To create an international community of “foodwatchers” is the main objective of the initiative ‘The Food Mirror’, launched by AZTI-Tecnalia, a technology centre specialized in food and marine research and funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, FECYT, in collaboration with the Basque Tourism Agency Basquetour-Euskadi.
The challenge is to identify and study food trends by creating a global community of “foodwatchers”. Foodwatcher discoveries (new food products, new ways of preparing, eating, etc.) will be added to those detected by AZTI-Tecnalia: EATrends. The project aims to anticipate current and future consumer demands and detect business opportunities and niches in the food sector.
The project promoters are now looking for people from all corners of the world to detect and convey new food trends which they find around them. This “foodwatcher” community, expected to be around 15 people, will be chosen via an online contest called ‘The Food Mirror Game’
Contestants in‘The Food Mirror Game’ must pass three stages in order to join the ‘foodwatchers’ community. First, they must identify a product, service or initiative that fits into one of the eight food trends detected by AZTI-Tecnalia in EATrends. In the second stage, they detect new food trends. And third, they demonstrate their communication skills by sending a video in which they present their reasons for wanting to join the international ‘foodwatcher’ team. All the rules and the entry forms for participating in the game can be found at www.thefoodmirror.com.
A jury composed of food sector-related research and communication experts will select three winners from among the 15 or so chosen for the Foodwatcher community. These prize foodwatchers will enjoy a week-long trip with all expenses paid in the Basque Country.Here, they will have a multi-faceted touristic and educational, gastronomic and food experience: research, innovation, gastronomy, local products, tourism and Basque culture. The trips are sponsored by the Basque Tourism Agency Basquetour-Euskadi. The agency points out that “this collaboration fits in with the strategy of the gastronomy plan launched by the Basque Government and the importance of cooperating with key entities in gastronomy from different Basque sectors such as, in this case, the agro-food sector and AZTI-Tecnalia’s project, which has international repercussions”.
Participation in ‘The Food Mirror Game’ allows candidates to utilize all the communication channels (project website, publications, presentations, etc.) that AZTI-Tecnalia and FECYT are useing to publicize and disseminate this initiative. The contestants selected for the ‘foodwatchers’ community and the winners of the gastronomic experience in the Basque Country will be announced in June.
‘The Food Mirror’ completes the food market monitoring initiative launched in 2010 by the Trends and Innovation Observatory of the AZTI-Tecnalia Food Research Unit. This project broadens the geographic range of the research by connecting globally with people interested in food innovation, be they professionals, researchers or citizens committed to their role as food consumers.
The international ‘foodwatchers’ community will participate in research serving the food sector. Foodwatchers will provide valuable information which will be processed by the AZTI-Tecnalia Trends and Information Observatory and transferred to food companies as a source of inspiration for innovation.