Season 4, Post 16: Metaverse meals and more

Your author’s children spent much of the recent long weekend eating food, particularly of the chocolate and egg-shaped variety. While they were busy at work…

Season 4, Post 16: Metaverse meals and more

Your author’s children spent much of the recent long weekend eating food, particularly of the chocolate and egg-shaped variety. While they were busy at work hunting and then consuming, there was ample time to learn more about how many businesses are thinking about the future of food. Spoiler alert: as with every other industry, technology is going to play an increasingly important role in what we eat.

Begin with metaverse. Regardless of whether the development of virtual worlds may be considered hype (see our views on this topic here and here), it certainly hasn’t prevented the likes of global brands from McDonalds through to Carrefour from experimenting within the space. The fast-food chain announced earlier this year that it had filed various trademarks for a virtual restaurant that will deliver not only to your avatar but also to your real-world home. We also liked the brand extension being pioneered by Panera Breads, a leading US bakery company. In the future, real and virtual visitors might be able to enter the ‘Paneraverse’ (for more on both these stories see here).

Children (when they are not consuming food) may also be delighted to learn that if playing Fortnite, there is now an option to engage with ‘Healthy Map’, a new game level developed in conjunction with Carrefour, the leading French supermarket chain. Here, players enter a virtual supermarket and can ‘heal’ their hit characters with certain foods to aid health restoration. Above and beyond the positive branding exercise, Carrefour also says it hopes to promote healthier eating habits.

If these activities do not seem revolutionary enough, then consider the power of artificial intelligence algorithms to help design dishes. The project, launched by Midjourney, an independent research lab, uses key words to develop computer-generated images of (often mouth-watering) dishes. While the initiative seems currently oriented towards fine dining – where aesthetics can matter as much as taste – the potential of the technology is significant (for more, see here).

As exciting as the above sounds, we still need to eat. Boundaries are being pushed here too. For one perspective on truly novel innovation, consider what SavorEat, a listed Israeli business is up to. The business has pioneered machines (or, smart robots, as Savor terms them) that are able to 3D print a plant-based meat product of the consumer’s choosing. Put another way, customers can design their product based around desired levels of protein, fat and so on. Savor’s angle is to emphasise the personalisation of food, a trend which it believes will only grow in importance. “Demand is already there” according to the Founder/CEO with whom we spoke recently. In her words, Savor is all about recreating “food as an experience.”

19 April 2022​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital LLP's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital LLP's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
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