Top 10 Technology Trends Affecting Suppliers in the F&B Industry
Food supply has become the most complex system for companies in the 21st century, primarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The complexity is also due to rapid changes in business operations to ensure the food products’ quality throughout the supply chain.
These include growing, resource procurement, production, stock management, and distribution to the end-users or consumers. That’s why food suppliers are looking for ways to tackle challenges and streamline their business operations.
Modern technologies are sophisticated solutions for companies to stay competitive, optimize their business processes, and generate higher returns on investments. Today’s article will highlight the top ten technologies affecting suppliers in the food and beverage industry. Read on!
Although robotization is not a new concept, it has fewer applications in the food and beverage industry. However, the Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to develop innovative robots to overcome challenges and automate the production processes. That’s why robotization is on the rise in the food and beverage industry.
Robots come with cutting-edge technologies, such as image recognition, to handle delicate and diverse products, function in harsh weather conditions, such as cold, heat, moisture, and comply with food safety regulations.
Staff shortages and increasing labor costs are the primary driving forces behind the implementation of robots in the food and beverage industry. Robotization brings efficiency to business operations by reducing dependence on labor.
Besides, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other reputable organizations urge companies to follow the food safety requirements.
Because these requirements have become stringent due to the Covid-19 pandemic and consumers’ demand for less human interference in the food and beverage production processes, relying on robotics is an excellent way to meet consumer demands by reducing the risk of food contamination.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
According to Report Linker, the Internet of Things (IoT) has a significant share in the food and beverage industry, reaching a whopping value of $4.08 billion. The report highlights that this figure will reach $8.43 billion by 2025, with a CAGR value of 9.5%. So this means suppliers are well-aware of IoT benefits.
Undoubtedly, implementing IoT technologies in business operations allow suppliers to ensure high levels of food safety, cut down wastage, improve traceability, and reduce risks in food processing, packaging, and distribution.
In addition, implementing IoT is directly proportional to improving food safety, streamlining logistics, ensuring transparent supply chains, increasing efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and decreasing overall costs. However, how you implement IoT tools determines whether you can make the most out of your business operations.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There is no denying that artificial intelligence is the future. AI has dominated various industries, including eCommerce, healthcare, engineering, aeronautics, etc. Customized AI and machine learning algorithms provide suppliers in the food and beverage industry to optimize their business processes and ensure a more transparent supply chain management.
AI and machine learning algorithms tailored for the food and beverage industry can lead to sophisticated innovations, such as smart farming, robotic agriculture, drones for monitoring food production, and predictive analytics to reduce wastage and supply the required amount of food to the final consumers.
Blockchain is another technology trend in 2022 affecting suppliers in the food and beverage industry by providing traceability, decentralization, and
data security. Blockchain streamlines food-related transactions and reduces the risk of fraud.
For instance, when you use blockchain technologies in supply chain management, you can prevent altering transactions by tracking, recording, and displaying data to your team members while ensuring optimal security. So, utilizing blockchain can help you:
- Deter food tampering, transaction fraud, and false marketing
- Help in determining contaminated food items
- Identify wastage in supply and distribution
- Reduce the risk of food spoiling
5. Big Data Analytics
Suppliers in the food and beverage industry can leverage the power of big data analytics to design their supply chain operations, increase business efficiency, reduce costs, ensure better quality control, meet consumers’ needs, optimize resources, reduce waste, and enhance overall consumers’ experiences.
Big data analytics is equally beneficial for production facilities, suppliers, distributors, and restaurants. For example, data analytics give you valuable insights, allowing you to make informed decisions by knowing customers’ preferences and purchasing patterns.
So, when you analyze data about preferences, reservation habits, demographics, etc., you can achieve the goal of providing your customers with personalized experiences.
Research highlights that 64% of companies in the food and beverage industry have implemented eCommerce technologies to streamline their business operations. People want a more optimized and personalized platform to browse, select, and order their food items. So, this is where advanced eCommerce technologies play a critical role in providing consumers with customized experiences.
Consumers are increasingly performing online research due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, online search lets them read reviews on third-party sites, helping them make informed decisions before purchasing products. Businesses can leverage the power of eCommerce technologies by providing consumers with easy access to information about food products.
For instance, businesses can implement user-friendly and responsive platforms to ensure consumers access online platforms via their smartphones. Moreover, connecting people via social networking sites brings efficiency, improves engagement, and boosts customer satisfaction, increasing sales and higher ROIs.
7. VR and AR Technologies
Virtual reality and augmented reality are immersive technology that improves consumers’ experiences. Instead of replacing humans, AR ensures the collaboration of humans and machines. Thus, this eliminates the need for physical prototypes and reduces overall costs. At the same time, VR and AR improve the design speed.
So, this shortens the time required for designing, supplying, and distributing food products to the market. In addition, VR and AR help with food safety and security compliance. For instance, your employees can use VR headsets with X-ray vision and heat-sensing features to increase productivity, save time, and improve your business’s bottom line.
For instance, VR headsets and AR-based QR code scanning allow warehouse managers and mechanical technicians to identify, track, monitor, and analyze products coming to or leaving the facility
8. Sales Digitalization
Digitalization involves applying various technological tools to strengthen your sales team and equip them with resources to improve performance. Digitalization allows suppliers and distributors to make more skillful decisions and enhance the business’s bottom line.
In addition, it streamlines the food and beverage supply network and ensures food freshness, safety, and client experiences. For instance, KEXY is one of the most powerful tools for suppliers and distributors, allowing them to make informed decisions by ensuring targeted sales.
At the same time, it enables suppliers and distributors to save money and time by reducing labor costs. KEXY is an advanced, cutting-edge tool that incorporates cloud-based technologies, real-time data analytics, customer purchasing behavior/patterns, and real-time data tracking to streamline the entire supply and distribution of food operations.
The most significant advantage for suppliers and distributors is KEXY Deals, allowing companies to track, monitor, and analyze real-time data on their competitors. KEXY helps you utilize digital resources and patented ordering processes to make informed decisions, stay competitive in the market, and streamline your sales operations.
9. Delivery Apps
Suppliers, distributors, and restaurants are vulnerable to implementing food safety regulations, sanitary rules, restrictions, online food orders, and contactless food delivery can optimize the overall process.
“The food delivery market was $150 billion worldwide in 2017-2018. It has increased three times more due to the Covid-19 pandemic because companies have adopted or implemented food delivery apps.”
10. Eco-Friendly Packaging
Global warming and climate change are the most significant issues faced by humans today. Restaurants, suppliers, and distributors are equally
responsible for the increasing temperatures because plastic-based packaging ends up in landfill sites. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt green technologies and ensure eco-friendly packaging to make the world a more sustainable place.
Biodegradable and recyclable packaging is the need of the hour to reduce the dangers of climate change. Ecofriendly packaging is a sustainable option because it uses less energy and increases the food’s shelf life by eliminating food waste. Suppliers in the food and beverage industry can use biodegradable packaging solutions to reduce the overall carbon footprint and emissions.
Although technology and the food industry seem an unlikely combination, they have become mainstream, allowing businesses to improve their overall operations and bring sustainability. Similar to people’s food preferences changing over time, so do technology tools, and software systems orbit the food industry.
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