Richard Worzel - Futurist - Speaker - Consultant
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Keynote & Workshop Topics
Keynote & Workshop Topics
Food & Beverage Industries

Technology at the Table: Future Trends in Technology and Hospitality

The hospitality industry is one of the world’s oldest and most vital, and the inroads of technology have mostly been at the back of the house in areas like reservations and back office functions. We are now entering an era when technology is going to come to the table at the front of the house, and this, plus other trends in the industry, are going to force unprecedented changes. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this presentation, he touches on the trends that will produce such radical change over the next 5-10 years, including:

• How everyday robots and computer intelligences will change the labor component of the industry;

• How expectations of ever-more personalized service will arise from the mass customization deliverable by technology;

• How food allergies and sensitivities will shift from a nuisance to one that affects most or all guests, and can become a critical unique selling proposition for those who are ahead of the curve;

• How the aging of the boomers is going to alter the optimal mix of price-points in the foodservice industry, as well as many other aspects of the hospitality trade; and

• How environmental issues, notably climate change and global population growth, are going to put pressure on operating costs in many areas of the hospitality industry.

Richard will leave you with not only a road map of the industry’s future, but a set of tools that you can use to improve your preparedness for the radical changes ahead.



The Flavours of the Future: Tomorrow’s Food, Tomorrow’s Consumer

We grew up in a world where food was mostly a constant, with only gradual changes in taste and cuisine. The world we are entering is one where food will change in many different ways, and for many different reasons. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada's leading futurist. In this presentation, he outlines some of the major drivers of change that are going to affect our customers and the grocery industry in tomorrow's world, including:



• Food competes for ‘ground space’ – The biotech revolution means that farmers, who traditionally have made their money from the ‘Three F’s’, being Food, Feed, and Fiber, now have three additional F’s: Fuel, Industrial Feedstocks, and Farm-aceuticals. The result is that food now competes with other cash crops for share of farm land. As 40% of America’s corn crop is being diverted to making ethanol, this is clearly a trend of concern.



• Rapidly rising food prices – The rise of the middle class in Rapidly Developing Countries, like China and India, mean that many more people are eating many more calories per day. The result is a multiplication in the demand for food – and for more resource-intensive foods like meat and dairy products. The result, when combined with the competition for ground space, will be persistent increases in food prices.



• One person’s food… – As our knowledge of genetics increases almost exponentially, our awareness rises of how subtle individual differences affect our health and well-being. As that happens, what foods our customers will want is shifting and creating new trends in food demand, including everything from organic foods, gluten-free foods, and lower sodium products. Yet, even this is a small taste of what’s to come.



• Technology – Technology is the ‘predictable wild card.’ We know it has already wrung remarkable changes in business and society, but it's going to be even more of a game-changer in the future. The next ten years will see many changes, but perhaps the most dramatic shifts will come in the rise of everyday robots, and computer intelligences.



• Climate change – As climate is changing, it is both wreaking havoc on food production, and heightening expectations about corporate social responsibility among consumers. The result will blitz the income statements of companies unprepared for the changes ahead.



• Assassin marketing – We’ve moved from a ‘push’ model of advertising based on cost-per-thousand advertising, to a ‘pull’ model based on the rise of social media. Yet the changes in marketing and advertising are nowhere near finished. As we learn more and more about the behaviour of more and more consumers, and figure out how they want to be served, we can begin to address specific interests in ways that have never been possible before. As media change, so too must marketers’ approach to winning hearts and wallets.



The hardest part about facing the future is that it will be determined by not just one driver of change, but all of them, and their effects will intermingle, and bounce off each other. That's why it's time to prepare for tomorrow’s food and tomorrow’s consumer. Richard ends with a toolkit that can help organizations capture the uncertainties ahead of us, and turn them to advantage.



Dark Clouds & Silver Linings: The Future of Food

Any foodservice organization involved in planning for the future will have to account for more changes in more different places than at any time in the past. Among these are:

• Rising food prices and their implications. Recall, for instance, that the popular uprising in Egypt started with a food riot in Tunisia. Rising food prices are going to cause problems in developed as well as developing countries.

• The emergence of ‘water neutrality.’ Like carbon neutrality, water neutrality will mean that commercial organizations will need to manage the water they use, and how they discharge it back into the community, with unprecedented care. Water scarcity is going to become an economic and political, as well as a meteorological, issue.

• The aging boomers. Although this trend is well-known and widely discussed, there are important nuances that aren’t as immediately obvious, including the rising importance of health factors in dietary decisions, and the implications on the workforce.

• Customized nutrition. As we learn more about human genetics, we are finding that the old saying that ‘one man's food is another man's poison’ is literally true. Foodservice providers encounter this on a daily basis with the rapid rise of allergies and food intolerances, like celiac disease. Most foodservice companies view this as an annoyance, when it can, instead, become a potent competitive advantage.

• The lingering implications of the Great Recession and related issues. America’s governments, at all levels, are under almost historic financial pressures. This is going to lead to less predictable politics, the potential for higher taxes and user fees, and a hunt for scapegoats, all of which may affect corporations who are unprepared or unwary.

• The increasing importance of the global economy. The world is a more complex place today, and events in one part of the world can trigger consequences everywhere. As a result, unknown new competitors with deep pockets can emerge overnight and change the dynamics of an entire industry without warning.

• The next phase of the technological revolution. Over the next 10 years, computers are going to increase in power by a factor of 1,000 times. As a result, we will finally see the emergence of what might be called ‘everyday robots’ and computer intelligences. This, and related developments in communications, will have far-reaching consequences in every industry, and in everyday life

Richard Worzel is a strategic planner, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading futurists. He offers audiences not only a fascinating view of tomorrow’s world, but practical tools for dealing with the uncertainties ahead. You’ll walk away not only with a better appreciation of what’s to come, but also with better tools for managing the challenges to come.

Food for Thought: Our Customers & Our Future

It's time for us to take a long, hard look at our customers and where we are going, as the foodservice industry in particular, and business in general is changing at an unprecedented rate. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada's leading futurist. In this presentation, he outlines some of the major drivers of change that are going to affect our customers and our business in tomorrow's world, including:

• The three economies – What's ahead for the American, Canadian, and global economies, and how will it affect us?

• Generations – How the different generations' working styles differ from one another, and what's needed to help them work harmoniously.

• The future of food – As our knowledge of genetics increases almost exponentially, our awareness rises of how subtle individual differences affect our health and well-being. As that happens, what foods our customers will want is shifting and creating new trends in food preparation, including everything from organic foods, gluten-free foods, and lower sodium products.

• The global demand for food – As rapidly developing countries like China and India see their middle classes expand and prosper, they will also see the number of calories, and the quality of calories, change. This has real, long-term implications for food prices.

• Technology – Technology is the ‘predictable wild card.’ We know it has already wrung remarkable changes, but it's going to be even more of a game-changer in the future. If we're not prepared, we will be left behind, especially as younger generations move into the workforce, and expect to use the technology tools they're familiar with, like social software, in the workplace.

• The Green Economy – It's clear that not only is climate change happening, but the pace of change is accelerating. Yet, getting ahead of the curve can turn a profit-draining exercise into a profit-enhancing one, and give us a competitive edge as well. Green is good for more than just public relations now.

The hardest part about facing the future is that it will be determined by not just one driver of change, but all of them, and their effects will intermingle, and bounce off each other. That's why it's time to prepare for tomorrow.

Rising from the Crash: What's Next for the Foodservice Industry?

If there is wisdom in history, it resides in the line 'This too, shall pass.' Although the economy is the dominant theme of conversation today, those who plan to remain in foodservice consulting need to be thinking through and beyond the crash and the aftermath, because the future ahead is changing as we watch. Richard Worzel is one of today's leading futurists, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst and a strategic planner. In this presentation he presents a roadmap to the undiscovered country ahead, including:
  • How the global economy has changed and will change because of the financial disasters of 2008, and the global recession of 2009;

  • Why the Green Economy is very much alive and well, and why those who plan to survive will zero in on its implications now in order to thrive in the years to come;

  • Where technology is taking us, how newer, smarter software will help us make decisions (or make decisions for us), how automation, including true robots, will change the way we work, and how relationships between customers and the businesses that serve them will mutate as new pipelines open between them;

  • Why organizations say they want to innovate, but really only want to pay lip service to it, and how to move towards persistent, responsible innovation; and finally

  • Tools that can help you produce a steady stream of new ideas and innovations, as well as tools that will allow you to anticipate where your clients are headed, so you can be there, waiting for them, when they arrive.
Richard's presentation will cap the conference, and give you tools and information you can take home and use immediately, and long into the future.

How Dairies Can Contribute to a Greener Society: Breaking the Carbon Habit Without Breaking the Bank

With the dramatic fall in the price of oil, it would be tempting to assume that the pressure to go green has disappeared. That would be a mistake, as the facts of climate change are still very much in evidence. This leaves the question: how can we, as individuals as well as producers, contribute to a greener society? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, best-selling author, and one of today's leading futurists. In this presentation, he:
  • Outlines the critical issues relating to climate change, and humanity's part in it;

  • Identifies the ways in which we are contributing to climate change; and

  • Talks about the ways in which we can change the harm we do without destroying our businesses, of ways of going green while making it a profit-contributing process instead of a profit-draining one.
To finish off, Richard will outline a technique for identifying new ways of improving efficiency, in order to benefit both profits and the environment.

Uncharted Territory: Preparing the Foodservice Industry for a Future Without Precedent

The foodservice industry is experiencing unprecedented changes. Climate change is now very much on the minds of the public, and companies are struggling to be sensitive to it without destroying their profit margins. Technology is changing the rules on how, when, where, and with whom business is conducted, from the ‘leaning out’ of the supply chain, to the way food service organizations interact with their clients, and how those clients interact with their customers. Biotechnology is becoming a two-edged sword, with new technologies improving the useful qualities of foodstuffs, while also revealing new food sensitivities among consumers. It’s also creating new controversies, first over genetically modified foods, then cloned foods, and, in future, foods created without farms. The kinds of foods demanded are shifting, in part due to the aging of the populations of North America, Europe, Japan, and the Anzac countries. And food commodities – and prices – seem to have been caught up in the surging demand for resources coming from the Rapidly Developing Countries like China and India, in part because of the increasing caloric intakes of their rapidly expanding middle classes.

Coping with these uncertainties and shifts in markets and sources of supply is a major issue for those organizations who plan to survive. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, strategic planner, best-selling author, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this far-ranging presentation, he outlines what is happening, why it’s happening now, and what it means for the future. In the process, he offers a roadmap to tomorrow, along with planning tools that forward-thinking organizations can use to plan and prepare for the challenges and uncertainties ahead.



Reading the Tea Leaves: The Future of Infusion Drinks

'The future ain't what it used to be,' the saying goes, and infusion beverages bear that out. Those attempting to stay with tradition, the tried and true, and the ways things have 'always been done' find their market share slipping, while new players play a new game and rewrite the rules, garnering market share, and pioneering new ways of selling infusion beverages. How will your company respond to global fusion cuisine, or to Echo Boomers who have different tastes and interests than their parents and who change direction overnight, without warning? What do you know about the new imperatives on health management that can help - or harm - the sales of your products? How will 'memes' change the patterns of the marketplace, and how do you counter them if you are the target of one? Futurist and strategic analyst Richard Worzel provides a road map of where we're going, and the how infusion drinks will change - and how those who plan to remain in this industry must change with it!

What Will It Take? Food Retailing, and the Consumer of the Future

Tesco of the U.K. re-wrote the playbook on food retailing, and jumped to being the #1 food retailer in the United Kingdom. Technology, changing consumer behaviour, new demographic and psychographic trends, and new ways of advertising, marketing, selling, and staying in touch with your customers are all changing the rules on how food retailing operates. Add to this globalization and new competition from major new players, new knowledge emerging from genetics about what is and isn't healthy food, and the landscape for food retailers becomes a minefield for the unprepared and the unwary. This far-reaching overview of the future will alert you to the coming developments in the food industry, and help you lay plans to be there 'firstest with the mostest.'

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