Good food is good business: Opportunities driving the future of affordable nutrition

Institute for the Future
Commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

This report was written with four groups of key stakeholders in mind: national and regional food and beverage companies, multinational food and beverage companies, innovators, and input suppliers to the industry. It focuses on five ‘zones of technological innovation’ that can be unlocked to help increase access and affordability of safe and nutritious foods for lower income consumers, while also generating profits for the food industry. For each area of innovation, the report summarises the technology and then provides forecast and insights into its potential for impact in emerging markets.

The five categories are: AI Collaboration; Traditional Wisdom; Microbiota Management; Cellular Agriculture; and Programmable Assets. The report also sets out six design principles to create innovations for affordable nutrition: See Systems, Not Symptoms; Design for Aspiration, Not Aid; Create Robust Portfolios, Not Silver Bullets; Speak to Individual Cultural Contexts, Not Mass Markets; Fortify with All Nutrients, Not Just Micronutrients; and Communicate Long-Term Benefits, Not Just Short-Term Impacts.

Although these innovations may not be deployed immediately and may come with new risks to be managed, the report encourages innovative, technology-driven thinking that can help transform the way the development community analyses and addresses particular challenges, stimulates business to think about how to do good while also keeping shareholders happy, and suggests potential solutions that can help drive meaningful and sustainable impact.

This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed