Snack To The Future report: Deliveroo identifies fully-tailored meals as the food of 2040

By 2040, people could use augmented and virtual reality technologies to create multi-sensory food experiences and simulate dining somewhere else in the world or eating with people elsewhere in the world from the comfort of their homes, all customised to their preference

Deliveroo has launched its Snack To The Future Report, bringing together industry professionals across the worlds of food, science, technology and innovation. The report identifies how consumers in Singapore and the region will be eating by 2040, and how meal tables are set to revolutionise.

The report further comes timely amid climate change and threats to global food supplies, highlighting the required changes to consumer diets and resilient food systems. In Singapore, the city state is working towards strengthening its food security with the 30 by 30 goal – to produce 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030. On top of that, Singaporeans’ focus on food quality, safety and sustainability, driven rapidly by their increasing interest in healthy diets and alternative proteins reiterates how these food trends will be key by 2040.

Led by Deliveroo, alongside Singaporean food experts, Yip Hon Mun and Luke Tay, with several other global industry leaders, the report uncovered key food trends that will be impacted by technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences by 2040. Some of the key trends include:

  • Breath-prints will make our future food decisions for us. Expect personal tech devices to be enabled with BreathTech, enabling consumers to breathe on a device and get a deep level of insight into what foods they should be eating to have optimal impact on their individual health and wellbeing.
  • Going beyond Keto, the next big thing in dieting and set to be the mainstream diet of the future is the Me-gan diet (Me-ganism); a hyper-personalised diet which is fully bespoke to each individuals’ nutritional needs, powered by AI technology.
  • Underpinning the Me-gan diet and lifestyle, AI technology will offer consumers their own personal AI (a life long AI buddy) which will help automate and tailor what they eat based on their preferences and needs at any given time.
  • By 2040, dining will be a fully immersive experience and as such, food delivery services such as Deliveroo can use experiential formats such as augmented imagery, audio and packaging to elevate consumers’ meal enjoyment as part of their delivery orders.
  • Get ready to see the food and beauty industry become more integrated than ever with a rise in edible beauty products like anti-aging ice-cream and the chance to dine from hormone-balancing and dopamine driving menus.
  • From packed lunches to printed lunches, food prep is about to become a lot easier with advances in 3D printing technology helping consumers create perfectly portioned and nutritionally balanced meals of their choice at home.
  • The metaverse will expand into an interconnected world where people’s digital and physical engagement with food fully converge. With the rise in augmented artificial smell technology, the metaverse can be incorporated into meal delivery platforms, where consumers will virtually smell and taste the food before ordering, helping to discover new food options while reducing time deciding between a wide-selection of cuisines.
  • New restaurant concepts will immerse diners and remove outside world distractions, with personal tech devices banned from entry, to a rise in popularity of silent cafés and restaurants which ONLY offer tables for one to encourage mindful eating.
  • Daily staples will look a bit different from the usual rice and noodles, as petai, jackfruit, cowpea, arrowroot, azuki bean, buckwheat, amaranth and other variants of Asian yams, beans and forms of superfoods are set to be our newfound daily staples.
  • Pairing of alcohol alternatives with the desires of healthy living. Gone are the days of awful hangovers as by 2040, we expect alt-ohol beverages like wine-inspired cordials formulated to mirror the dryness and depth of wine but fortified with vitamins and nutrients to keep consumers healthy – literally raising a glass to a longer life.

“The most notable trend across all is the need to empower consumers with control over their food choices, allowing them to enjoy meals on their terms, precisely when and how they prefer. In addition to considering affordability, taste, and nutrition, customers will have the option to select sustainably sourced food or customise their meat to align with their ethical and environmental standards,” said Yip Hon Mun, a senior adviser on food technology in Singapore.

Beyond the shifting consumer preferences, the report highlighted that climate change and overpopulation will continue to contribute to future food shortages, people’s diets and the way they live. Many of the plant varieties that are grown today might not be available because they are unable to meet the climate challenges of tomorrow.

“For tropical countries like Singapore, we will face harsher and more volatile weather, shaping Singaporeans’ life- and work-styles. Hence, their nutritional needs and food-styles will transform in tandem,” said Luke Tay, a food systems, sustainability and geopolitical analyst from Singapore.

“People will also become more nocturnal, working and eating amid the cooler night hours, leading to food and delivery services being a segment that never sleeps, catering to consumers round-the-clock. Concurrently, with climate change impacting staple crops, it gives way to other mainstream ingredients that will need less water to grow and sustain in Singapore,” shared Tay.

“Operating in a food haven like Singapore allows for a massive catalogue of meals. With these new technologies, those willing will be able to make more informed food decisions based on data collected of their daily food intake. There’s even the option for food companies to recommend various meal options that increases convenience and ensures nutritional needs and goals are met consistently in line with Singapore’s Healthier SG Strategy,” said Jason Parke, general manager at Deliveroo Singapore.

“I started Deliveroo in 2013 with a mission to connect people to the best quality food from local restaurants and deliver it directly to people’s doors. It has been an incredible ride over the past ten years and I am really proud of what we have built. As we look towards the next decade and beyond, Deliveroo will continue to create exciting new innovations in food delivery, build new and better consumer experiences and take Deliveroo beyond functionality and convenience to really capture the passion and emotion of food,” added Will Shu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo.

Personalised and convenient, sustainably sourced and produced, augmented and virtual — the future of food delivery and enjoyment is set to be an intriguing, immersive and innovative space to see emerge.