17 May 2019

Sainsbury’s say that the future of food will be shaped by consumers increasingly choosing a flexitarian, and more heavily plant-based diet. This will lead to potential new dietary trends like algae milk, insects, jellyfish, and lab-grown meat being adopted as alternatives to animal proteins and dairy.

The retail giant created a Future of Food report as part of it’s 150th anniversary celebrations, inviting their own ‘futurologists’ and experts like food historian Dr. Polly Russell and plant scientist James Wong to predict what we’ll be eating in 2025, 2040 and 150 years into the future.

Due to increasing environmental and animal welfare concerns the report estimates that as many as 25% of the population of the UK could consider themselves vegetarian by 2025, with a massive 50% identifying as flexitarian, where they purposefully reduce their meat consumption and eat mainly vegan and vegetarian dishes.

This change in dietary habits will create an obvious demand for alternative proteins, and plant-based milks will continue to thrive within a future that will see a reduction in consumption of dairy products.

By 2050 the report suggests that lab-grown meat will be commonplace, and it’s likely that eating insects will make people less squeamish than currently with cricket flour and grasshopper pasta helping to diversify diets beyond the dominant maize, wheat, rice and soybeans.

"What we are seeing now - especially with the explosion of plant-based foods - is that diversity in food is returning to the British diet, including ancient crops like quinoa and South-East Asian staples such as Jackfruit," said report co-author James Wong. "With that increasing variety in diets, comes more understanding of where our food comes from and a deeper appreciation of food production."

See the whole report here