Technology was not always the first thing for food and beverage companies previously. However, technology has changed how food companies work and carry out their business operations.
Robotics, data analytics, food management software, applications, and processing techniques dominate the food and beverage industry. A report published by ING states that technology helps companies produce more efficiently to meet the needs of the growing world population.
Technology plays a critical role in various aspects, including food production, supply chain management, processing, packaging, food safety, and improved shelf life. So, what is the role of technology in the food and beverage industry?
Why do food companies, suppliers, distributors, restaurants, cafes, bars, etc., need to embrace the latest technology tools to streamline their business operations? What do facts and statistics show? Today’s article will answer these questions in detail!
Technology in Food and Beverage Industry Statistics
According to Fresh Works, B2B sales companies focus more on technology, adopting data-driven solutions to streamline their business operations. Gartner’s future sales report cited by Fresh Works states that 60% of B2B companies will implement data and analytics-based solutions/applications to optimize their sales operations.
According to Gartner’s research, 33% of buyers want a more streamlined and hassle-free sales experience. About 44% of millennials desire seller-free sales experiences. Christina Gomez, Gartner Sales Practice vice president:
“As baby boomers retire and millennials mature into key decision-making positions, a digital-first buying posture will become the norm.”
In addition, virtual selling is becoming a new norm and an integral part of business strategy for food and beverage companies because buyers spend 17% of their time meeting face-to-face with suppliers. It means buyers spend 83% of their time meeting with suppliers via digital platforms and channels.
According to the National Restaurant Association, about 80% of food establishments make substantial efforts to embrace and implement technology tools to reach their target audience and manage their business operations.
Fortune reports that 6% of people use digital channels and smartphone apps to place orders in restaurants. According to Hotel Management, 37% of food establishments or companies say technology tools can streamline customer orders.
Up Serve reports that 81% of food and beverage companies, including restaurants and bars, use electronic register systems to improve operations, promote better management, and generate higher returns on investments (ROIs).
A 2019 research report published by Toast highlights that 47% of food company owners have enough resources to implement technology tools or software systems or update their current equipment.
So, why are food and beverage companies, restaurants, suppliers, and distributors embracing technology? Here is what you need to know!
Role of Technology in the Food and Beverage Industry
Running a food company or restaurant requires careful planning and alignment with the latest technological trends. One incorrect step can deteriorate your business, wasting resources, time, money, and efforts.
Technology allows food companies to follow a proactive and preventative approach and work in sync without interruptions. Digitization has revolutionized and transformed the food and beverage industry landscape.
Every business embraces technology to improve their production lines, packaging, inventory management, and other procedures, from smaller companies to larger corporations.
Hundreds of online platforms and software applications help suppliers and distributors streamline their business operations. Some of the most reputable software systems are De-track, Entree, EIC software, and KEXY.
Although you can choose any software application based on your needs, if you want to increase sales using real-time data analytics, know more about competitors’ strategies and actions in the market, and improve your overall ROIs, KEXY is an ideal option.
Food Processing and Packaging
Software applications control various aspects of the food and beverage industry, including operations related to food processing. Companies use digital applications to increase production line efficiency, reduce energy consumption, improve products’ quality, and ensure safety.
In addition, manual packaging is not a cost-effective solution for food companies due to the higher demands of consumers. Technology enables food and beverage companies to step forward and enhance their filling and packaging procedures.
Today, many companies desire to unify production line and packaging solutions to make the most out of their equipment. Automation plays a critical role in increasing efficiency and reducing overall costs.
Tech Trends in Food and Beverage Industry
Food and beverage companies are digitizing their production lines with advanced technology tools, eCommerce applications, and food management software. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the hospitality industry, including food and beverage companies, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
The industry has made substantial efforts to tackle the severe impact of the pandemic using digital tools, ensuring transparency, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability in their business operations.
Digitization has the potential to transform business operations for suppliers and distributors. Consumers demand real-time updated information on products through digital media.
Likewise, they want to know whether the food they consume is socially sustainable and eco-friendly. So, food product traceability, sustainability, and safety issues have become critical concerns to processors, suppliers, distributors, and retailers.
Digitization or digitalization enables food suppliers and distributors to leverage the power of automation and real-time data collection/analysis to become highly connected, efficient, and responsive to clients’ needs and regulatory requirements.
From real-time data tracking and management to predictive food supply and distribution maintenance, companies worldwide are rapidly adopting digital technologies to optimize the food supply chain and distribution.
Big Data Analytics
Machine learning tools, AI, and big data analytics enable food and beverage companies to optimize digital food management from farm to fork. For instance, KEXY collects and analyzes datasets from different areas, such as external, behavioral, atmospheric, and operational domains, into a single platform view.
The purpose is to help you save time while streamlining your business operations and increasing sales. You can use KEXY to identify your competitors’ products using factors like inventory and purchasing patterns of establishments (restaurants, cafes, bars, eateries, etc.).
In addition, KEXY uses advanced machine learning algorithms to perform real-time data analytics, allowing distributors and suppliers to analyze their clients’ purchasing and ordering behaviors.
Besides, digitization will optimize consumer behavior analysis and streamline forecasting using data acquisition on food/beverage products and consumers. Digital applications allow food companies better understand the market analysis, predict disruptions, generate insights, reduce losses, and manage surplus food.
Digitization based on AI and machine learning tools can help the industry analyze critical disruptions, such as cyclones, floods, and pandemics, and simulate market fluctuations via real-time data.
In addition, big data analytics allow brands to streamline their marketing strategies, reach their target audiences, increase sales, and generate higher ROIs. Therefore, adopting digital technology is the future of the food and beverage industry.
Adopt Diverse Digital Tools
Companies in the food and beverage industry must adopt digital tools like KEXY to streamline their business operations, increase customer engagement, boost sales, and generate higher profits.
It is an all-inclusive solution, allowing suppliers, distributors, restaurants, bars, and cafes, to bridge the communication gap and handle the procurement and inventory-related tasks from a single platform. The purpose is to improve your business’ bottom line.
For instance, digital selling tools can imitate the traditional form of selling, allowing consumers to participate in decision-making. Digital tools can:
- Improve business operations
- Increase profits
- Bring more sustainability
- Lead to higher employee and customer satisfaction
- Better customer service
- Higher revenues
Focus on Sales Enablement
Experts recommend food and beverage companies rethink their sales enablement strategies to optimize customers’ purchasing journey and let them buy products at their preferred platforms.
According to Gartner’s research, sales enablement plays a crucial role for companies, including B2B organizations, to decrease the risk of lost sales. However, this requires the organizations to adopt new methods and tools that align with their business goals.
Sellers Training and Coaching
How can I engage sellers with buyers? How can I execute sales more efficiently? These are common questions asked by B2B sales organizations and companies in the food and beverage industry.
It is essential to balance technology tools and sellers’ interaction with the content to carry out their tasks efficiently. However, this requires consistent training and coaching to enable sales personnel to adopt digital channels or virtual sales practices.
For instance, online training resources, videos, podcasts, and conferences allow salespeople to learn accurately and get a pulse on trending technologies in the food and beverage industry.
Transparency in Transportation and Distribution
The food supply chain involves numerous parties, from the farm to trucks to processing and placement on store shelves. Various factors can lead to food product contamination, such as improper storage, resulting in severe contamination, increasing the risk of foodborne diseases.
Transparency in transportation and distribution is crucial for administrators to handle management processes. The purpose is to ensure efficient and fast identification and management opportunities and reduce the risk of contamination.
For instance, companies can use blockchain technologies to ensure transparency in food and beverage distribution by streamlining methods for transportation, storage, and analysis of food products.
Moreover, bar code readers, scanners, and robotics can automate warehousing and transportation operations. These technologies can track different functions via process automation.
How Can Companies Move Forward?
The food and beverage industry is experiencing faster changes in its operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The rise of industry 4.0 and digital technologies create a wide range of opportunities for food and beverage companies, allowing them to tackle the negative impacts caused by Covid-19 and overcome challenges.
For instance, smart sensors, cloud-based digital tools, the Internet of Things (IoT), inventory management systems, advanced data analytics, etc., can transform the industry and make it more efficient, reliable, and sustainable. Here is how companies can move forward and adopt the technology.
Undoubtedly, technology will transform the food and beverage industry for the better. More companies in this industry will jump on board as technology advances to optimize their business operations, including production, supply chain, distribution, etc.
The rise of precision supply and distribution in the food sector depends on technological solutions. Given the scale of operations in the food supply and distribution industry, businesses must explore different technologies in the market to improve workflow processes.
Computer vision, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and augmented reality are futuristic technologies that will enable suppliers and distributors in the F&B industry to increase efficiency and productivity. So, keeping an eye on technology advancements is essential for businesses.