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New Trends in the Food Industry

by Manufacture Nevada

New Trends in the Food Industry

The inability to gather good data has challenged many food manufacturers for decades. However, as sensor technology has improved, and technology platforms have become more accessible and affordable to small and medium-sized manufacturers, the food industry is undergoing a transformation. Food companies can now better understand their ingredients, products and operations.

The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and JobsOhio recently commissioned a business intelligence group, TEConomy Partners, to conduct a study on the current and future state of the food industry. The findings identified five large-scale trends, or themes, that are having a significant impact on the industry and all those involved. The disruptive technologies span the entire value chain and will have impacts for many years. It’s not just high-demand areas such as supply chain and cold storage where innovation is occurring, it’s also happening in traditional unit operations found in legacy manufacturers and product categories. Here's the top five trends forecased to impact the food industry for many years:

1) Supply Chain Adaptability: Supply chain challenges due to COVID-19 and restrictions in recent times have led to a growing number of adaptable system solutions like real time location tracking and optimization, and alternative input sourcing using artificial intelligene (AI) powered algorithms.

2) Digitalization of Food: Being equipped with digital technologies as a food manufacturer is important to be able to meet new industry standards for increased transparancy and safety. Many more retailers are requiring their vendors to be capable of participating in digital supply networks. Harnessing big data in the food industry will help inform food science, such as cold-chain management and associated R&D.

3) Automation, Robotics, and Industry 4.0: Autonomous systems will have a profound impact on the food industry. Benefits of automation are extensive and include enhanced production efficiency, potential for 24/7 operations, reduced labor demands, increaded uptime and machine lifecycles, and improved quality and repeatability among others.

4)Consumer Empowerment: Increased transparancy through QR codes, discount offers, and other consumer touchpoints have a substainial impact on consumer preferences. Consumers are now empowered by food choices that have high levels of customization and convenience for shopping, purchasing, and delivery. Including both product and environmental impacts are also factors driving consumer engagement in the industry.

5) Resource Optimization (Sustainability): Regulations related to emissions, waste, and resource use are bound to increase in the future. Reducing waste through advanced technologies can enable resources to be managed more efficienty.

The food industry continues to be a driver of national economic competitiveness that sustains our high quality of life. Food manufacturers face many choices in how to evolve their engineering, food safety and product development. Our business advisors at Manufacture Nevada can help you address the disruptive technologies that are transforming the food industry.

Content in this blog is in part sourced from the National MEP Website.

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