In exploring new paths to market, Food Service Companies are increasingly looking to external providers to acquire the scientific and technological knowledge that will allow them to improve the performance of their own innovation teams.

The process of incorporating this new knowledge base is often framed in terms of open innovation methodologies. Originally coined by Henry Chesbrough, the concept of open innovation denotes the acceleration of knowledge transfer across a company’s traditional boundaries, with competitive advantage being achieved from the discovery and involvement in the ideas of others.

It has long been known that "bits of plastic get into our food from containers" notes Mathew Hoffman (MD) in a recent article.

While "our food, it seems, is always touching plastic" he believes that the consequences of this remain unknown.

Now, a spate of health controversies is fostering new discussions about the safety of plastics in the food industry. As potential risks from bisphenol A (BPA), widely used in packaging, become the focus of major studies, questions are being raised about the safety of food stored in plastic generally.

Barnraiser, a newly formed crowdfunding community, is attracting a lot of attention in food innovation circles in the U.S.

With a key focus on empowering the good food movement, a sizeable number of advocates for sustainable foods have converged with artisans, farmers, educators, community leaders and politicians to launch a series of food projects whose aim is nothing less than the transformation of our food systems.

The demand for sustainable products and the requirement that businesses improve their environmental performance has become central to the sustainability of business itself.

Companies are beginning to understand that consumers will favor products that are ethically sourced and that carry credentials attesting to their environmental performance. 

The challenges brought by global warming and the degradation to the environment caused by industrialization requires a multifaceted response, i.e., one which addresses the complexity of economic, social, environmental and technological interdependencies.

"No matter how useful man-made products are, there is nearly always a price to pay.

A key feature of the first Industrial revolution - and the three periods of industrial change that followed - was the profligate manner in which manufacturers used natural materials and released harmful man-made substances into the environment"

- Peter March, The New Industrial Revolution (Yale, 2012)