Food Industry Trend Watch: # 1 Diversity

The promotion of agrobiodiversity and healthy microbiomes.

In this six-part series, we explore the biggest food industry trends of 2021.

Moving into the new year, experts continue to observe a steady rise in the promotion of diversity in agriculture and nutrition. Concerns over climate change and human health remain the two main factors driving this trend. 

According to recent trend reports, awareness about the importance of fostering biodiverse ecosystems to secure the long-term sustainability of our food systems is growing steadily. Biodiversity affects all levels of the food chain—building healthy soil and protecting pollinators, securing food production and obtaining a yield, ensuring the conservation of existing populations, resources and habitats. Furthermore, agrobiodiversity is proving to be critical food systems’ ability to be resilient in times of climate change. And with ecological farming methods, such as biodynamics and organics, gaining traction with the mainstream, the future looks promising on the biodiversity front. 

Biodiversity encompasses all life on Earth, meaning not only flora and fauna but also microorganisms. As such, it is no surprise that the link between diversity in the human microbiome directly correlates to human health. Estimates show that around one-quarter of the world’s population suffers from health issues related to digestion. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a substantial rise in consumers’ desire to take more control over their own health. And the microbiome has benefited greatly from this as a result. This, in turn, is leading to a stark rise in the demand for functional foods, such as prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics, all of which support the gut in its functions. ADM substantiates the promising nature of these observations claiming they provide, “[...] fertile ground for food and beverage innovation with functional solutions [...].”

Read more about functional foods in Trend Watch #2: Immunity & Health!

Imagery: (1) Andreea Maria Juganaru, (2) Dana Devolk via unsplash.com

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