2021 Onwards - Hot Trends for Investing in AgriFood
At the recent Boma New Zealand event, Louisa Burwood-Taylor spoke about "The evolution of Agritech - What's next?" and explored what has changed in the industry since 2015.
To understand all this and more, I strongly recommend watching the whole lecture. It is very well summarized, but, for those who are busy, here are the key trends for investing in AgriFood for the next few years:
1. Drones are out: If in 2015 drones were the holy grail of precision agriculture, today farmers prefer to get data directly from the ground and monitor issues in real-time. Drones have shifted from Agritech to other industries (like mining).
2. Today we are not focused on producing more food, we are focused on new ways to produce and grow it: we are thinking less about producing more food than we used to, and instead focusing more on finding new ways to produce and grow it (through Gen Editing / lab-grown meat / vertical farming and more).
3. Massive growth in investment in AgriFoodTech globally: from $10 billion in 2015 to $30 billion in 2020) and who are the new VCs and private investors entering the market.
4. Vertical farming: the UK, China, Singapore, and many more countries now all have "Top-Down" policies to promote vertical farming for the next 5 years.
5. Protein-based products: companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Eat Just, Inc. SavorEat, Amai Proteins, Zero Egg, Yo-Egg, Innovopro and other protein-based companies that replace eggs, sugar and dairy are on the rise. Although meat consumption has increased by 90% in the last year (that number was a total shock to me, by the way!), most meat producers around the world are working on plant-based substitutes.
6. Food as medicine: people will have to find new ways to be healthy, by using natural food substitutes tailored to their needs. We need to acknowledge that two out of seven people in the world suffer from food-related diseases - this means that we can also fix it with proper nutrition and "good stuff" from Mother Nature as stand-alone products or healthy ingredients in our food.
7. Carbon markets: while this is not necessarily a direct segment of the AgriFood industry, it will have a huge impact on it. We will see more startups trying to measure carbon, monitor carbon, and highlight the large carbon footprint in some agri-food industries. It is increasingly necessary as we move towards a major climate crisis over time.
The second half of 2021 is still ahead of us. It will be interesting to see what yearly trends we will see at the end of the year.
What are you betting on?
(And here you can watch it all: