Robots, fermentation and cell-based protein products are among 2022’s “food and ag tech” trends identified by an investment firm focused on the industry.

“S2G Ventures predicts that we are entering a global food transition,” the company said in announcing its report of the 10 trends “that will shape the future of food in 2022.”

"The food transition is still in its infancy but is being propelled by seismic tailwinds,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, S2G Ventures’ managing director and chief investment officer. Among those “tailwinds,” said Krishnan: “massive demographic change spurring new consumer demand, significant advancements in the biology, chemistry and physics of food production to create new choices, and now capital markets anchored by ESG that want to fund high-growth, disruptive companies."

ESG, which stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance,” is used as shorthand to describe businesses’ efforts to assess the impacts — especially on climate change — of their operations.

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And the trends are, according to S2G: “Robots will increase efficiency while reducing labor needs across the food system; the rise of ESG will help to digitize the farm; fintech will transform opportunities in agriculture, just as it did for the student loan and mortgage markets; RNA technology that saved lives during Covid-19 will be applied to farms to save soils; fermentation will power the next generation of alternative protein products; cellular protein will provide consumers around the world with safe, sustainable food; adoption of food waste solutions will be recognized as both a good business practice and an essential tool for feeding the world; AI and machine learning platforms will unlock greater understanding of and use cases for plants and fungi; food will become central to the effort to prevent chronic disease and improve health outcomes; and food brands and grocers will have to ‘personalize or perish.’”

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