Our fast moving industry and ever-new technology mean roles will open up in future that hardly exist now – or will at least look radically different. Here are three possible jobs of the future in food. Will you rise to the challenge?
- Personal food shopper
Personalisation and customisation are consumer trends that are well and truly here – and here to stay. But what do they actually mean when it comes to how we will fill our larders and fridges in future? We’ve had personal shoppers in the fashion industry for some time now, so it’s time to extend that concept to our food and drink.
Personal food shoppers will go one step further than the tailored delivery services and menu boxes we’re already familiar with. They will work with their clients to find out what’s important to them in areas such as nutritional balance, special dietary needs, and even flavour preferences. Once the ambitions are defined, the fun can really begin.
But it’s not just about helping select the right products in terms of taste and nutrition. The personal food shopper of the future will also work with your preferences in areas like food-miles and sourcing; do you want organic produce, for example?
The perfect job for shopaholics with supreme attention to detail and desire to provide a great customised service for food aware clients.
We know that, in our industry, there are complex systems and processes that help get goods from inception through to a shelf in a store. But what you may not realise is that this whole area of supply chain management is booming in terms of job prospects.
Not only will manufacturers (and retailers) need more people who can work in this increasingly high-tech field, but the types of jobs are also changing.
A logistician of the future will use complex computer software to track the movements of goods and products – and brainstorm ways to make the process smoother and more efficient – an ambition that all businesses have more than half an eye on.
And, as businesses have more and more sophisticated data to help them understand what they’re selling and to whom they’re selling it, they need people who can analysis the information and help them apply it to solving businesses problems.
Ok, so ultimately it’s about moving things from one place to another, but think drones, think driverless delivery, think robotic shelf stacking, and you’ll start to get a glimpse of why logistics might be just about to get a whole lot more exciting.
- Insect farmer
We are going to be eating insects soon. In fact, the more forward thinking of you may already be doing so, and we’re not just talking I’m a Celebrity.
It’s a fact that the nutritional and eco-benefits of insects as a new food source are making this an appealing prospect for consumers. In fact, one consultancy predicts that the European market in edible insects will be worth €65 million by 2020.
As the world’s population grows, the pressure on food sources is increasing and insects are considered an essential source of future protein. It is widely considered that we are close to the limit of what our planet can sustain in terms of food production.
However, insects don’t take up as much space as animals, they emit fewer greenhouse gases, they can be fed efficiently (they’re not very fussy!) and convert food much more efficiently: for example, one kilogram of insect feed yields 12 times more edible cricket protein than beef protein.
One of the challenges facing this burgeoning industry is that people will need to eat a large number of insects to get the equivalent food value of, saying tucking into a chicken joint or a steak. And currently, those producing insects for food are doing so in quite small quantities, so, if you want to become a really successful insect farmer you need to work on discovering how to produce a lot of these creatures on a mass scale.
In fact, you’re probably going to want to team up with specialist scientists and nutritionists – who are also going to be in very high demand in this field.
Oh, by the way, when someone asks you what you do for a living, you’re an ‘entopreneur’.