What will we eat: how nutrition will change by 2050


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By 2050, 9.7 billion people will live on Earth. The population will concentrate in megacities, learn to live longer and, perhaps, gain digital immortality. We tell you what place food will take in this world

Meat alternative

In the 20th century, scientists first recorded an increase in temperature on 98% of the surface of our planet. Today, the average air temperature is 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and continues to rise. And many people are already facing the consequences of global warming: soil degradation, droughts and reduced crop yields.

As resources dwindle and population increases, climate change could lead to food shortages. By 2050, the food industry needs to increase production volumes by 70% to feed all earthlings. However, food production already accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions, of which 14.5% is generated during the production of meat and milk.

Today, consumers committed to a healthy lifestyle and focused on conscious nutrition are increasingly devoting more space in their diet to alternative products made from plant-based ingredients. For example, in Russia, 31% of consumers periodically order or buy alternative milk. Meat is abandoned for ethical reasons, for the sake of health and new gastronomic experiences.

Vegetarians make up approximately 22% of the world’s population, and in the future even more people will refuse animal protein. “Health and environmental friendliness will become one of the key factors when choosing goods and services. This trend can already be felt today, but in 30 years it may become mainstream,” says Anna Meleshina, managing director of the Magnit retail chain.

According to the authors of the study “Food of the Future”, conducted by Magnit and the Federal Scientific Center for Food Systems, every tenth serving of meat and dairy products will be alternative. Our diet will include other sources of protein – for example, from 2019 to 2021, Russian companies invested $300 million in the development of insect-based products.

Diet for health

By 2050, according to UN estimates , every sixth person on the planet will be over 65 years old. Inexorable aging creates a demand for tools that provide a high quality of life. Technology companies are offering not only new food products, but also approaches to slow down aging.

There is an increasing demand around the world for nutrition that matches individual eating behavior. The volume of the personalized nutrition market reached $8.2 billion in 2020. Against the background of interest in biohacking, the production of products that support metabolic, biochemical and other processes of the body is also developing.

By 2028, the biohacking market will be worth $63 billion, expanding, among other things, through personalized nutrition.

The approach to managing health and diet in the future will be based on nutrigenomics, the science of how diet affects gene expression. Consumers will be able to obtain comprehensive information about their own body, which will help them choose an individual set of food products and, for example, reduce the risks of certain diseases.

Green economy

Meat from the future: two technologies to replace livestock farming
Packed wisely

By 2050, seven out of ten earthlings , that is, more than half of the world’s population, will live in cities. The World Health Organization predicts that urban population growth will lead to an increase in the popularity of prepared foods. Urbanization requires that products can be easily stored and transported, which means packaging will become more compact and functional.

According to the authors of the Food of the Future study, packaging will have high barrier properties and provide a long shelf life. In addition, it will become a carrier of information about food: from the expiration date and freshness of the product to the CO 2 content , temperature conditions and tightness.

Mobile consumption habits typical of urban residents will inevitably increase the amount of waste. Today, 40% of municipal waste in Russia is packaging. At the same time, consumers are striving to reduce the amount of waste – about 31% of buyers worldwide are ready to refuse a product if the packaging is not recyclable. Therefore, in the future, it will become more environmentally friendly, created from recycled materials and plant elements such as fruits, nuts and grains, which will make the packaging edible.


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