Within the food and corporate sector foodtech They are gaining popularity and will be essential in the medium and long term, according to consulting firm Catinon, a publicly traded Spanish multinational. This is a trend confirmed by investor interest in this type of company in Spain, which in 2022 raised funds approaching 300 million euros.
Today Foodtech brings together nearly 500 Spanish startups, developing projects involving technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence, 3D printing or cellular fermentation to enhance, transform and modernize the agri-food industry. Efficiency in the various stages of production and supply, with a strong focus on sustainability.
Innovative companies that need to attract talent in a highly competitive environment in areas as diverse as IT, Industry 4.0, robotics, 3D printing, design, marketing, engineering, biotechnology, marketing, operations management, quality control, external markets, intellectual property, etc. .
According to the report Addressing new challenges across the food value chain With the support of ICEX Spain, investment in this sector has grown by almost 10%. In addition, there has been a significant increase in the number of operators in the ecosystem: nearly 500 startups, more than 30,000 participating food manufacturers, more than 50 specialized universities and 20 cutting-edge technology centers.
In order to integrate into the ecosystem, it is necessary to have high capacity and technological strength, which translates into patents, trade secrets and registered trademarks. Thus, 32.9% of Spanish food tech startups have a patent for their technology and 29% have a trade secret. Additionally, over the past year, the percentage of startups developing their own technology has continued to grow, with the use of artificial intelligence emerging.
“This is a key market segment to maintain Spain’s leadership in the food sector”pointing to Laura Oro, Director of Mass Consumption at Catinon.
Food technology: healthy and sustainable
Food tech companies incorporate values such as back to basics, honesty, transparency, traceability, use of natural and healthy raw materials, and sustainability. Core values in a market geared towards consumer experience and a return to what is normal.
“Today, we are defining what the food of the future will look like, a health-oriented food system that requires new production models, where brands have the power to lead the market and have the funds to innovate. A context where Spain has a lot to say.”pointing to Oro.
According to Cattinon, food technology is accustomed to working collaboratively with highly specialized professionals, as is the case in all technological fields. “But it also requires -points Oro– Traditional skills in the food sector, such as quality control, adaptation to different international regulations, supply chain, packaging, sustainability, etc. that require the best talent.”
Within this sector there are four large areas: your procedure, Food production and processing, Logistics, distribution and retail servicesAnd Restaurant technology. Among them, models stand out directly to the consumerProduct innovation and digitization of the field.
It is pronounced in the same line as Urue CEO of Zyrcular Foods, Santiago Aliaga. Circular Foods It is a company specializing in the innovation, development, production and marketing of alternative protein products. Aliaga points out the importance of opening up the concept foodtech Beyond the latest trends and media. “Applying advanced technology or technology to the food sector is a practice that has always been developed in the food industry and can be applied to any product or process; but it is not a concept exclusive to new foods or new proteins.
from Circular Foods The need to work in a collaborative and transversal manner is recognized; Well, today there is no personalized training, and what’s more, “The main disruptor for food technology development is to obtain and apply maximum knowledge; whether it is through data knowledge, new ingredients, production techniques, etc.
finally, gorse I realized the importance of ecological symbiosis Big company With startups; Necessary for the latter’s survival. “It is important to have a specialized institutional ecosystem in this area to ensure early stage development and enable subsequent scalability.