soy, almond, macadamia to pea milk, the non-dairy milk.”

Ms Achariya said the the next step was personalising the product, to connect with the consumer.

“Understand my DNA, what do I need versus my lifestyle, how do you  prepare the right nutrition profile or personalised diet for me and deliver it via a drone to wherever I am,” she said. 

“Personalise everything, people will stand in queues for personalisation.”

It is important whether you are a grower, farmer, manufacturer to understand this is where the market will demand, therefore how do you create value in the eyes of these generations in terms of what they are demanding - Angeline Achariya

Ms Achariya said for brands, personalisation led to higher value dollar for each kilogram, what is known as value driven innovation as opposed to volume driven innovation or commodification. 

While personalised products was the goal, Ms Achariya said to remain sustainable companies cannot just increase the number of products for sale, as not only was it unsustainable from an environmental view, it also affected the supply chain in terms of the number of products on the supply chain. 

“The consumer has too much choice at the end of the day,” she said. 

“A bit of work we are doing in the space is around food waste, we are trying to look at low value waste streams and how you turn  them into high value waste streams.”

Generational shifts

Ms Achariya said while transfromational shifts such as eating less meat and increased focus on nutrition, personalisation and convenience were one area the Monash Food Innovation Centre concentrated on, generational shifts were also important. 

“Basically, the baby boomers are focused on three things, wellness, sustainability and connectivity,” she said. 

“Many millennials are focused on really feeling good, it is about performance, everything that looks beautiful, they are very interested in brands and knowing that brands are making a significant contribution to the environment, sustainability is important.

Understand my DNA, what do I need versus my lifestyle, how do you prepare the right nutrition profile or personalised diet for me and deliver it via a drone to wherever I am - Angeline Achariya

“Following on their coattails, is the zillions, they have grownup with the tech, they want the self care in terms of opportunity, they are highly connected.

“It is important whether you are a grower, farmer, manufacturer to understand this is where the market will demand, therefore how do you create value in the eyes of these generations in terms of what they are demanding.”

Where Australia needs to be

Ms Achariya said businesses need to play in the value space, but look for the opportunity in the premium space, particularly in Australia.

“Because of our high labour cost markets, high utilities, high rate of cost of conversion in a complex supply chain, you want to win competitively. 

“A lot of our work in China shows the Canadians can land really great dairy products at 20 per cent less.

There has been a 13 per cent increase in veganism and vegetarianism in Australia over the last two years - Angeline Achariya

“You have to be the supplier of high value, premium goods, be the deli.

“We have to play in the space that is premium, we have to target the consumer.”

Ms Achariya said the Monash Food Innovation Centre played an important role in bringing Australian businesses into the premium market. 

​”Most businesses, 90pc of products, fail in the first 12 months of launch,” she said.

“Over the last five years of the Food Innovation Centre being live and set up, we have touched more then 2,500 businesses, from startups to large multinationals including retailers.

“We are here to help.”

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