Automation, Robotics and Industry 4, 0 · 4.Disruptions in the supply chain have forced food processors to make rapid adjustments, better manage their exposure and develop new distribution routes between suppliers and customers. However, food companies faced significant supply chain challenges before the COVID-19 pandemic. This was mainly due to the expansion of stock-keeping units, or SKUs, as consumers demanded more flavors and options. Many food companies can make significant improvements in this area if they learn to quantify their waste streams and measure improvements.
For example, there is a big difference between the goal of “using more recycled resin” in our HDPE bathtubs and “increasing the recycled resin in our bathtubs from 10% to 20%” will reduce the net carbon footprint of our product by 15% and will only lose 3% of stiffness. Another major trend is plant-based food alternatives, which continue to proliferate. Plant-based food alternatives have been trending among vegans and vegetarians for years, but they're also popular among flexitarians and omnivores. More and more consumers are choosing to make all or some of their diets plant-based to improve their health, protect animal welfare and help the environment.
A growing number of plant-based alternatives can be found in a variety of food categories, from cheeses and ice cream to snack bars and savoury snacks. Health and well-being became a major concern for many consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and food vendors are producing better products for you that offer additional appeal to consumers concerned about their health. While consumers want products that are nutritious, they must also taste good, and (surprise, surprise) parents just want to buy foods that children will gladly eat. The opportunities offered by healthier snacks focus on natural ingredients, reducing or eliminating sugar, incorporating more protein, increasing energy, and meeting specific dietary preferences and needs.
If your restaurant is a quick-service restaurant, it may already offer food delivery 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If not, it could still be something to consider. The industry is also expanding rapidly in terms of the number of companies and products on the market. The renewed focus of consumers on health and its relationship with what they buy in the supermarket has been one of the main drivers of this expansion.
This has led to the rise of new food and beverage companies that manufacture any number of plant-based foods, meat sandwiches and functional products. The industry also continues to face pressure from other areas. E-commerce is stealing market share from traditional retailers, and online food and beverage sales are expected to increase by 32% annually. Labor shortages are driving an increase in automation, and consumers are increasingly interested in sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
The most important thing you can do to get started is to develop an awareness campaign about how your company is affected or impacts the food industry. There are several types of companies related to the agricultural industry in sometimes surprising ways, and linking the daily activities of your company to those of the agricultural industry can help your company and your employees to establish closer connections with the industry as a whole. Whether it's customers who work in the agriculture industry, employees whose families work in the industry, or the services you provide and that an agricultural company uses, helping to highlight connections makes people more aware of their connection to the industry in general. The experts at your local MEP Center can help you address the disruptive technologies that are transforming the food industry.
Several of the biggest opportunities for growth in the food industry are due to technological advances. It's important to remember that the opportunities for growth in the foodservice industry go far beyond the use of innovative technology for restaurants. The food industry is likely to face increases in regulations related to emissions, resource use and waste. Very few people are in the same industry that grows, packages, ships and delivers food to people around the world.
Focusing on the future of the food industry, the report offers specific recommendations to guide retailers, service providers, wholesalers, food processors, packaging companies and investors in making business decisions. As sensor technology has improved and technological platforms have become more accessible and affordable for small and medium-sized manufacturers, the food industry is preparing for transformation. Regardless of how you choose to participate, food is something that affects us all, and more people should be actively involved in the sector responsible for it. The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and JobsOhio recently commissioned a business intelligence group, TeEconomy Partners, to carry out a study on the current and future state of the food industry.
Food manufacturers face many options for developing their engineering, food safety and product development. It's important for even the smallest food manufacturers to familiarize themselves with and invest in digital technologies in order to meet new industry standards in order to increase transparency and safety. .